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'Union' Strong In New York

Tuesday, October 18, 2011  By: Standardbred Canada

'Union' Strong In New York

Four $30,000 finals of New York Sire States Late Closer events for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers were featured on Monday, October 17 at Monticello Raceway. Although the majority of the participating colts and fillies were of fine calibre, the day belonged to Union Man Hanover, who was far and away the cream of the crop.

With Greg Merton once again at the controls, the freshman Artiscape--Up Front Rose colt breezed to an easy five-length triumph in 1:57.2.

Merton sent the colt immediately to the front, and, from there, the duo toyed with the field through early fractions of :28.3 and :59.1. Up the backside, driver Stephane Bouchrad and Connery Blue Chip made a move at the leader. Merton sat chilly and allowed Bouchard and his mount to get alongside his charge as they headed into the final turn. Just when it appeared that it was going to be a battle to the finish, Merton chirped to his colt and Union Man Hanover sped away to a three-length triumph, his fifth consecutive and sixth of the season. Winbak Shake was second best for John Stark, Jr., while Connery Blue Chip faded and finished third.

“This is a very nice colt,” Merton said afterward. “He can leave, he can follow and when you ask him he hits another gear. He has such quick speed. I drove him four times now and we won every time.”

Tim Gordon, the executive director of the New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund which directs the fortunes of the NYSS, made the presentation to members of the Stake Your Claim Stable and co-owner Dan Baer who were on hand, as was trainer Linda Toscano.

Union Man Hanover’s 1:57.2 clocking was far and away the fastest of the four NYSS late closers, two of which were won by Jim Morrill, Jr. Morrill won the late closer for the two-year-old pacing fillies with Miracle Lynn in 1:59.4 and also captured the two-year-old colt trot with New York Attitude in 2:01.3.

A fourth final saw John Stark, Jr. and Lady Crown lull the field to sleep with slow early fractions and record a win in 2:03.1.

(With files from Monticello)

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