Hanover Raceway hosted its annual Pepsi night on Saturday, sending harness racing fans home with thousands of dollars in prizes sponsored by Pepsi.
Another large crowd filled the grandstand and enjoyed an excellent card of twelve races, with Garrett Rooney and Larry Hall stealing the spotlight.
Rooney was top dog in the race bike on Saturday night, picking up the hat trick with wins aboard Hardly Lucky, Rubber Belly and Eds Last Stand. He kicked off the evening by wiring the field in the first race aboard Hardly Lucky for trainer Bob Geisel.
The 2:02.4 mile was a new lifetime mark and second victory in four career starts for the three-year old gelded son of In Conchnito.
Rooney was back in the winner’s circle in race four with Rubber Belly, trained by Brent Parish of Chesley. The three-year old filly took the lead at the half-mile station and ran away from her rivals to win by two and a half lengths in 1:58.0 to break her maiden.
In race six, local favourite Eds Last Stand carried Rooney to his third win of the night, going coast to coast for her first win of 2012. The eight-year old mare has had a rough start to the campaign, but looked back in top form on Saturday night.
The other story of the night was Larry Hall’s continued perfection in the training ranks. Rustlemewithenvy got the job done with Trevor Henry in the race bike in the night’s final dash, pushing the Tara native to six wins in six starts at the Hanover oval in 2012.
The win was executed in impressive fashion, with Henry tipping three-wide in the backstretch to come on and eventual overtake the tempo-setting Peruvian Grin and Dale Fritz. 1:57.4 was the time of the mile, improving Rustlemewithenvy’s personal best from 1:59.1, a mark also set in Hanover.
Hanover Raceway returns to action on Saturday, June 30th with post-time set for 7:15 p.m. and then Thursday night racing begins on July 5th with McCain customer appreciation day. Hanover Raceway will kick off its Thursday night races in July with 1 dollar hotdogs and fries.
by Gord DOUGAN