OXON HILL -- Western Hanover crossed another hurdle las night in his quest for pacing's Triple Crown, winning the $366,750 Messenger Pace at Rosecroft Raceway.
To become the first Triple Crown champion in the sport since Ralph Hanover in 1983, Western Hanover needs to win the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware (Ohio) Fairgrounds on Sept. 24.
The 3-year-old No Nukes colt also joined 14 other pacers who have eclipsed $2 million in career earnings, taking home $183,375 for the victory.
It was the sixth straight win and seventh in the past eight starts for George Segal's colt, who has accounted for $1,326,330 this season alone.
He won the first leg of the Triple Crown series, the Cane Pace, at Yonkers Raceway on Aug. 29.
Western Hanover broke in third from the rail, but took over the lead the first time through the stretch and was never seriously challenged while finishing in 1 minute, 53 1/5.
Safely Kept, the early pacesetter, held off the fast-closing Humstinger for second. Nuclear High, partly owned by George Steinbrenner, ran fourth.
"He seemed better tonight than he's been in quite a while," driver Bill Fahy said of Western Hanover. "I thought he was off his game a little last week."
Immortality captured her ninth straight stakes despite starting on the outside, breezing past eight rivals in the first division of the $282,800 Kentucky Standardbred Sales Co. Pace for 2-year-old fillies.
She was sent off at 1-to-9 odds and driver John Campbell never urged her to triumph in 1:55 2/5.