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2022 will be remembered as the season that fans were able to come back to the track without restrictions and did so in rock solid numbers.  It was fantastic to have our fans back in full force and not being forced to restrict the fan numbers to 100 or even 500.  We can also tell you that this season's wagering was the highest handle per race card that we've had in 31 years.  We also posted our 3 biggest handles in 31 years since July 31st. (Dream of Glory card, Balanced Image Card and September 10th card)

We are incredibly grateful to our fans both on track and off-track for their fantastic support of our racing product.  As you have seen, we are doing everything possible to make our product look the best it can and you have responded to it.  For that, I say thank you.

This was my third season as the General Manager, but in many ways it felt like it was the first year.  There were things we were able to do this year for the first time in 3 years, like have our Dream of Glory at night with fireworks and some of the other fan friendly events that we had planned for a while, but couldn't do until this year.

They included having Bob McClure Day, in support of Bruce Grey Mentorship, Trevor Henry Day with NA Cup Champion Desperate Man, in support of Canadian Tire Jump Start and having the OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship return for a second season, but this time with no fan limitations - raising funds for Harness The Hope.  We also had many other smaller fundraising events, that raised money for worthy non-profit organizations, sports teams and service clubs.  We're very proud of the footprint we left this year with your support and help.

On the track, we saw a familiar face capture Glory, as 2021 Balanced Image Champ Sea Can returned and took home the Dream of Glory title, becoming only the second horse to win both of our signature races.  It was a popular winner among our fans, as Trainer and co-owner Mark Etsell is a well known Hanover native and has many friends in the area.

“Fear the Pink" could have been the slogan for the Balanced Image winner Floyd the Freak, as the slight in stature gelding was all decked out in Team Hensley's traditional pink harness and equipment and was the easiest of winners in both his elimination and the final, then added a $21,800 OSS Grassroots event for good measure in a new lifetime mark.  Ashley Hensley told me that Floyd's younger sibling will be aimed towards the 2023 edition and if Floyd keeps his earnings under 100K for the season, he'll be back here for the Dream of Glory in 2023.
 
A huge thank you to our hard-working staff, who rolled with the punches and worked very hard to make your experience at the track as positive and enjoyable as they could.  I'm appreciative to all of them for their contributions to our success.

As we look ahead to 2023, we'll have some new promotional ideas that I know  you'll enjoy and we'll continue to enhance things where we can, to continue to make Hanover Raceway a favourite destination during the summer months for fans.  I wish you health and happiness until we meet again in 2023.

 

It's a deep card of racing at Hanover Raceway for tomorrow's 1:30pm card.  Featured on the card are 5 divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots for 2-year-old Filly Pacers, the $10,000 Walker Memorial Trot for aged trotters and the signature $40,000 Balanced Image Final for two-year-old trotters.

The card also features at $1913.35 Carry-over for their 15% low take-out Pick 5, which will start in race 1 and have a $5,000 guarantee on it.

Don't miss our $300 HPIBET Survivor Contest, enter at https://survivor.hanoverraceway.com/entry-form.

One lucky 92.3 Bounce Radio listener will also win a 50" HDTV after race number 9.

There is certainly a possibility of a track record being set on the card.    Highlighting the Balanced Image field is 2-year-old Muscle Mass gelding Darbyshire.   He won the fastest of three eliminations by three lengths in 2:00 flat for Driver James MacDonald and Trainer John Bax.  He is now 4 for 5 in his young career, with his only defeat coming when he made a break in an OSS Grassroots event.    

Floyd The Freak, a son of Archangel and a home bred for Ashley and Ed Hensley, may not be big in stature, but towered over his competition in last week's elimination, winning under wraps to co-owner Ed Hensley in 201.4.  He now has chalked up 2 wins and has hit the board in all of his 5 career starts and is a serious contender.

Many of Canada's top drivers are scheduled to drive at the Raceway on tomorrow's card. Hope to see you here!

