December 16, 2016 - Hanover, Bentinck & Brant Agricultural Society, operators of Hanover Raceway, would like to welcome Gateway Casinos & Entertainment to our harness racing facility and town. We trust that the sharing of customer experiences between Hanover Raceway and Gateway will be successful for both of us. Hanover Raceway, a member of the alliance, is looking forward to our 2017 racing season and beyond. Randy Rier President Hanover, Bentinck & Brant Agricultural Society Hanover Raceway
The local harness racing scene witnessed an alteration not that long ago when Hanover Raceway's General Manager was eliminated. At the time, it seemed to me to be a curious move, especially considering that incumbent GM Gord Dougan had a lengthy and successful tenure at the track that included an upswing in every measurable financial category in 2016. The alteration makes a touch more sense today with the announcement that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has selected Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited as the service provider for the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles- Hanover Raceway being among the tracks in the Southwest bundle. The selection of Gateway is described as a modernization by OLG, designed to ensure the best possible gaming experience for customers. Under this modernization plan, Gateway, who have a quarter century of experience in the gaming industry, will assume day to day operational duties at 9 tracks in the province, including Hanover Raceway. Yes, there are some legal and contractual items to be completed by OLG anticipates that Gateway will be in place at Hanover and elsewhere by the Spring. My question was, with Gateway associated to slots and gaming, does this mean slots but no harness racing at Hanover ? According to the OLG, the decision whether to race or not is in the hands of the track operators, in the case of Hanover Raceway, that would be the Hanover-Bentinck-Brant Agricultural Society. Fred Wallace
Harness racing driver Brad Forward who won both the Dash Driver and Percentage Driver of the year trophies at Hanover Raceway finished off his season with four more wins Saturday night. After his first win, the Newfoundland native said he was encouraged to come to Hanover by one of his regular owners, and he says he really loved the track. Forward said the surface is always good and Hanover and he hopes to be back in 2017. Becky Geisel of Hanover won the Ray and Leu Leifso Trainer of the year award after a banner season. Geisel had 39 starts with 8 wins, eight 2nds and nine 3rds for over $25,000 dollars in purse winnings. Geisel trained two of the horse award winners. Cold Shadow won the Ab Fleishauer Horse of the year award after four wins in 13 starts and a best winning time of 1:58. Geisel shares ownership with Shelley May of Walkerton. May said she has always enjoyed working with horses and wanted to find a horse she could use her Massage Therapy training on to see if she could get positive results. Geisel also trained the Claimer of the year, She’s a Star Reporter who had 11 starts and a record of 3-4-3-1 and a best time of 1:58.1. Geisel said the 4 year old daughter of Sportwriter is owned by Wil Weatherall of Flesherton and is the boss of their relationship, indicating the Star Reporter is a bit of a handful at the best of times. The other award went to Bob Walker of Owen Sound for his Trotter of the year, Margo Plicatus. The 6 year old had 9 starts and a record of 2-2-4 and a season best winning time of 2:00.2. Bob’s sister Jean Thibideau accepted the award on his behalf. Hanover also handed out its season ending prizes including 2 lazy-boy recliners courtesy of Smittys Fine Furniture in Hanover, and the winner of a 55 inch SONY TV was Jane Bernier of Hanover. Overall, Hanover was up about 7% in wagering compared to 2015, and was also up over 10% in Food and Beverage. Gord Dougan
Brad Forward solidified his hold on the Dash and Percentage Driver of the year awards at Hanover Raceway. Its the 45 year old Newfoundland native’s first season as a full time harness racing driver at Hanover Raceway, and it was very successfull. His five wins on the night give Forward 32 on the season, more than double his nearest competitor. Forward also went into the night with a .394 UDR and those wins will surely boost that number giving his the top Driving percentage as well. One of Forwards wins was the CKNX Trot in Race 9. Forward steered 8 year old Fantastic Flirt for part owner Bill Rankin and trainer Jenn Rankin of Dundas. The daughter of CR Excalibur was quickest off the gate and controlled the pace past a quarter in 29.3 and a half in 1:00.1. Oaklea Torpedo owned and trained by Jayne Walker and Tom Smith got as close as 2nd at the 3/4’s in 1:31.2, but couldn’t close the gap and ended up finishing 3rd, behind Fantastic Flirt who won in 2:00.2, with Massive Muscles finishing 2nd for Paul and Julie Walker. After the Race the staff from CKNX drew the name of Betty Ross of Wingham who was a 58 inch high def TV courtesy of CKNX Radio and HDTV in Walkerton. Hanover Raceway wraps up its season next Saturday with its season ending awards and prizes for Race fans. Two people will win Lazy-Boy Recliners from Smitty’s Fine Furniture and someone will win a high def TV from HDTV in Walkerton. Post time next Saturday is 7:15pm.
