The eliminations for the 11th annual $100,000 Dream of Glory Trot were full of surprises on Saturday night at Hanover Raceway. Harness racing trainer John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario wouldn't have had it any other way.
He won both eliminations in which he had a hopeful. In the fourth race, Summer Indian had the race go his way from the outset after a cluster of horses had troubles getting away from the starting gate. The three-year oldgelding wired his competition, leading by open lengths over fractions of :28.1, :58.1, 1:27.1 and 1:57.1. The mark was just a fifth of a second off the three-year old colt trot record of 1:57.0, held by Abbey Road C, and fellow 2011 Dream of Glory competitor The Golden Child.
After the race, Bax said his sophomore star “handled the track very well. This is the best surface in Ontario and he had the race his way.” Bax was the trainer of 2009 Dream of Glory champion Agusto.
On what brings him back to the event each year, Bax had this to say. “The people and the atmosphere bring me back. It reminds you of the way it was.”
A large crowd was on hand and applauded Summer Indian as he charged down the stretch to victory, and again for Bax after both his elimination wins.
Majic Trend was the second winner from the Bax stable as the lone filly in the Dream of Glory managed to catch a pace-setting Northern Kingdom at the wire to finish in a dead heat for the win. Majic Trend nabbed her share of the win, her third lifetime victory in ten starts. Northern Kingdom finished in the tie for the dead heat, and set the pace for the 1:58.2 mile with Ross Battin in the bike. Battin, a three-time Dream of Glory winning driver was all smiles in the winner’s circle after the race. The three-year old Kabadbra-sired gelding now has four career wins, and improved his lifetime mark to 1:58.2 from 1:59.0.
In the final division, The Golden Child was the best by far for trainer and driver Mark Etsell, formerly of Hanover, Ontario. The three-year old gelded son ofshot to the front from the inside rail position and engineered a perfectly rated trip over fractions of :28.4, 1:00.3 and 1:28.3, before storming home in :28.3 to win in 1:57.1, just a fraction off his track record-tying mark set on July 12th.
After the race, Etsell said he was relieved his horse overcame some injury problems and managed the victory easily. “He lost a part of his foot basically, and we weren’t real sure how he’d be tonight, but he had it pretty easy and it worked out tonight.”
The post position draw was done in front of the crowd after race 10. The 100,000 dollar final positions are as follows:
1. Northern Kingdom
2. Summer Indian
3. Oaklea Umpire
4. Majic Trend
5. Tymal oh so nice
6. The Golden Child
7. Hero of my Dreams
8. Warrawee Nimby
AE1. Oaklea Uptown
AE2. Ballykeel Ulysses
Dream of Glory final day starts with a Bar-b-q and “The Crippled Ducks” will perform on the raceway flat roof at 6:00pm. Tara Oaks Carriage will be here with Percheron Horse driven Carriage Rides for fans in between the races, and then provided the Town Fire Ban is lifted there will be a huge BEM Fireworks Display after the races. If the fire ban is not lifted, the fireworks will be moved to September 1st. A final decision will be made by the Fire Chief on August 1st.