12/14/2013 11:02PM

Northfield: Apprentice Hanover storms home for Cleveland Classic win

JJ Zamaiko
Apprentice Hanover loved the snow at Northfield Park on Saturday.

Jody Jamieson gave up a night of driving at Woodbine for one important mount at Northfield Park and the move paid off in a major way as Apprentice Hanover took home the top prize in the $126,000 Cleveland Classic.

Sent off as a 3-1 third choice in the field of six, Apprentice Hanover followed the very live cover of Twilight Bonfire through a scorching second half.

The race set up perfectly for the winner, with 6-5 choice Word Power working hard to get the top from Dedi’s Dragon through a :27 flat first quarter. Midway through the second turn, Twilight Bonfire and driver Tony Hall started their move with Apprentice Hanover and Jamieson on their back.

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With a half in :56 2/5, the race picked up serious pace as the two favorites did battle down the backstretch. Word Power was still holding an advantage, but Twilight Bonfire refused to go away through a :27 3/5 third quarter in a driving snow storm.

Late on the final turn, Jamieson sent Apprentice Hanover wide and the son of Somebeachsomewhere meant business. Twilight Bonfire surged to the front with Word Power fatigued, but he proved no match for the highly motivated colt from the Ben Wallace stable.

Apprentice Hanover won for the third straight time, stopping the timer in 1:52 1/5. Twilight Bonfire held on for second with 32-1 shot Good Day Mate picking up the minor spoils.

“We had a bad summer with him,” said Jamieson following the race in regard to stomach ulcers Apprentice Hanover was dealing with.

“Brad (owner Grant) left a lot of money on the table,” said Wallace, “I really was unable to train this horse very hard all summer. It wasn’t until after Lexington that I was able to work him some. That (1):52 mile in the snowstorm is a great trip for him.”

It was just the fifth victory of the season for Apprentice Hanover in 18 starts. He pushed his 2013 earnings to $228,207 with the win.