Day At The Track

Apprentice Hanover gearing up for a big year

02:56 PM 30 Jan 2014 NZDT
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Ben Wallace, harness racing
Ben Wallace is expecting a big year with Apprentice Hanover
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Ben Wallace has Apprentice Hanover racing razor sharp having won his last 5 races.  He is racing again Saturday at Woodbine in the Preferred Pace, hoping to make it six in a row. His last five races have included two victories in Preferred company at Woodbine and a victory in Northfield Park's $126,000 Cleveland Classic on December 14th. 

Trained by Ben Wallace and owned by Milton's Brad Grant, the now 4-year-old is being staked to race in all the major races for older pacing males.  A big year is anticipated for the son of Somebeachsomewhere.  Apprentice Hanover has lifetime earnings of $ 526,485 and hopes to add greatly to that total this year.

"This is the best he has ever been yet," said Wallace as he reminded me it was minus 30 degrees where he is working today.  "He's good right now, his attitudes great, and he has put on weight.  I am monitoring him week to week.  I would like to keep him in the box and not give him a whole lot of time between starts."

Wallace thought Apprentice Hanover was going to have a big year as a 3-year-old.  His racing year was derailed when he came down with a stomach ulcer after the North American Cup.  Apprentice Hanover finished up his 3-year-old campaign with 6 wins in 19 starts for $244,000 in earnings. 

"He was diagnosed last summer with a stomach ulcer.  We were just getting nicely started with him.  I didn't like the way he was responding to the work we were putting in to him.  I was being pretty gentle with him, but he seemed to be going backwards.  It was a health issue and I am hoping that is over with him," explained Wallace.

A full stake schedule is planned for Apprentice Hanover as a 4-year-old. 

"We are going to start his stakes season in the Levy at Yonkers in March,” said Wallace.  “I just looked at the stake schedule early this morning.  He will be nominated for every major free-for-all event.  I plan on taking him down that road and letting him tell us.  He will for sure be racing in the new Prix d'Été at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres.  He will be eligible to most everything, but we will pick our spots.”

Apprentice Hanover will be tested this year racing in the aged pacing ranks for the first time in his career.  He will facing such standouts as Foiled Again, Sweet Lou, Golden Receiver, and Captaintreacherous. 

"He is going to be racing in a whole new world, out of restricted company.  If we use our heads and don't beat him up too much, he will be a descent horse for a long time.  We think he will be a better horse as an aged horse.  When you start taking on your Foiled Again's and other older horses, it's a whole new world.  He will get a break this year.  I don't think he will ever be not qualified.  We have a 45 day rule up here.  He's not going to be in the paddock for 2 months. It will be a monitored let down," explained Wallace.

Jody Jamison has been the driver on Apprentice Hanover for most of his 30 lifetime starts.  He has been aboard for his last 5 winning starts. 

"Jody has fit on the horse exceptionally well, said Wallace.  “He has raced him very good. I would think he would travel and be aboard him for most of his starts this year.”

By Brian McEvoy for

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