Over the past week, the Dreaming of Glory feature has profiled many of harness racing's top three year old trotters that were eligible to compete for Hanover Raceway's top prize.
This year, 20 of the 88 eligible horses have been entered into the eliminations for the Dream of Glory Trot. Three eliminations will be contested this Saturday, July 28th to determine who will qualify for the August 4th $100,000 final, and those heats are setting up to be fantastic races.
Headlining the night’s card, the eighth race and third division sets up as an absolute blockbuster with four of the best contenders squaring off in a seven horse field. Canadian Breeders Championship runner-up Cold Certified has to be looked at as the one to beat with Jason Brewer in the race bike.
The three-year old gelded son ofand I Like Stephanie has won two Ontario Sires Stakes Gold eliminations and received a bye into the CBC final. In 2012, he has bankrolled nearly $150,000.
Cold Certified drew into an impressive field and will have to compete with Hanover Raceway track record holder The Golden Child who is owned, trained and driven by Mark Etsell.
On July 12th, The Golden Child instantly made himself a contender with a record-tying seven-length romp in 1:57.0 over the Hanover half-mile oval. He has had slight injury problems lately but will look to contend in this race.
As well, fellow OSS Gold series competitor Midfield Magic will try to beat out Cold Certified for trainer Frank O’Reilly, a three-time Dream of Glory winner. The talented gelding has two wins in 2012 and has bankrolled $60,130 for his connections this season.
As well, Susie Kerwood trains The Northern Dude who will be looking to overcome a poor post position draw. The Ken Warketin sophomore will have to race from the outside post seven as he looks to build on two OSS Grassroots wins at Grand River Raceway and Sudbury Downs earlier this year.
The other two divisions also boast some impressive three-year olds and should produce exciting races. In the first division, Warrawee Nimby has shown a lot of class in his career, earning nearly $100,000 despite never finding the winner’s circle.
He’ll look to break his maiden Saturday night but several of his competitors won’t make that easy.
John Bax will send out one of his two hopefuls in the fourth race. Summer Indian is the 2-1 morning line favourite on the strength of two 2012 wins, including a 1:56.3 mile at Georgian Downs. Also, Gus Is All Lane will benefit from drawing the rail position, and has shown ability to win at Hanover Raceway. His lifetime best came at the Grey County track in 1:59.3, set on June 23rd.
The second division features local hopeful P C Firecracker for trainer Peter Clements of Dobbinton, Ontario. The seven-time winner drew the unfavourable seven-hole but has shown ability to finish strong.
Clements is looking to qualify for his second straight Dream of Glory final after PC La Mousse was runner-up in his elimination last year. Ballykeel Ulysses will provide a good challenge for Richard Moreau, who leads all Canadian trainers with 149 wins this season.
The three-year old daughter ofhas been an OSS Gold series competitor and she also took part in the Goodtimes stakes at Mohawk Racetrack.
The lone filly entered for this year’s Dream of Glory is Majic Trend who will try to beat the boys in race six. She sits fifth in the OSS Grassroots ranks for three-year old filly trotters, after capturing her June 23rd division at Flamboro Downs in 1:59.2.
One notable absence for this Saturday’s eliminations is Our Mojo. The top OSS Grassroots trotting colt was not entered Tuesday morning, despite being eligible. Trainer Mike Keeling had expressed interest in racing his three-year old-sired star with hopes of winning his first Dream of Glory title, but will instead skip the event altogether.
Overall, this is an incredibly deep field of three-year old trotters for the 11th annual Dream of Glory. Saturday night should produce some of the finest racing of the season, as only a top-two finish will guarantee a spot in the final.
Post-time is set for 7:15 with eliminations being contested as races 4, 6, and 8. The post position draw for the Dream of Glory Final will take place live in the winner’s circle, shortly after the final elimination.