Rounding into form at the perfect time, Wrangler Magic prevailed off a pocket trip in the $479,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies.
She paid $13.80 to win as the third choice with the betting public backing elimination winner Sassa Hanover and 2014 Horse of the Year JK Shesalady despite that filly scoping sick after her fourth-place effort the previous week.
Driver Sylvain Filion sent Wrangler Magic to the lead from post seven into a :26-second opening panel while post nine starter Single Me (Dave Miller) tucked in behind and The Show Returns (John Campbell) got away third. But after the first quarter, Sassa Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was on the move from fourth and she took over command down the backstretch and reached the half in :54.4.
At the midway mark, JK Shesalady began to advance on the outside, but she was still third at the 1:23 third quarter pole. Filion then pulled Wrangler Magic from the pocket and edged by Sassa Hanover down the stretch to win in a career-best clocking of 1:50.2. The Show Returns came through at the pylons to finish second, one and three-quarter lengths behind at long odds of 113-1, while Solar Sister (Doug McNair) stormed home from the backfield for third.
“She showed it last year at the end of the year and started coming on pretty good,” noted trainer Stephane Larocque of his progressing Mach Three-Ja El Shamrock filly, who was second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final last year and had been no worse than third in her four sophomore stakes starts coming into the Fan Hanover final.
Larocque credited Wrangler Magic’s success to his partnership with Yves Filion, of Bayama Farms Inc., who developed the filly.
“Yves Filion just did an amazing job to get her to be so good and sound this year. And right now she’s awesome,” he said. “We have a great relationship. We work together and we talk to each other everyday. It’s teamwork and it’s working so far.”
“This is a tremendous feeling,” said Dr. Maurice Stewart of Leduc, Alta., who bred and raised Wrangler Magic and shares ownership with Bayama Farms, Toronto’s Thomas Kyron and Quebec City’s Brian Paquet. “The last two weeks have been tough, but we got through it. This is really exciting. The partners we have are unbelievable. Yves has done a wonderful, wonderful job along with Sylvain in developing her. Sylvain has done a great job driving her. We couldn’t ask for more. And what a time to get on top!”