Aracache Hanover Survives Multiple Inquiries
August 15, 2010
Attribution: The Harness Edge
If you simply looked at the chart of the $547,000 Confederation Cup final on Sunday afternoon at Flamboro Downs, you would figure Aracache Hanover was an easy winner in 1:52.1, but that was hardly the case as the judges placed him under a double inquiry following the race.
The first inquiry stemmed from what Aracache Hanover (Doug McNair) did at the start when he got fumbly-gaited from the pole position, which allowed Foreign Officer (Jody Jamieson) to get the lead. After putting in those steps, Aracache Hanover quickly collected his gait, and he was up to grab the lead before the :26.4 half.
Foreign Officer then blew the second turn and went wide, which allowed Aracache Hanover to get several lengths on his rivals at the :54.2 half-mile marker. With Foreign Officer left first-over, that meant Four Starz Trace (Luc Ouellette) sat in the second-over spot, and BGs Folly (Dan Dube), the other elimination winner, was third-over.
Aracache Hanover continued to lead by open lengths over to the 1:23 three-quarter mile clocking while Four Starz Trace and BGs Folly both went three-wide, and on the far turn BGs Folly went four-wide, but he was left with a lot of work to do at that point.
Through the lane Aracache Hanover maintained his big margin, and he would go on to win by open lengths. BGs Folly wound up second and Four Starz Trace just nosed out Stonebridge Tonic (Mike Saftic) for third.
It was after the race that the real fireworks started from the judges' room. First, they deemed that Aracache Hanover had not committed any violations at the start, so the connections took all the pictures with the trophy.
However, the judges then put Aracache Hanover back under inquiry to see if Doug McNair had committed any violations of Ontario's whipping rule in the stretch when he put both lines in one hand to put his whip up in celebration. After talking with McNair, and reviewing the tape, the judges ruled that although McNair did place both lines in one hand, he did not touch the horse with the whip, so the win was allowed to stand.
Doug McNair said to Ken Middleton following the race that it was the first time Aracache Hanover had ever put in any steps like that and that he thought it was because the horse was shying away from the starting gate. He also noted that Aracache Hanover was quite tired in the lane, but had enough to hold off the challengers.
Gregg McNair trains Aracache Hanover, a Dragon Again colt, for owners William Switala and James Martin. Aracache Hanover clicked for his eighth win in his tenth 2010 try and he now has ten career victories. The winner's share of the purse pushed Aracache Hanover's seasonal output to $500,744 and his lifetime bankroll to $540,717.
The elder McNair noted Aracache Hanover has both the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final and the Little Brown Jug coming up on his dance card.
1 MILE, PACE, PURSE $50,000.
1 MILE, PACE, PURSE $547,000.