06/03/2017 11:08PM

Mohawk: Dr J Hanover paces Canada's fastest-ever mile

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Dr J Hanover had records falling all over the place after his Graduate Series triumph

Dr J Hanover has taken his time coming around in 2017, but the 4-year-old gelding picked a beautiful night, a perfect track and got a heady drive by Doug McNair to get the job done in world record fashion in the first of two Graduate divisions at Mohawk on Saturday night, a 1:46 4/5 mile.  That was also the first sub-1:47 mile ever paced in Canada.

McNair had been given some advice prior to the race about the son of Somebeachsomewhere.

"They told me had had good gate speed," said McNair.

Indeed, Dr J Hanover rolled quickly to the front with a 12 1/5 opening eighth but willingly yielded when Boston Red Rocks, the second choice, brushed to the front. With a quarter in 26 2/5, Yannick Gingras sent odds-on favorite Lyons Snyder on a prolonged bid and crossed over to the half in 53 seconds.

From there, the pace just kept lively and a three-quarters in 1:20 did little to the advantage of Lyons Snyder as Brett Miller pulled Boston Red Rocks from the pocket and drove by the leader. On his flank was Dr J Hanover, and McNair deftly angled his charge wide and powered by in the late stages. 

The 1:46 4/5 clocking was a new world record for 4-year-old geldings.

Tony Alagna trains the 15-1 winner for owners Bradley Grant, Robert LeBlanc, Steven Wienick and Irwin Samelman.

The second Graduate division came up nearly three full seconds slower but provided a riveting stretch drive as 4-5 favorite Sintra fought back to earn a narrow decision over Western Fame in a 1:49 3/5 mile.

Western Fame left alertly for the early lead before yielding to Sintra past the 26 3/5 opening quarter. Sintra had full control of the fractions as second choice Check Six was late to pull to the outside and then failed to advance. Sintra cut fractions of 53 3/5 and 1:21 without a challenge, but then Trevor Henry pulled Western Fame from the pocket into the homestretch.  He quickly went up to the neck and eventually put a head in front of the winner, but Jody Jamieson kept urging Sintra on along the inside, while Henry kept working Western Fame hard on the outside. The two appeared to hit the wire together, with the photo giving a slight edge to Sintra, who is now two-for-two in the Graduate Series.  Easy Lover Hanover was third.

"I knew he was going to have to dig deep," said Dave Menary, trainer of Sintra, after the victory.  "As long as he comes out of it good we'll go to Tioga next Sunday."