It was a perfect night weather wise, and for speed as the Ontario Sires Stakes were back at Hanover Raceway for its final Thursday night race card of the 2012 harness racing season. Eight divisions of 2 year old Filly pacers hit the track and it seemed as though as the temperature got cooler outside the horses got faster on the track.
James Macdonald fresh off a visit to PEI for the Gold Cup and Saucer started the night off with a win in Race 2 behind Lady Rei in 1:58.2.
Macdonald’s charge got away 4th behind quarter pole leader OK Firefly, driven by Robert Shepherd in 29.1. Shepherd led past the half in 1:01 and the ¾’s in 1:30 flat only to be overtaken by Macdonald just before the wire in 1:58.2.
Macdonald made it back to back wins winning Race 3 behind Miss Coco Luck for owners Dan and Kim Sergeant of Straffordville. After the Race Dan Sergeant said his 2 year old raced in the Gold’s at Rideau but going into the final she came up a little sick and had no luck.
We decided to bring her here tonight and she raced really good. It’s her first lifetime win so it was worth the trip for sure.”Miss Coco Luck won wire-to-wire in times of 29.1, 101.1, 1:29.4 and the mile in 1:58.
Race 4 was won by Foolish mind for driver J Bradley Harris and owners Sue Marie Gangell of Simcoe and John Devito of New York in a time of 1:56.2.
Race 5 went to Keystone Maddie for driver Robert Shepherd and owners Dan Lagace and Michelle Gagne of Cambridge.
Race 6 was won by Snowbird for driver Keith Oliver and owners Lorne and Jean Keller of Exeter in 1: 56.3.
Race 8 went to Twilight Seelster for driver Mike Horner and owner Brad Wilson of Lambton Shores in 1: 56.
Race 9 was won by Expresso Yourself for driver Keith Oliver and owners Robert Mcintosh of Windsor and former Nhl’er Paul Ysebaert of Mooretown in 1:56.1, and the final OSS race of the night went to Racey Miss for driver Marcel Barrieau and owner Hudson Standarbreds of Hudson Quebec. Barrieau had the fastest mile of the night in the final leg and led from start to finish in times of 27.4, 57.4, 1:26.2 and the mile in 1:55.3.
Afterwards Barrieau says every time he comes to Hanover his experience has been good. He said although he ended up winning the mile convincingly, it was a bit of a tug of war with his fellow competitors right up until the ¾ mile marker. As for the horses future, Barrieau says although she raced good tonight, she hasn’t been that consistent so he’s not sure what to expect from her in the future.
Over 500 fans turned out for the final Thursday night card, which also wrapped up the final night of the August handicapping contest. The winner was Gord McMann of Kincardine who ended up with $143.30 in virtual winnings, while 2nd place went to Jessica Breadner of Markdale with $128.70, and 3rd place went to Bob Swannell of Owen Sound.
Live Racing continues on Saturday’s including a couple of special events in September. September 1st is CKNX night where a lucky fan will walk away with a 50 inch Panasonic TV courtesy of CKNX and Modern appliances, and on September 8th, its the 10th annual ALL TROT NIGHT, including the Balanced image final, OSS 3 year old Filly Trotters, the Walker Memorial Trot, and Abbey Road C will be on hand so fans can take their picture with the 1st ever Dream of Glory winner, who is now retired.
Hanover Raceway is also holding a fundraising golf tournament at Homestead Resort on September 5th. The 4 person scramble will start at 1:00pm and money raised will go to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society for retired race horses.
Contact Hanover Raceway GM Gord Dougan to register your team.
by Gord DOUGAN