09/23/2015 6:19PM

Delaware County Fair: Sassa Hanover wins the 2015 Jugette

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Derick Giwner
Sassa Hanover set a two-heat record of 3:42 in the Jugette.

Sassa Hanover displayed both sides of her game in winning the $252,250 Jugette for 3-year-old pacing fillies at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Wednesday afternoon.

After coming from third-over in her elimination, the Ron Burke-trained Sassa Hanover went wire to wire from post one to capture the 45th edition of the Ohio classic. With Matt Kakaley in the bike, the pair set fractions of 26 4/5, 56, 1:23 3/5 and 1:51 1/5, posting a two-heat record of 3:42 combined with her 1:50 4/5 first heat win.

Fellow elimination winner and stablemate Bettor N Better tried to come first over versus Sassa Hanover in the final heat but was unable to sustain a rally, and Wicked Little Minx following her cover did nothing but stall the outer flow. That left plenty of room for Southwind Roulette, who saved ground early, to get up for second and Somewhere Sweet to notch third.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Real-time insights + Watch the full cards LIVE on Jugette & Jug Day]

“I let her step out of there in 26 (seconds) and change and I got a good breather before Yannick (Gingras, Better N Bettor) came. I just kind of shook the lines at her at three quarters and she was still strong, so I knew I was home free at that point,” said Kakaley on the trip.

The Jugette victory for Kakaley was the first of his career and it was extra special since the 27-year-old spent much of his career in Ohio.

“I started my career here, pretty much, and to win one of the big ones on a premier day here in Delaware is a good feeling,” said Kakaley.

Burke, who trains the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven for Burke Racing Stable, Panhellenic Stable Corp. Weaver Bruscemi, and Larry Karr took home his third Jugette trophy. His previous wins came with Western Graduate and Darena Hanover.

For Sassa Hanover, the victory was a rare good moment in a year that most would consider a disappointment. After a 9-for-13 rookie campaign where she won nearly $500,000, she came into Wednesday with just four wins in 13 starts and $218,411 in her bankroll.

“Hopefully this gets her turned around and going the right way,” said Burke.