06/11/2016 11:58PM

Mohawk: Good Will Hanover, Darlinonthebeach take Fan Hanover eliminations

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Darlinonthebeach won her Fan Hanover elimination in 1:50 2/5

While Good Will Hanover came from off-the pace, Darlinonthebeach set the pace in winning their respective C$35,000 Fan Hanover eliminations on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

In the first elimination for 3-year-old pacing fillies, Good Will Hanover was able to defeat the heavily favoured Pure Country by a neck.

From post five, driver Chris Christoforou and Good Will Hanover marched to the front after the wings on the gate folded and held command past the quarter pole in 27 2/5. Mayhem Seelster followed along in second with Bad As Leader sitting third.

Into the backstretch, Pure Country, who was undefeated in 10 starts as a rookie, made a bid for the lead from fourth, and cleared at the half in 54 4/5. When the fillies were in the final turn, Mayhem Seelster advanced first-up from third and put pressure on driver Brett Miller and the front-stepping Somebeachsomewhere filly. Past the three-quarter pole in 1:23, Pure Country was able to pull away, but that left Good Will Hanover room to try and retake the lead from the pocket.

In deep stretch, Good Will Hanover was able to overcome Pure Country to capture the victory and stop the clock in 1:50 2/5.  Mayhem Seester finished third.

“That is a nice filly,” said Christoforou about rival Pure Country. “She’s going to take you right to the wire, so I had no problem letting him [driver Brett Miller] go and sitting behind that mare. It’s a real good filly, so she carried me where I wanted to go, and I was fortunate enough to have enough horse left to get there.

“It’s a horse race that’s for sure,” added the driver when asked about next week’s final. “But I wouldn’t want to be driving any other one, that’s for sure.”

The daughter of Big Jim and Go For Best notched her seventh lifetime win and third of the season, which also includes trips to the winner’s circle for her SBOA elim and the final. The filly pushed her career earnings to C$281,259 for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners BLB Stable. Good Will Hanover paid $8.30 to win.

The other elimination saw Kiss Me Onthebeach hit the opening quarter in 26 3/5, but Darlinonthebeach went on the attack out of the fourth position, and she was the new leader before the 54 second half.  She continued rolling to three-quarters in 1:21 3/5, then held sway through the lane to win by a length in 1:50 2/5.  L A Delight was second, followed by Newborn Sassy, Lindwood Beachgirl, and Penpal.

Nancy Johansson trains Darlinonthebeach, a Somebeachsomewhere filly, for owner/breeder White Birch Farm.  She won for the seventh time and has now earned C$339,718.  She paid $3.50 to win.

The top five finishers advanced to the C$438,000 Fan Hanover Final, which is set for Saturday, June 18 as part of the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup undercard. Being elimination winners, the connections of Good Will Hanover and Darlinonthebeach earned the right to select their post positions for the final.

Here is how the sophomore fillies will line up behind the gate:

1. Lindwood Beachgirl

2. Darlinonthebeach

3. Good Will Hanover

4. Newborn Sassy

5. Penpal

6. L A Delight

7. Pure Country

8. Lay Lady Lay

9. Mayhem Seelster

10. Bad As Leader

AE: Party In Rome

--press release (Woodbine Entertainment Group)--