Day At The Track

Lemay's Spider Man Hanover seeks 4th straight win

03:16 AM 23 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Spider Man Hanover, harness racing Harness racing
Spider Man Hanover and driver Stephane Gendron photo
From left to right are Marc Lemay, Stephane Gendron and holding Spider Man Hanover is Melanie Gaudreault. photo

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The least that can be said is that harness racing owner and trainer Marc Lemay had a happy hand when he set his sights on the Spider Man Hanover at the end of June.

Since then, the son of Western Ideal continues to impress and accumulate victories. But as it often happens, under appearances which seem without history, hide several tests to arrive at the current results.

Northside Downs, Nova Scotia.

A different place to look for a quality horse to race at the Hippodrome 3R. Let's listen to Marc Lemay.

"We were at the start of the 2020 race season," Lemay explained. "And I was looking for a horse to race at H3R. I regularly checked the horses for sale on the Standardbred Canada (SC) website and a certain Spider Man Hanover caught my attention. I had already noticed the horse in 2019 while racing in Ontario. But Mr. Kennedy, the owner of Spider Man Hanover who had put it up for sale on SC, was asking too much money for me. At one point however, the horse was doing pretty badly and it was this gentleman who contacted me to see if I was still interested. At my price, I said yes!

"The first thing we realized was that the horse was very 'hot';" Lemay said. "We have to make him train with a rope and just as he is perfect and pleasant in the stable, he almost goes crazy on the track. It was Pierre-Luc Roy, with his legendary calmness, who managed to understand him and calm him down a bit.

"Then, in the daily routine of caring for Spider Man Hanover," Lemay added. "His caretaker, Mélanie Gaudreault, quietly discovered what worked best with him. It didn't happen overnight, but through trial and error she came to the conclusion that we don't harness him. We just tow him and he spends his days outside.

"She (Melanie) also fixed several small problems common to crazy horses,"Lemay explained. "Such as breathing. In short, at the present time, the joint efforts of Melanie and Pierre-Luc were leading us to his current successes. And things are also going well with Stéphane (Gendron) his current driver since Pierre-Luc's retirement."

When a horse bears the name Hanover, from America's most prestigious breeding farm, it is because the horse by conformation or lineage or both, is not an ordinary specimen.

Spider Man Hanover took his first lessons from Brian Brown. In this stable as a two-year-old, he earned more than $220,000 and set a record of 1.51.3. The rest is less glorious and the horse passed through several stables, including Ron Burke's (this is where he made his mark at 1.50.3 as a three-year-old old) before arriving to Mr. Kennedy in Nova Scotia.

Since joining Marc Lemay's team, he has already won six times and is currently on a three-race winning streak and will be one of the favorites for the sixth race pace on Friday at H3R with Stephane Gendron in the sulky. In two of his last three starts he led from the start in 1:57. Last week on a sloppy track he won again in 2:00.3.

Spider Man Hanover (post 2) will be tested in the feature race as he faces other return winners Dreydl Hanover (post 7) for driver Samuel Fillion who last week wired the field in 1:55.4 and Requested (post 6), who also led from start to finish last week over the sloppy track in 2:01.1.

Marc Lemay will also start in the first race Friday his maiden trotter, Muscles Forever.

"He was in Jacques Beaudoin's stable at Rideau Carleton," Lemay said. "And I owned a part of him. As he was disappointing, I bought back the shares of the other co-owners. It's a mid-term project in my mind, say for the next season, except that he has surprised me pleasantly since I acquired him.

"I see him as a pretty good potential," Lemay added. "And the few starts he has left at H3R will be a good indication of the trotter he could become. On October 16, he finished 3rd with a final quarter in 31.3 in a sea of mud. I am curious to see how he will develop."

Despite the outside position, his morning odds are 3/1. Stephane Brosseau will pilot the three-year-old gelded son of Muscle Mass.

This is the last Friday afternoon race program at H3R this season. First race post time is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit

By Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club

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