The day long rain didn’t help the attendance but fortunately Mother Nature co-operated and made it safe for harness racing at Hanover Raceway. The Rain subsided around post time, and then the sun started peaking through the clouds as Hanover hosted 10 races on Chapmans Ice Cream night. 44 staff enjoyed the all you can eat buffet and brought along prizes for racing fans including gift certificates for Ice cream for a year. On the track in the feature race, The Chapmans pace, Spaniard trained and driven by Mark Etsell used his rail advantage to grab the early lead past a quarter in 28.4 in the mud, and continued to lead past the half in 59.1 and the ¾’s in 1:30.2, but then he hit a wall and was passed by most of the field in the stretch with Wawanosh Wave and driver Tom Smith coming out on top in 2:00.1 for owner Lema Chapple of Wingham. The staff from Chapman’s came out for the winner’s circle picture. In other racing highlights, first year driver Natasha Day of Australia, picked up 2 wins a 2nd and a 3rd place driving finish, giving her 11 wins on the season, 1 shy of Ryan Holliday of Mt Forest. Driving Leader Brad Forward failed to get a win on the night, but still leads the overall standings with 27, 15 more than Holliday. Hanover Raceway plays host to CKNX Night next Saturday as the staff from Blackburn Radio will come out for the night and will give one lucky race fan a 50 inch High Definition TV courtesy of HDTV in Walkerton. Post time next Saturday night is 7:15pm.
It was another perfect weather night at Hanover Raceway. Harness racing driver Brad Forward went into the final month as the top Dash Driver with 24 wins in just 100 starts and he continued his dominance in Race 3 with Oforpetesake. The 5 year old son of How Fleet he is got away 3rd at the quarter in 29s and moved up to 2nd at the half in 1:00.1. Race favorite Emperor and Ryan Holliday started moving up after the ¾’s in 1:30.1, but made a costly break in the stretch allowing Forward and Oforpetesake to grab the victory in 1:59.1. Oforpetesake is owned by Ruth Moore and James Hastie of Chatsworth, and the victory was a new life’s mark for the 5 year old. Forwards second win was in Race 7 with Irish Thunder in 2:01.3 for owner Erin Brickman of Sebringville and he finished the hat-trick in Race 9 with longshot Dubhlainn Jewill in 2:04.1 for owner Ken Jewitt of Mitchell. The 8 year old Trotter beat race favorite Snegem Bianca and driver Ryan Holliday at the wire and paid $35.90 to win. Hanover plays host to the staff of Chapmans ice cream in Markdale next Saturday who will bring a bag full of prizes for fans in attendance. Hanover plays host to live racing until the end of the month Post time next Saturday is 7:15pm.
