Sylvia Hanover a gutsy winner in Shady Daisy

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Harness racing’s No. 1-ranked horse, Sylvia Hanover, made it 13 wins in a row Saturday (Aug. 5) at the Meadowlands, capturing the $100,000 Shady Daisy, for 3-year-old female pacers, by a head over Beach Cowgirl in 1:48.3. Bellisima Hanover finished third.

Sylvia Hanover and driver Bob McClure were content to sit in fourth place through the first half of the race as Bellisima Hanover set fractions of :26 and :54.1. As the leader reached the half, McClure had Sylvia Hanover in motion, but she remained nearly four lengths behind at three-quarters, which was reached in 1:21.4.

In the stretch, Sylvia Hanover overtook Bellisima Hanover, but still had to fight off Beach Cowgirl to her inside to get the hard-earned victory. Sylvia Hanover paced her last quarter in :26 while Beach Cowgirl was timed in :25.4.

“You have to give her credit, that other filly raced huge,” McClure said. “We came a good last quarter, and she was with us the whole way. (Sylvia Hanover) dug in all the way down the lane. It was a good battle. I’m glad we came out on top.”

Sylvia Hanover is a daughter of Always B Miki-Shyaway owned by Hudson Standardbred Stable. The Hanover Shoe Farms-bred filly is trained by the father-son team of Mark and Shawn Steacy. She is 6-for-6 this season and 14-for-15 lifetime. With her win Saturday, she pushed her career earnings to just over $1 million.

“She’s got what most horses don’t have: the desire to win,” Mark Steacy said. “It doesn’t matter what type of trip she gets, she wants to get her nose in front at the end.”

Sent off as the 1-9 favorite, Sylvia Hanover paid $2.10 to win.