Photos by Michelle Hogan, Harness Artist

With Special Guest Desperate Man on July 23rd

Things will come full circle this week for Driver Trevor Henry, when he returns to Hanover Raceway to be part of an event in his honor, the aptly named "Trevor Henry day" on Saturday, July 23rd. The race track is celebrating the success that Henry has had in his career and it seems fitting that it happens at his home track.

His partner in his biggest triumph, 2021 North America Cup winner and Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2021, Desperate Man, will join him at the Grey County oval. They will be part of a fundraising day on behalf of Canadian Tire Jump Start, a program that provides kids in need of opportunity, to be able to participate in sports.

Harness Racing has been a lifelong family affair for Henry. The Arthur native grew up around horses and from a young age was travelling to a variety of race tracks, with his father Ross and his stable of horses. It got Henry interested in being part of the business very early on in his life. "Just going to the races with my parents and being around the horses every day at the barn, it just grows on you. It's something that you stick with, you like it", said Henry.

From modest beginnings driving just for the family stable, Henry has earned every inch of his success. First by becoming a solid B track driver, then turning himself into the most dominant B track driver in Ontario, dubbed the "King of the B Tracks", which ultimately led him to driving on Canada's biggest stage at Woodbine Mohawk Park and doing so quite successfully - as evidenced by winning Canada's biggest harness race, the Pepsi North America Cup with Desperate Man last fall.

On top of that monumental victory, the biggest of his career, was that it came on behalf of close friends John and Kathy Cecchin and their daughter and son in law, Paul and Nikki Davies. Henry had also inspected and gave the thumbs up to Desperate Man as a yearling, on behalf of the ownership group before they bought him at auction. He also had a front row seat in watching him train down from the very start of him being broke. "We're great friends and we keep our horses at their farm. As a yearling, you see them the whole way through. It was quite an experience to go from the horse at the start to the finished product. It's quite a thing", commented Henry.

Henry's career has been a model of consistency and reliability. Long known for his ability to get the most out of his charges and his aggressive and highly successful driving style, (his license plate reads THtofront) he has chalked up almost 7,300 wins and approaching 72 million in purse money. Among his career highlights are winning the Lampman Cup 3 times (1996,2007,2019) for the top Ontario Sires Stakes driver and leading the nation in wins in 2012 with 521 wins.

He represented Canada at the World Driving Championship in France and has won many of Canada's top races, with the North America Cup, Confederation Cup, Battle of Waterloo, Prix D'ete & Molson Cup among them.

He has also captured 10 Hanover Raceway Leading Dash Winning Driver titles, but somehow missing from his accomplishments is a Dream of Glory title - an oversight that Henry's daughter doesn't let him forget. "My daughter keeps reminding me that I've never won the Dream of Glory (chuckling). We have a couple horses this year that look all right and they're eligible for it and I think they have a shot, so I'm hoping for it", said Henry.

"This event has been in the planning stage for almost two years, but we wanted to wait until we could return to regular attendance levels and enjoy the social interaction with fans to make this event special", said Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons.

"In the meantime, Trevor and Desperate Man won the North America Cup and the OSS Super Final last fall, so we reached out to the Cecchins and Davieses to see if Desperate Man could be part of this day. We're incredibly grateful that they were excited to have him be included in the day and I know our fans will be happy to meet and pet him and watch him lead the post parade for our Dream of Glory eliminations", commented Fitzsimmons.

Henry will be signing autographs and doing meet and greets from 1 to 3pm and Desperate Man will be available for photos and for fans to pet and visit with for most of that time period.

There will be a massive silent auction of incredible harness racing memorabilia and other fantastic items and there will be commemorative Trevor Henry Day T-Shirts available to purchase and have signed.

Kicks off this week at Hanover and Dresden

Natasha Day and Steve Fitzsimmons
2021 Champion Natasha Day

By Tony Saxon

Growing up in Australia with a dad who trained and raced harness horses, Natasha Day had plenty of role models. Not just her dad, but a number of women drivers in a country that had plenty of them.