Rain Showers may have deterred some harness racing fans from attending but the Balanced Image final was an exciting one. Hanover Raceway played host to a Hanover Hospital Foundation fundraiser with well over 3,000 made towards the purchase of some emergency equipment. There were 6 blanket sponsorships a 1600 dollar 50-50 winner, and a Corn Roast during the races, the highlight of which was the $61,400 dollar Balanced Image final. Parkhill No Credit trained by John Bax and driven by Steve Byron was first off the gate, but an unfortunate break after a quarter in 29.3, allowed Rosberg part owned and trained by Julie Walker formerly of Owen Sound to inherited the lead past the half in 1:00.3 and the 3/4s in 1:30.4. However the 2 year old son of Manofmanymissions failed to finish the job resulted in a 3 wide race to the finish won by Lucy's Man in 2:00.4. Lucy's Man is a son of Muscle Mass and is owned by a numbered Ottawa company. Lucy's Man is trained by Tan Micallef and driven to victory by Anthony Macdonald of Guelph despite his 7 starting position. Afterwards, Macdonald said it was hard to prepare for the race when you start from the 7 hole but he knew he had a talented horse. He said he managed to get away infront of the 5 and 6 horses which was his goal, and he wasn't sure how much Brad Forward had left with Rosberg but he knew his horse was going to be strong down the stretch. Early breaks by Parkhill No Credit, Lady Justice, Mister Bianco, and Scene a Magician also helped his cause. The hospital foundation also held a Human Sulky Race with 3 teams taking part. The staff at the Hanover hospital X-ray department and the Hanover Oldtimers and Goodtimers hockey teams took part with the Goodtimers coming out on top. Hanover Raceway has 1 month left of live racing, including Saturday September 3rd with a post time of 7:15pm. Hanover Raceway
As part of the Hanover Hospital Foundation Fundraising Day and the Balanced Image Trot final, Define the World will be on hand for a meet and greet the harness racing fans with a picture opportunity Saturday. Mathew Bax says the 11 year old son of Duke of York and grandson of Balanced image earned over 1.7 million dollars in his career, went to Sweden twice, competed in the Elitlopp and still holds the world record of 1:54.2 on a half mile track at Flamboro Downs. Define the World was a homebred by Al Libfeld of Toronto. As a 3 year old the Gelding won the Canadian Breeders Championship, Simcoe and Multiple OSS Gold races ending up being named the 3 year old Obrien award winner that season. He was retired shortly after it was determined that he had torn knee ligaments after winning a race at Woodbine. Bax says that shows how tough he is, that he can win with that type of injury. He adds the gelding's greatest quality is something you can't teach. He says "The difference between a good horse and a great one is just that desire, that will to win. You can't train that. Define the World will be available for pictures from approximately 8:00 to 9:00pm in the Grandstand Horse Stall. GM Gord Dougan says we feel lucky and proud to have such a champion come and visit us on our Balanced Image final night. Hanover's Saturday program will include the $61,400 dollar Balanced Image final, a Corn Roast, live band, Human Sulky races between races 5 and 6, and Blanket presentations on 6 races with the sponsorship money going to the Hospital Foundation. Post time Saturday is 7:15pm Gord Dougan
Hanover Raceway plays host to its 12th annual Balanced Image Trot championship this Saturday and the harness racing night will be packed with entertainment. 24 horses will compete for 8 spots in the $61,400 dollar final on Saturday August 27th, meaning the top 2 in each of 3 divisions will advance as well as 2 of the top 3 third place finishers. This year's field includes a diverse and talented field of both top OSS and local horses. In Race 3, Mass Production is part owned trained and driven by Rick Zeron of Oakville. This 2 year old Muscle Mass Gelding has already earned over 100,000 dollars and has yet to finish out of the money in 5 starts, including a 1:56.3 mile at Mohawk in his last OSS Gold Elimination. Julie Walker, formerly of Owen Sound part owns and trains Rosberg in the same race. This 2 year old colt has 2 wins in his last 5 starts both of which were in OSS Grassroots eliminations. There are also 2 horses in that race with Hanover connections. Charmbo Chrome is co-owned by Jack and Randy Rier of Hanover, and former Hanover native Mark Etsell has partnered with Bob Newtown of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge on Mister Muscle who gets post 8 and will start behind Mass Production on the starting gate. Race 5 includes Expose Yourself part owned by the Henry stable of Arthur and trained and driven by Wayne Henry, as well as Parkhill Nocredit who is owned and trained by John Bax, and driven by Steve Byron, who have won Hanover's Dream of Glory title multiple times, but have yet to win the Balanced Image. The 3rd division includes another OSS Gold competitor in Mister Bianco. This Muscle Mass