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In Harness: Allywag Hanover Upsets In FanDuel As Confederate Finishes Eighth

USTA/Lisa Photo

After stalking an extended duel between Bythemissal and Confederate, Allywag Hanover
emerged from the pocket in deep stretch to post a 17-1 upset in the FanDuel Championship Pace.

(Courtesy of USTA Media Relations)

East Rutherford, NJ — Allywag Hanover used a pocket trip to spring a 17-1 upset in Saturday’s (Nov. 25) $350,000 FanDuel Open Pace Championship, overtaking 4-5 favorite Bythemissal in deep stretch to win by a neck in 1:49.1 at the Meadowlands. Abuckabett Hanover finished third.

Confederate, the lone 3-year-old in the race and 6-5 second choice in the betting, finished eighth after a first-over charge from the half-mile point. The colt, who was retired in a ceremony following the race, was within a length of pacesetting Bythemissal at three-quarters but could get no closer.

Allywag Hanover, trained by Brett Pelling and driven by Todd McCarthy, won the event for the second time in his career. He captured his first title in 2021, when the race was known as the TVG Championship.

“He’s just a great horse; he really is,” Pelling said. “He’s great gaited, he follows speed really well, and he’s honest. When he’s on his game, he’s as honest as they come.”

Allywag Hanover took the lead from post six and guided the field to a :27.1 opening quarter. Bythemissal gained control from there and reached the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23. Confederate, who brought an 11-race win streak to the FanDuel and is the sport’s No. 1-ranked horse, started from post nine and was fourth through the first half of the race before making his move against Bythemissal.

“He did a lot of work early. The third quarter was strong; he tried to bowl into it,” said Pelling, who also trains Confederate, about the colt’s effort. “It’s a 3-year-old racing against big boys.”

After stalking an extended duel between Bythemissal and Confederate, Allywag Hanover emerged from the pocket in deep stretch to post a 17-1 upset in the FanDuel Championship Pace. Lisa Photo.

Allywag Hanover, a son of Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, is owned by the Allywag Stable. The 6-year-old gelding won for the fourth time in 17 races this year and 28th time in 71 career starts. He has earned $2.25 million lifetime.

He paid $36.60 to win.

“He is the ultimate warhorse and he showed it tonight,” said Adam Bowden, of the Allywag Stable ownership group. “He’s great.

“That was the perfect trip for him: leave hard, find a spot, and then finish strong at the end.”

Bowden’s Diamond Creek Racing also owns the homebred Confederate, who won 13 of 15 races this season and earned $1.63 million. His victories this year included the Meadowlands Pace and Breeders Crown, and his best win time of 1:46.1 is history’s fastest for a 3-year-old pacer.

For his career, the son of Sweet Lou-Geothermal captured 18 of 22 starts and banked more than $2 million.

“Confederate had the magic season, and we took a chance here (in the FanDuel) and it didn’t work out,” Bowden said. “But he’s still great in our book.”

Confederate’s driver, Tim Tetrick, added, “He’s a cool dude. It’s hard to find that kind, and it’s very hard to replace them. He’s been very special.

“He’s been great all year. Today, he had a little hiccup, but it’s tough against those 5-, 6-, 7-year-old warhorses. He got beat, but he raced good, he raced hard. Bad drive, 26 (seconds) in the third quarter trying to get into the race, and I had to go wide to get into the race on the first turn. Nine-holes are tough. Sometimes they’re daggers.”

Also retired during a ceremony following the FanDuel Open Pace Championship was 6-year-old stallion Tattoo Artist, who finished fourth. Tattoo Artist won 40 of 96 career races and $2.8 million. He was trained by Dr. Ian Moore in Canada and Chris Ryder in the U.S. for owners Let It Ride Stables, Bottom Line Racing and Frank Cannon.

“What can you say, he’s been a beast,” Cannon said. “He’s raced for five years now, on all-sized tracks, taken on all comers. I want to do a shout-out to my partners, Eric Cherry and Dana Parham. We’ve had a great ride with Tattoo, and we think he’s going to be quite a showcase in the stallion barn.”

HEFTY HANDLE: All-source wagering on the 14-race program totaled $3,691,553, the most at The Big M since Hambletonian Day, when $7.8 million was pushed through the windows.

On the corresponding card from a year ago, the handle was $3,398,962, so betting was up 8.6 percent over that program.

“Even with a pair of short [five-horse] fields, we managed to have a great night at the windows,” said track chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “All of us at the Meadowlands appreciate the support we get from our fan base, as well as our horsemen, who always put on a great show.”

Wagering has now gone past the $3-million mark 54 times during 2023 from 78 programs.

A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy and Dexter Dunn led the driver colony with three winners apiece. … Noel Daley, Jenn Bongiorno, Nancy Takter and Åke Svanstedt all trained a pair to victory lane. … Punters will have a pair of carryovers to shoot for when racing resumes. The 20-cent Pick-8 will begin with $8,180 in the hat while the 20-cent Pick-6 will start with $13,662 in the pot. … Barton Dalious recorded his first-ever Meadowlands win after guiding Good Deal to victory in the 13th race. … Racing resumes Friday (Dec. 1) at 6:20 p.m.

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