Day At The Track

Star pacer has Wallace back on center stage

06:06 AM 27 May 2018 NZST
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Ben Wallace, harness racing Camluck Classic.JPG
Ben Wallace trains Easy Lover Hanover
New Image Media photo
London, ON... May 26 - When Easy Lover Hanover lines up behind the gate in the inaugural Camluck Classic, trainer Ben Wallace admits he's quite humbled to be involved in the Grand Circuit.
Following the devastating barn fire at Classy Lane Training Center in January of 2016, which claimed the lives of more than 40 horses, including 15 of Wallace's, the veteran conditioner is thankful to be in the sport.
"In one day I was out of business," Wallace said. "Just like that, but I'm certainly thankful to where we're at today and just being able to see my name on the program."
Wallace lost his standout pacer Apprentice Hanover ($1 million) in the tragic fire, but he soon found another superstar in the making.
His name is Easy Lover Hanover.
"That was the very first horse we bought following the fire," Wallace said. "He certainly was a turning point for me and helped with some bad memories of the past."
Purchased for $70,000 by long-time owner Brad Grant, Easy Lover Hanover made an immediate impact in the Wallace barn.
The son of Somebeachsomwhere captured his first six races early in his three-year-old year with a sign of bigger and better things to come.
The 28-time winner capped off his sophomore season with a victory in the $314,000 Progress Pace before continuing his success as an aged horse.
"He's always showed high speed and I think giving him the proper time off has paid off well. We had to give him a break at some point during his three-year-old year because he started racing very early otherwise it's such a long season for him. "
Last season, the Wallace trainee earned $215,000 and ended his campaign with six consecutive wins at the Preferred level on the WEG Circuit.
The now five-year-old picked up right where he left off winning his first three starts of the season, before tasting defeat for the first time last week.
"I was disappointed with his effort," said Wallace. "I wish I had some sort of reason for the effort, but I don't. He simply got beat."
When mapping out the schedule for Easy Lover Hanover, Wallace had the inaugural Camluck Classic on the radar as the horses first major stakes event.
"It's definitely something that Brad and I had talked about for this season. He's bigger and stronger this year and he's become a man. I think he can do some pretty nice things this season and we're hopeful."
Easy Lover Hanover will line up from post five in the Camluck Classic and will be reunited with regular pilot Doug McNair.
"I think you're always worried about coming to the half, because it all depends on the draw and trip. I think any trainer will tell you that. We're excited to be a part of the night and we're hoping for the best."
The field for the Camluck Classic (which includes post positions, horses, drivers, trainers and morning line odds) appears below.
(Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line Odds)
1 - Sunfire Blue Chip - T. Henry - J. Takter - 9-2
2 - Isitfridayyet - A. Carroll - R. Moreau - 8-1
3 - Killer Martini - S. Coulter - R. Bucci - 10-1
4 - Rockin Ron - L. Roy - R. Burke - 5-2
5 - Easy Lover Hanover - D. McNair - B. Wallace - 7-2
6 - Evenin Of Pleasure - J. Bongiorno - J. Bongiorno - 4-1
7 - Dr J Hanover - Ja. MacDonald - T. Alagna - 8-1
8 - Bit Of A Legend N - J. Stratton - P. Tritton - 2-1
by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway
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