Colt won his only start in 1:57.2 for trainer Bill Budd and owner Brad Gray of Dundas and will be driven by Rick Zeron. The Bax-Byron duo have post 1 with Majestic Wanda who won her OSS grassroots start at Hanover on August 6th, and Wayne Henry co-owns, trains and drives Lady Justice from post 7. One of 3 filly's in that race, this daughter of Justice Hall has some impressive finishes in the OSS Gold this season and will have to use her early gate speed to find a good position early. Also taking place Saturday night will be a Racing under Saddle race which is always very popular in Hanover, as well as the 42nd annual Walker Memorial Trot. The Walker trot is named after Allan and Viola Walker of Owen Sound, who had success with many great horses in the past, particularly trotters. Allan was inducted into the Hall of Fame and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are keeping up the great Walker tradition in the industry. Hanover will also host the Deep Run Danny Pace named after a horse owned and trained by Ted and Alma McLean of Goderich, and 7 contestants are still alive in the Survivor contest which was held on August 6th and they will compete for 3 great prizes including a 55 inch Sony TV starting in Race 3. If that's not enough, the Grey Bruce Paraplegic Association will be on hand conducting a 50-50 draw, which has come close to 700 dollars for the winner in the past. Post time Saturday night is 7:15pm. Gord Dougan
AUGUST 6, 2016 – Trainer John Bax and driver Steve Byron teamed up to win three of four $18,000 Grassroots divisions at Hanover Raceway on Saturday evening. The pair had the winning touch right from the start, as Byron piloted Tymal Declan to a gate-to-wire victory in the first division, reaching the finish almost 10 lengths ahead of the field in 2:04.4. Hopeswishesndreams, who is owned by trainer Gregg McNair and Doug McNair of Guelph, Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston and James Cantelon of Thornton, ON, finished third and Tax Savings completed the top three. “I actually really like her,” said Byron. “She missed the last Grassroots from sickness, and she was really strong tonight. I actually thought that she could get better as the year went on; she’s a nice big mare.” The win was Tymal Declan’s first. In the July 10 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs she was fifth and on July 21 at Mohawk Racetrack she was fourth. Campbellville resident Bax shares ownership of the Kadabra daughter with Anderson Family Stables of Campbellville, Happy Trails Stables of London, ON and Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI. The group acquired the filly from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $52,000. The second Grassroots division went to division point leader Inner Drive, who also led from start to finish, hitting the wire in 2:03.3.Stritch was three and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite in third, while Byron and Bax trainee Windsong Normandie claimed the third spot. Ross Battin crafted Inner Drive’s third straight Grassroots victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The homebred daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge boasts a five race record of three wins and one second for earnings of $30,500. Byron and Bax were back in the winner’s circle following the third Grassroots division as Parkhill Nocredit cruised around the Hanover Raceway half-mile in 2:06. Hab Faith finished second for owners Gwen McNair of Walkerton and her son, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and fan favourite Man Shes Hot settled for third. “She gets pretty fired up, but Steve said she was pretty relaxed tonight,” noted Bax. Off a :30.4 quarter, the filly laid down a 1:05.1 half and then picked up the tempo again for a 1:35.4 three-quarters. “I don’t know why. She warmed up relaxed, usually she pulls a ton, but for whatever reason she was pretty calm tonight. “I love her desire, I just wish she was a hand taller, but she sure wants to be a racehorse,” added the horseman, who also bred the daughter of Federal Flex and Harlequin Seelster. In the first three Grassroots events Parkhill Nocredit had finished fourth (July 10), third (July 21) and second (July 29), and Saturday’s victory bumps her into third spot in the division standings with 95 points. Bax shares ownership of the filly with his son Marshall Bax of Hamilton, ON and father and son were joined in the winner’s circle by Hanover Raceway’s victorious “Be A Winner” finalist Jim Spence. Spence placed his “Be A Winner” ballot in the box belonging to Parkhill Nocredit and when the filly emerged victorious he joined the Bax’s in the winner’s circle for a photo and trophy presentation. The final division saw Byron and Majestic Wanda edge out of the pocket in the stretch and reel in pacesetter Late Shift, getting a head in front to record the 2:03.4 victory. Late Shift settled for second and Hilarious Honey completed the top three. “I said to somebody before the race, ‘If Steve gets around the track, Steve will be a magician,’” recalled Bax. “She warmed