“It’s a little different in Australia and Europe than here,” says Day. “In Australia, women drivers are no big deal. There’s lots of them. Not so much here.”

It’s one of the reasons Day is thrilled for the second year of the OLG Ontario Women’s Driving Championship, which kicks off at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, July 16th.

Coming over here it was amazing how many women don’t drive, that can drive, but don’t drive. It’s just the way that the industry perceives it.  It’s time to put it to the forefront. There’s heaps of women out there who are fantastic role models and we need to be showing it.

The event, which features five races at each stop and is also a fundraiser for Harness the Hope, has grown from two tracks to five this season. Joining Hanover and Dresden Raceway (Sunday, July 17) are Grand River Raceway (Friday, August 12), Leamington Raceway (Sunday, September 25) and the final at The Raceway at Western Fair District (Friday, October 14).

Day is the defending champion of the event. She is also the first female driver to ever win a driving title at any Ontario track, taking the crown at Clinton Raceway last year.

Lifetime, she’s had over 3,000 starts, winning 267 races for almost $2 million in purses.

Natasha Day driving into the home stretch.
Photos by Tony Saxon

"It’s good to see that women are starting to have something specifically done to promote them. That’s the whole idea of it: we want to promote the women in harness racing that can get out there and drive.  “The times are changing. It’s time to stand up and accept that the women can do it as good as the boys.  Compared to other countries, we’re still trying to advance women being out on the race track and driving", Day said.

“We know women can do it, it’s really just a matter of showcasing it now.”

Day would like to see the day with more tracks involved and eventually have a national and even international level.  “It’s amazing that it’s growing, and other tracks have come on board. If we can keep going in this direction, it’s going to get bigger and better and get more support as we go. It would be awesome if we could eventually get it to an international level.”

Growing and sustaining the sport can only benefit from having more women involved in all aspects, including driving, Day said. “You don’t just have to be a trainer, groom or owner. There’s a whole other level there that you can look at as a career.”

Not only is the OWDC a way to showcase and recognize the talented women drivers in Ontario harness racing, it’s also a great fundraiser for Harness the Hope, a breast cancer charity founded by the Dustin family 17 years ago, that has deep roots within the harness racing community. Each driver will donate their driving earnings for the series to the cause, and each race track will have fundraising initiatives on-site to contribute to the cause.

It’s a charity near and dear to the heart of Maggie Jones, a breast cancer survivor who actually delayed treatment to be able to take part in the event last year.  “I delayed surgery by a week,” said Jones.

“I had been hoping to have it after the series, but as we were discussing dates it became apparent that it would be the week before. My surgeon asked if I had any vacation plans as the dates had some flexibility and when I shook my head no, my husband piped up about this event as he knew how excited I had been to participate. As it wasn't a huge delay and all the critical timelines would still be met, my surgeon was fully supportive of me participating. At that point I was unsure what the future would look like, so it was a very emotional weekend, especially the races at Dresden where we supported Harness the Hope.”

She calls Harness the Hope a great opportunity to perhaps give a “ray of hope” to someone watching who may be going through something similar.

Jones joined Day in talking about how important the OWDC is as a way of showing how talented and competitive Ontario’s female drivers are.  “A lot of us didn't have very many women drivers to look up to as we were growing up, as it's such a male dominated sport. I think it is a huge honour and responsibility to be part of this group that will hopefully encourage more women and girls to get involved or step out on the track,” Jones said.

“I think the biggest message is that girls can race too!  We are fierce, competitive and strong.”

Participating Drivers in 2022 are:

Marie Claude Auger
Natasha Day
Marielle Enberg
Pam Forgie
Samara Johnson
Maggie Jones
Brittany Kennedy
Debi O'Brien-Moran
Julie Walker


Day was quick to give credit to Hanover Raceway general manager Steve Fitzsimmons for being the driving force in establishing the event. "The opportunity to put more spotlight on and showcase many of the best female drivers in the province and to encourage more equality and inclusion in our sport is very important to us and we're proud to be playing a role in doing so,” Fitzsimmons said.

