Hanover Raceway hosted its tenth annual All-Trot Night on Saturday (September 8) and the night belonged to top canadian harness racing driver Mario Baillargeon. The WEG circuit driver stopped by the Hanover, Ontario oval and clicked for four wins in a row on the twelve race card, including victory in the $36,000 Balanced Image Final for two-year old trotting fillies.
Princess Lilly behaved well behind the gate this week after some troubles in her elimination victory seven nights prior, and looked incredible in the win.
The two-year oldmiss shattered Charming Way's track record of 2:01 for rookie trotting fillies by way of a 1:59.4 romp, winning by five lengths over Pointe De Vue and Muscle Magic.
The 2012 champion's connections praised their star for minding her manners and getting the job done in the final. The win pushed Princess Lilly to $41,000 in earnings, as she has carved out an impressive rookie campaign despite getting off to a late start.
Baillargeon capped off a four-win streak with thewin, after he guided Kilted Pride, Dee Dee Pucker, and Elin to wins in races two, three and four.
On the colts side of things, local hopeful P C Dream Ticket notched his first career win at just the right time for trainer Peter Clements of Dobbinton, Ontario.
"With the purse like this tonight, it was the perfect time to get the win," noted Clements in the winner's circle post-victory. Clements has waited a long time to win one of Hanover Raceway's signature series and was thrilled to earn his firsttrophy.
Ross Battin was in the race bike for the colt's historic win and was most opportunistic when the leader and post-time favourite Eat Pray Trot made a miscue in the stretch.
Eat Pray Trot led for most of the race after firing off from post six, and set fractions of :28.3, :59.1 and 1:30. Just as driver Trevor Henry looked to be en route to improving his colt's track record time, he made a break in stride, leaving Battin and P C Dream Ticket there to pick up the pieces. Massive Hit was a closing third and You Rock My World grabbed the show dough.
The tenth race on the night's card went off as the 38th annual Walker Memorial Trot in memory of Allan & Viola Walker, and Long Ago grabbed winner's share of the $15,000 purse.
Bruce Richardson steered the seven-year old Duke of York gelding that used his blasting gate speed to make the front.
After the race, Richardson commented on what winning the invitation race meant to him as a local driver. "It's always a special race at this track, and it's a good one to win. I know the Walker family well and I drive a bit for some of them. It's a race that means a lot to the people around this track so it's definitely a good feeling to win it," noted Richardson who sits second in the Hanover Raceway driving ranks with 34 wins.
The all trot card included 6 divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for 3 year old Trotting Fillies.
Winners were Dee Dee Pucker in Race 3 in 2:01.1 for owners Rene Allard of Saint-Esprit, Quebec and Terry Hunter of Cambridge, Elin in Race 4 in 2:00.2 for owners S S G Stables of North Boston, NY, Fiorentina in Race 6 in 1:59.4 for owners Frank Lamacchia and Guy Polillo of Brantford and Brad Gray of Dundas.
Now She's Gone in Race 7 in 2:01.4 for owners Stan Klemencic of Trenton, and Asa Farm of Norwood, Dancehall Mistress in Race 8 in 1:59 for owners David Goodrow of Cambridge, Doug Millard of Woodstock and P G Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, and Tymal Breezee in Race 10 in 2:02.3 for owners Gerry and Branda Gauthier of Azilda, and Paul Maclean of Chelmsford, On.
by Gord DOUGAN