up terrible. She was looking, and going sideways, and running and not paying attention. “So I wasn’t very optimistic, and I’m thinking, at least I’ve had a real good night and you know, this one, it doesn’t matter what she does, it won’t dampen it,” the trainer continued. “And then she goes ahead and does what she does, and I’m thinking, wow, I must have been a good boy this week, looking up at the stars and they’re all lined up.” Heading into Saturday’s test Majestic Wanda had made breaks in both of her previous Grassroots starts and Bax had made the rare decision to add trotting hopples to her equipment. The move, and the winning streak Byron and Bax were enjoying, convinced Hanover Raceway fans, who sent the Majestic Son daughter off as their top choice. Bax, John Houston of Cobourg, Ken Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East offered up $25,000 for Majestic Wanda at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. In addition to the trio of Grassroots wins, Byron also appeared in the winner’s circle with pacing colt Rumour Has It Eh after the fifth race, giving the Thornton, ON resident four wins on the program. “It’s one of those nights everything went good, you keep your fingers crossed hoping for those,” said Byron. “I’ve been lucky enough to drive for John and some good trainers, they usually have them set up pretty good for me, I’m lucky that way. “I actually like driving at this track, it’s one of my favourites in Ontario,” added the reinsman. Byron and Bax will have an opportunity to replicate their Hanover Raceway success when the two-year-old trotting fillies make their fifth Grassroots start on August 15 at Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing
Saturday’s harness racing action including four divisions of two year old filly trotters competing in the Ontario Sires Stakes. Saturday also includes a visit from the OSS staff who will conduct the “Be a Winner” contest. Fans can fill out a ballot in their program and put it in a box associated with the horse they think will win Race 6. Then after race 4, 1 person from each box will be selected and will receive a five dollar win place and show ticket on their horse, and if their horse wins, they’ll get another prize package including an OSS jacket and a $50 dollar betting voucher for the rest of the program. Saturday is also Country 93 day which means the finalists in the Survivor contest from July will be back trying to outlast each other and win a 55 inch High Def TV from Country 93 and HDTV in Walkerton. And if that’s not enough, the Rotary club will be on hand conducting a 50-50 draw with a prize expected to be over 700 dollars. Post time is 7:15pm.
AUGUST 4, 2016 - After trips to Innisfil, Campbellville and Elora to watch Hab Faith compete in the Ontario Sires Stakes, Walkerton resident Gwen McNair is looking forward to catching the two-year-old trotting filly in harness racing action at Hanover Raceway on Saturday. "I haven't missed her yet. I was down for the baby races at Mohawk, and I was over in Georgian, and I was at Mohawk and Grand River," said McNair. "I went over to Georgian by myself, about a two hour and 10 minute drive over to that one, lots of driving, but the roads and the weather are good. I just like to be able to say that I did it." In the first three Grassroots events, Hab Faith posted two seconds and one third, putting her in fourth spot in the division standings with 62 points. McNair bred and raised the daughter of Kadabra and Sweetmarie Ofgrace, who is a half-sister to $1 million winner Son Of Grace, and noted that the filly's runner-up results may be a product of her hot-blooded genes. "She is a handful in the paddock, she's anxious, she's pawing, but she got that from her grandmother and the mother does the same thing," explained the long-time owner and breeder. "Last Friday night (at Grand River), scoring out she was just not paying attention and was not behaving, she was doing all kinds of things. I think she wore herself out in her warm up, because she kind of packed it in a bit in the stretch. "It probably goes back in her breeding, she's a handful, but it's something to see a two-year-old filly trotter at the racetrack, let along behaving herself at all," McNair added. Hab Faith will make her fourth Grassroots start from Post 3 in the third Grassroots division, with Walkerton resident Terry Fritz in the race bike for McNair and her son, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph. Among the fillies Hab Faith will face in the sixth race are Parkhill Nocredit, who also has three runner-up results through the first three events, from Post 1, and Man Shes Hot, who has one win, one second and one third, from Post 5. "I'm hoping she does really well for the home crowd," said McNair. "But she's flighty and feisty and the whole thing, so... "It's quite a gamble, the whole thing, but I wouldn't want it any other way," she added philosophically. In addition to watching Hab Faith and her peers battle in the sixth race, one lucky Hanover Raceway fan will have an opportunity to meet the winner and her