"Last year's event was very successful, and we look to follow it up with another great driving championship this season." OLG returns as the title sponsor, with Ontario Racing back as a significant sponsor. Grahams Racing Silks has also come aboard, offering up a set of driving colours to the winner of the Championship.

“Supporting the OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship for a second straight year is an important part of OLG's ongoing commitment to the horse racing sector in Ontario,” said Tina MacMillan, OLG's vice-president of horse racing and casino operations, in a statement. “We're proud to help showcase some of Ontario's amazing female drivers as an example of the growing diversity of talent we are seeing enter the sport. Promoting greater inclusivity within the industry builds on our efforts to create a sustainable future for horse racing across the province.”

Julie Walker in the Winner's Circle following last year's 4th race in Hanover

From little kid in the barns to Star Driver

It's hard to deny the fact that Bob McClure has made his mark on the Harness Racing World. He has been around the industry since he was a little boy, literally growing up on Hanover Raceway's backstretch. “My earliest memory would be going there as a kid with my cousin, he and I would love going up there on Wednesday and Saturday nights… a lot of people probably don't know that I got my first training win in Hanover,” said McClure.

McClure has never been shy about his love for Hanover Raceway, and has mentioned it in several prominent interviews. “It's my favourite track in the whole world to race at, it's a fun atmosphere… the people there, the people that count, really make it special,” McClure said in an interview with Caity Hillier.

Having 18,063 driving starts to date, McClure has earned $35.9 million dollars in purse earnings. Bob's biggest accomplishment in his career to date is winning the sport's most prestigious race, the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, back in 2019 with Forbidden Trade. “Anybody who wins a Hambletonian, they obviously attribute a lot of their career to that, as it's the biggest race in the world. It (the win) was unexpected, I wish I could live the day over because I don't think I soaked enough of it in. Going back to the memory of it, it was really great, and finding out that everyone at Hanover Raceway was watching me on a little TV yelling at me made me feel pretty happy,” McClure laughed.

McClure has achieved many impressive milestones since started his driving career in 2009, including being Canada's top dash-winning driver in 2016. He won an O'Brien award as Canada's best driver in 2020, chalking up $6,022,430 in purse earnings. He also won the Lampman Cup as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes in 2020, after being a top contender for the previous three years. Back on June 26th of this year, McClure secured driving win number 3000 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Bob McClure drives Sea Can to victory
Sea Can and Connections

When asked about what it was like winning Hanover Raceway's two biggest races, the Dream of Glory and Balanced Image, which he has done once each,  McClure has fond memories of both. “The special part about both of them was that they were won for the same trainer, Mark Etsell, who is also from Hanover, so I think that trumped it, it was so special for both of us, he's such a great horseman… The Dream of Glory was special because the night, the fireworks, there was a huge crowd, it was earlier in my career, so it was one of the first bigger races I'd won. The day I won the Balanced Image was just a fun day, a horse Josh McKibbin trained called Mission Three, that my cousin and I owned, also won. It was really just a fun day and the Walker Memorial Trot, who are also from up there, they mean a lot to me too,” McClure won the Dream of Glory title with Mister Muscle back in 2017 and the Balanced Image final with Sea Can in 2021.

Bob McClure has already had a very impressive career and we're pleased to be able to celebrate his many successes with a special day in his honour, with his legion of fans at his favourite track.

Cassidy Schneider, Trainer

By Caity Hillier

If you’ve been a fan at Hanover Raceway for any length of time, you would surely recognize the Schneider family name as a regular Raceway participant.   It's a name that has been synonymous with racing at Hanover for 40+ years.   In just the last couple of years, another branch of the family tree has emerged, that being in the form of trainer Cassidy Schneider.

The 20-year-old Arthur native has begun forging a name for herself training horses. To date, Schneider has totalled over half a million dollars in purse earnings, with 601 career training starts.  Schneider has a great season in 2022 going, chalking up 42 wins and a UTRS of .282 in 270 starts this season, with $337,864 in purse earnings from her charges.

