MEADOW LANDS – When Papi Rob Hanover blazed to a world-record 1:47.1 in last weekend’s eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios Pace, the harness racing world eagerly anticipated what he might do for an encore in the $375,000 Adios final Saturday. Alas, it won’t happen, as Papi Rob Hanover has been withdrawn from the final with what his owner, David McDuffee, describes as a stress fracture of his left front coffin bone.
With Papi Rob out, attention turned to Catch The Fire and The Greek Freak, the other elimination winners, who got to select their post positions. The connections of Catch The Fire, after winning the draw for selection order, choose post 3, and The Greek Freak’s camp opted for post 4. Papi Rob Hanover’s withdrawal opened a spot for Captain Barbossa, who drew in as the fourth-place finisher with the highest career earnings.
The Adios, which goes as Race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 p.m., anchors a powerhouse card that also features the Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, an Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and an Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a PA Stallion Series event. The card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 a.m.
McDuffee said Papi Rob Hanover, nearing $1 million in earnings after only 16 career starts including a second-place finish in the Meadowlands Pace, won’t race again this year.
“I don’t think his injury happened at The Meadows,” he said. “I believe it occurred in the Meadowlands Pace when he hopped for a moment and David (Miller) had to take hold of him. If he’d shown any signs of injury, we wouldn’t have raced him at The Meadows. You saw how easily he won his elimination.”
He said he won’t make a hurried decision on the horse’s future.
“It’s not a life-threatening injury; it will heal in time,” he said. “There could be a lot of records he could set at 4. Stallion-wise, he’s also generating a lot of interest. He’s a very special, smart horse. Papi Rob will be heard from again.”