connections. Ontario Sires Stakes staff will be on hand Saturday night with the "Be A Winner" contest and by placing a ballot in the box representing their favourite filly, one fan could wind up in the winner's circle. One ballot will be selected from the boxes representing each filly in Race 6 and those finalists will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirt, ball cap, and lanyard badge, along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen horse. After cheering their fillies home, the representative of the winning filly will add an Ontario Sires Stakes jacket and golf shirt to their goodie bag, in addition to receiving a trophy and commemorative photo with the winner and her connections. Finally, the winning finalist will receive a $50 wagering voucher to employ through the remaining races. Finalists of a different sort, those qualifying for the Country 93 Survivor Contest Finale, will also be paying close attention to the Grassroots divisions as they aim to accurately predict the winners in hopes of taking home one of three great prizes, topped by a 55-inch HD television. The two-year-old trotting fillies will be featured in Races 2, 4, 6, and 8 on Hanover Raceway's action-packed Saturday evening program, with all the excitement getting under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Racing
It was a picture perfect night for Hanover Raceways 15th annual Dream of Glory. Close to 3,000 harness racing fans attended setting what may be a Dream of Glory record handle of almost 67,000 dollars. On the track, Hanover played host to 5 divisions of 3 year old Colt pacers competing in the Ontario Sires Stakes as well as the $67,500 dollar final of the Dream of Glory Trot. In the Dream of Glory, first elimination winner Wildwildmen jumped out to a quick lead heading into the first turn, while second elimination winner Smoke Monkey made a break from post 7. PC Cantore tucked in behind Robert Shepherd and Wildwildmen, while the rest of the field battled for position. Wildwildmen hit the quarter pole first in 29.1 and the half in 59.4. Chestnut Schofield with driver Keith Jones managed to get into second position ahead of Peter Clements and PC Cantore at the half, but couldn’t hold the pace on the outside and faded out of contention by the 3/4 pole, still led by Wildwildmen in 1:29. Wildwildmen continued to lead past the finish line with Robert Shepherd holding his whip in the air, winning by 2 lengths in 1:58.2. PC Cantore and driver/trainer/owner Peter Clements was second, while Very Classy and Ross Battin finished third for part owner and trainer John Bax of Campbellville. Wildwildmen is owned by Catheline Pelletier and Chantal Gravel of Quebec who were part of a large entourage who chanted Wild Wild Men as their horse entered the Hanover winners circle. After the race, Driver Robert Shepherd credited his girlfriend Isabelle Darveau for getting the horse ready saying he was confident in what the horse and his trainer could do. Shepherd said the 3 year old son of Muscle Mass did just as he was expected, and was very happy with the outcome. In Sires Stakes action, the winners were Kokanee Seelster in 1:56 for driver Alfie Carroll and owners Ming Siu of Richmond,BC and Ed Lui,of Parkhill,ON. Division 2 was won by Daylight Rush in 1:55.4 for driver Billy Davis Jr and owner Trainer Blake Mcintosh and the Hutt Racing Stable. Leg 3 was won by Blue Zombie in 1:55.1 for driver Brad Forward and owners West Wins Stable and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia. Leg 4 was won by St Lads Moonwalk in 1:54.3 for driver Mike Saftic and owner/trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, and the final OSS dash was won by OK Iceman in 1:56.3 for driver Billy Davis Jr, and owners Hudson Stables and Conrad Leber of Quebec. GM Gord Dougan says it was an almost perfect night with a great crowd and handle, as well as a great band and fireworks and awesome team effort by all the staff. Hanover plays host to the Ontario Sires Stakes again next Saturday August 6th as 2 year old Trotting fillies hit the track on Country 93 Night at the races and the Survivor finale. One lucky fan will win a 55 inch Sony High Def TV courtesy of Country 93 radio and HDTV in Walkerton. Post time is 7:15pm. Gord Dougan
JULY 30, 2016 - With four divisions settled by a margin of one length or less, Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing colts did their part to warm-up the big harness racing crowd gathered for Hanover Raceway's signature event, the Dream Of Glory Trot, on Saturday evening. The colts kicked things off in the first race and Kokanee Seelster found his way to the Grassroots winner's circle for the first time this season with a head victory over Spirit Shadow in 1:56. Perseverant finished one length back in third. Alfie Carroll of Iona Station engineered the narrow win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owners Edmund Lui of Parkhill, ON and Ming Siu of Richmond, BC. "A big win thanks to Sir Alfred Carroll," quipped Moreau. "The horse is honest and game, he had some issues at first, but