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llace-trainee Easy Lover Hanover brushed to control heading into the final turn and narrowly held the lead at the wire to win his fifth-consecutive $34,000 Preferred at Woodbine Racetrack on its Saturday, December 16 program, which also featured the second preliminary of the Valedictory Stakes.


Positioned third, Easy Lover Hanover was six lengths off of quarter-pole duelers Nirvana Seelster and and Traceur Hanover, who paced the first clip in :26. Jody Jamieson pulled Easy Lover Hanover first over in the backstretch, circling to the front after a :54.4 half. Traceur Hanover edged uncovered again moving into the final turn, towing Champagne Phil second over as Easy Lover Hanover paced to three-quarters in 1:23.2 and laboured through the stretch, holding a neck advantage at the line as Prescotts Hope split horses and rushed into contention for second, and Champagne Phil kicked off cover to finish a close third.


A four-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Pro Bono Best mare Easy Go Go, Easy Lover Hanover, owned by Bradley Grant, won his eighth race in 23 starts this season and his 24th in 56 overall, earning $564,509. He paid $2.70 to win.


Also on the 10-race program were two divisions for the second preliminary of the Valedictory Stakes, for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers who have earned less than $60,000 lifetime through October 31, with Brave World winning the first split from the pocket in 1:53.


Stalking tempo-setter Jk Pridenjoy, Brave World tracked the uncontested leader through fractions of :26, :55, and 1:24.4 before tipping off the rail into the stretch and pursuing the leader to take a neck advantage late in the mile and holding on to win. Odds-on favourite Windsun Gotham closed from second over to finish one-and-a-half lengths off the winner in third.


Owned by Wheelhouse Racing Stable, Brave World, a gelding by Royal Mattjesty out of the Badlands Hanover mare Fit N Bad, won his seventh race in 26 starts this season and in 37 starts overall, earning $62,696. Trained by William Budd and driven by Trevor Henry, he paid $12.90.


Better B Rolling wired the field in the second division, winning by three-quarters of a length as the odds-on favourite in 1:53.4.

Wide through a :27.3 opening quarter, Better B Rolling grabbed the lead into the backstretch from Penzance Hanover, yielding for second. Homey Joe backed into third following a rush for the lead at the quarter, leaving Better B Rolling unchallenged through a :56 half and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Better B Rolling held a two-length lead into the stretch, but Homey Joe swept into competition late, settling for second at the line, with Penzance Hanover taking third.Winning his ninth race in 12 starts this season, Better B Rolling, a gelding by Roll With Joe out of the Artiscape mare B So Lucky, is conditioned by James Morrison for owner William Donovan. Driven by Louis-Phillippe Roy, he paid $2.60 to win.