MILTON, June 17, 2023 – She didn’t have the best trip but that certainly didn’t deter the talented three-year-old pacing filly Sylvia Hanover in the $420,000 Fan Hanover final, part of the stakes laden North America Cup undercard Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The incredible daughter of Always B Miki was recording her third win in as many tries this year. Last season she won eight of nine (second in the other) and tonight’s effort put her well over the $1 million mark in addition to tying the track, stakes and Canadian record established by American Jewel in 2012.
Sylvia and Bob McClure were looking for the lead early in the race but it was Beach Cowgirl from post eight who went directly to the top and she paced by the opening quarter in :26.4. McClure let Sylvia have her way as she did not want to sit and she was on top by the :55 half.
She had company in Twin B Joe Fresh nearing the 1:21.3 third panel but dismissed that rival and could not be caught down the stretch winning easily in the record mile of 1:48.2. Charleston got up to take second while Twin B Joe Fresh held for third.
“She likes a target (but she doesn’t need one),” explained McClure. “Last year she used to get lazy on the front. But she wasn’t sitting in that hole any more today. We got slowed up and she wanted to roll, I couldn’t let horses get outside me and take the chance of never getting out, so I took a shot.
“When she cleared the front and Dex (Dexter Dunn aboard Twin B Joe Fresh) came at her she just did the rest on her own. She’s a very special horse, I just have to stay out of her way. I’ve never sat behind anything like her, she’s always going to give you everything she’s got,” praised McClure.
Trainer Shawn Steacy certainly agreed with his driver’s sentiments. “She’s an amazing animal. I don’t think she knows how to get tired, she’s incredible, I don’t know how else to put it. She can do things most normal horses can’t do.”
Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms (just like the race’s namesake) Sylvia was a $135,000 yearling buy from the Harrisburg Sale by Hudson Standardbred of Hudson, Quebec. She’s following in her mother’s footsteps as her dam, Shyaway, raced in the 2011 Fan Hanover eliminations and final for trainer Chris Ryder. Sylvia is her seventh foal, her first being $2 million winner Western Fame.
Introduced in 1983, The Fan Hanover Stake is named in honour of the pacing filly who accomplished what no other sophomore distaffer has done before or since – win the Little Brown Jug. Owned by the Dr. Glen Brown, who passed away last year, and trained and driven by Glen Garnsey, the Albatross miss defeated her male rivals in the 1981 edition of the coveted race. Dr. Brown’s granddaughter, Jenna Hague, was on hand tonight to make the trophy presentation following in her grandfather’s tradition.
Heather MacKay for Woodbine Communications