he seems to be good now. I'm happy for the owners." A three-time Grassroots winner as a two-year-old, including his Semifinal, Kokanee Seelster's best Ontario Sires Stakes finish prior to Saturday's victory was a fourth-place effort at Mohawk Racetrack on July 1. Through 12 sophomore starts the son of Camluck and Kiddie Cocktail now has four wins, two seconds and earnings of $59,590. The second $18,000 Grassroots division went to Daylight Rush, who scored his first ever Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) win with a gate-to-wire effort that saw him hold off Mayfield Duke by a neck. The colts hit the wire in 1:55.4, with Chalk Player one and one-quarter lengths back in third. "About a month ago I wasn't sure he was going to win any races, now he's reeled off like three this year, so I can't complain," said trainer Blake MacIntosh of Cambridge, ON, who shares ownership of the gelding with Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. "He was sort of a bridesmaid for a long time, but he's come around and started to learn how to win, so we're pretty happy with him." Billy Davis Jr. of Guelph piloted the fan favourite to the win, boosting his sophomore record to three wins, two seconds and five thirds in 13 starts. The son of Art Colony and Pass With Caution adds Saturday's Grassroots win to one third and one fifth-place finish in the first two legs, giving him a total of 67 points in the race for a berth in the Sept. 16 Semifinal. Blue Zombie set the tempo in the third division and held off a surging Derecho at the wire to earn his first Grassroots trophy of the season. The Bettors Delight-Queen Of Blues son and driver Brad Forward halted the teletimer at 1:55.1, a head in front of Derecho and one length up on Bad Gamer. "He's been racing just fair this year. I thought he would have done better, but sickness hit my barn the worst I ever had this year, and it really took its toll on him," said trainer Casie Coleman. "Saying that, he seems to be coming around for the second half of the season, and he loves the half also, so that helps him." The Cambridge resident shares ownership of Blue Zombie with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, ON and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. Through nine sophomore starts the gelding now has four wins, one second and earnings of $24,740. St Lads Moonwalk and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON clocked the quickest mile of the five Grassroots divisions, leading the field through fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:26.3 before powering home to a 1:54.3 score. Day Trade Hanover finished one and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite and Sporty Mercedes was five more lengths back in third. "If they were all like him it would be a lot more fun," said owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. "He tries every time and he's just a very honest horse, which is all you can ask out of a racehorse." The Grassroots champion last season, St Lads Moonwalk finished second in the first two legs, by one-half length on June 16 and a neck on July 1. The son of Mach Three and Warrawee Cammy currently sits second in the point race, just 12 points behind his stablemate Continual Hanover, who finished third in the last division. OK Iceman upset the favoured Continual Hanover with a front end effort that saw him hit the wire one length the best in 1:56.3. Big Yellow was a gritty second and Continual Hanover closed hard to be third. Billy Davis Jr. got his second Grassroots win of the evening with OK Iceman, piloting the Mach Three-Fanciful gelding to his first OSS victory for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owners Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. "Iceman has been a very pleasant surprise this year," noted Steacy. "He was very lazy at two, but has become handy this year." The three-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Grassroots start at Kawartha Downs on August 13. Two races after the pacing colts had waged their last Grassroots battle, the finalists for the Dream Of Glory trot paraded in front of the enthusiastic Hanover Raceway fans and, in short order, fan favourite Wildwild Men was back in front of the grandstand being crowned the 15th winner of the half-mile oval's marquee race. An eight length winner in their elimination last Saturday, Wildwild Men and driver Robert Shepherd went straight to the front from Post 4 and never looked back, hitting the wire one and one-half lengths the best in 1:58.2. P C Cantore, owned and trained by Dobbinton, ON resident Peter Clements, finished second and Very Classy was third. Wildwild Men is trained by Isabelle Darveau for delighted owners Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel, QC and Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, QC. Gravel also bred the son of Muscle Mass and Seeyouinthecircle, who extended his win streak to four with the Dream Of Glory triumph. Ontario Racing
This Saturday marks the highlight of the Hanover Raceway harness racing season as the track plays host to the 15th annual Dream of Glory Trot. GM Gord Dougan says Not only is the field outstanding, it is probably one of the toughest Dream of Glory finals to handicap. Dougan says first elimination winner Wildwildmen drew post 4, and the second elimination winner, Smoke Monkey drew post 7. Dougan says both eliminations finished in 1:58 and change, and the field includes some local interests and 2 trainers with their names already on the Dream of Glory Trophy. Peter and Curtis Clements of Dobbinton each have a horse in the final, and trainers John Bax and Keith Jones know what it’s like to win the final. Jones won the first ever Dream of Glory Trot with Abbey Road C who went on to win over $2,000,000 in purse money. Bax meanwhile is nationally known as a top Trot producer and has won the Dream of Glory title 3 times in the past. Jones has 2 horses in the final, Pukka drew post 5, while Chestnut Schofield has post 6. Bax meanwhile has teamed up with 4 time Dream of Glory winning driver Steve Byron on Very Classy who drew post 2. Local fans will be cheering for PC Foreign Affair who drew post 1 for Curtis and Amy Clements and PC Cantore who drew post 3 for father Peter Clements. Not only will the $67,500 dollar final be one to watch, Hanover also has 5 divisions of 3 year old Colt pacers competing in the Ontario Sires Stakes. 5 of the top 10 Grassroots leading Colts are taking part including leader Continual Hanover in Race 8. The 3 year old Bettors Delight son is owned by Jack Darling of Cambridge and won his last start at Mohawk in 1:52. Derecho has 2 wins in 4 starts this season. The horse who finished 2nd in that race was Derecho, owned in part by Dustin Jones of Waterdown. Despite starting from post 10, this 3 year old gelded son of Big Jim finished in 1:52.1 and should be a favorite in Race 4 where he gets post relief in the form of the 3 hole. Other top Grassroots colts include Perseverant who is 5th in the standings, Spirit Shadow who won his only start in the OSS on June 16th but has 5 wins in 11 starts in his first season of racing, and is 6th in points, and Flaherty who starts from Post 7, but has already earned his ownership group over $80,000 dollars this year. Flaherty is owned by the Macks stable and Joe Carnovale of Stoney Creek, and Bill Budd of Waterdown. This gelded son of Up the Credit won his last start at Mohawk in 1:52.4 and was 3rd in an OSS Gold event back in May in London in 1:52.4. Dream of Glory day includes a Beef BBQ, live band and huge fireworks display after the races. Dougan is expecting a crowd upwards of 4,000 fans to attend, including some off duty Hanover Fire Personell, as well as members of the Hanover Curling Club and Hanover Police departments to help out. Post time is 6:15pm. Gord Dougan
It was the biggest harness racing crowd of the season on perhaps the hottest night of the year, as Hanover Raceway hosted two eliminations in the Dream of Glory Trot. Sixteen horses competed hoping for a top four spot in order to qualify for the July 30th final. In the first elimination Wildwild Men used the rail position to his advantage hitting the quarter with a 5 length lead in 28 seconds flat. The 3 year old son of Muscle Mass is co-owned by Catheline Pelletier, Chantal Gravel of Quebec and came into Hanover after back to back wins at Trois Rivieres Raceway. Robert Shepherd drove the gelding wire to wire, with times of 1:00, 1:29.3 and the mile in 1:58.4. P C Cantore owned and trained by Peter Clements of Dobbinton was second, with a pair of Keith Jones trainees, Pukka and Chestnut Schofield finishing third and fourth. In the second elimination, heavy favorite Sass coming off a 1:53 mile at Mohawk, broke before the start and Smoke Monkey owned by Synerco Ventures of Toronto grabbed the first quarter lead in 29.1. Bruce Richardson drove the Majestic Son colt wire to wire with times of 59.4, 1:28.4 and the mile in 1:58.2. Gonna Fly starting from post 8 managed to manoeuvre around Sass and finished second for Robert Mcintosh and Earl Hill Jr. of Oshweken, while PC Foreign Affair was third for Curtis Clements of Dobbinton, and Very Classy finished fourth for part owner and trainer John Bax of Campbellville. It was a busy night with fans taking part in the Wanna Drive program, and I love Canadian Harness Racing was on hand with prize draws and information. Hanover also played host to former NHL great Keith Primeau and Connor Roberts of Owen Sound who was drafted third overall by the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL. The two men signed autographs and helped assign the post positions for the 8 Dream of Glory Qualifiers. Dream of Glory day will include a Beef on a Bun BBQ at 5:00pm, a live band, and after the races a huge BEM Fireworks display. Post time next Saturday is 6:15pm and the doors open at 5:00. Hanover is expecting close to 4,000 fans to attend. Below is the results of the Post position draw for the estimated $77,000 dollar Dream of Glory Final. PC Foreign Affair Very Classy PC Cantore Wildwild Men Pukka Chestnut Schofield Smoke Monkey Gonna Fly AE1. Zagster AE2. Major Muscle