Schneider got her first training double at Woodbine Mohawk Park on March 17th, 2022, with Sports Jacket, a 6-year-old son of Sportswriter and Peter Poole, a 4-year-old son of Hes Watching. Schneider then achieved her second training double less than a week later on March 21st at The Raceway at the Western Fair District, with State of Treasure, a 4-year-old son of State Treasurer and Hollys Treasure, another 4-year-old son of State Treasurer. 

Cassidy certainly wasn’t a newbie to the race track circuit when she began her training career, as both her father and grandfather also trained horses and she grew up helping her family on the back stretches of race tracks across Ontario and on the family farm.  Her father Colonel Schneider has chalked up 3,695 lifetime starts and purse earnings of over $1.7 million.   Horse racing you can safely say is in the Schneider blood.

With a total of 27 horses in her stable, you can imagine it keeps Schneider pretty busy.  Some names under her training care that you may recognize at Hanover Raceway: Brydown Lilibet, who picked up a win on opening day with driver Jonathan Drury, Easy Flyer, who frequented Hanover Raceway last season, picked up a third on June 4th in 2:00.3. Other honourable mentions that race at Hanover Raceway are Derby Dylan, SmilingBillyTheKid and Royal Ship. Schneider also races regularly at Grand River Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Woodbine Mohawk Park.

A noteworthy mare under Schneider’s care is Zealous Seelster.  The 9-year-old veteran daughter of Big Jim has had a short, yet notable start to her 2022 season, grabbing 3 wins and 2 thirds in just 6 season starts.  Schneider also trains Beef N Cheddar, a 4-year-old Betterthancheddar gelding, who in 14 starts this year has earned 4 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds and a total of $27,386, with a mark of 1:55 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Hollys Treasure has spent his entire career with Schneider, earning $65,528 in 48 starts, registering 8 wins, 9 seconds and 4 thirds.  Horse and trainer also have a strong bond between them.

It’s hard to deny that in a short time Cassidy Schneider has stamped herself as a rising star in the harness racing industry and is someone to keep an eye on as she’s just getting started.

 

owdc logoEvent expands to 5 tracks in 2022

Hanover, ON - June 9, 2022 - The OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship is returning in 2022, after a very successful first season at both Hanover Raceway and Dresden Raceway.  This year the championship will add three additional race tracks, with Grand River Raceway, Leamington Raceway and the Raceway at Western Fair District all hosting a stop in the Championship.

OLG returns as the title sponsor, with Ontario Racing back as a significant sponsor.

“Supporting the OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship for a second straight year is an important part of OLG's ongoing commitment to the horse racing sector in Ontario,” said Tina MacMillan, OLG's Vice President of Horse Racing and Casino Operations. “We're proud to help showcase some of Ontario's amazing female drivers as an example of the growing diversity of talent we are seeing enter the sport. Promoting greater inclusivity within the industry builds on our efforts to create a sustainable future for horse racing across the province.”

Also, Graham's Racing Silks has signed on as a sponsor, providing a custom summer set of colours as a prize for the winning driver of the series.

“Ontario Racing is proud to support the OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship taking place at five Standardbred racetracks in Ontario,” said John Hayes, Chair, Ontario Racing Board of Directors. “Thank you to Hanover Raceway, Dresden Raceway, Leamington Raceway, Grand River Raceway and The Raceway at Western Fair for their innovative approach to creating more opportunities and awareness for the women in Ontario Standardbred racing.”

Each race track will have five races on a race card as part of the series. The Championship will also add two additional drivers this season, providing additional driving opportunities to more female drivers.

Natasha Day, last year's winning driver, is glad to be back and sees the bigger picture of this event helping to foster women drivers at the highest level. “It's a great feeling to be asked back to participate in this year's Women's Driving Championship. As always, it's great to help support local tracks and great that they are now coming on board to support women drivers of Ontario. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long-standing relationship with sponsors and tracks to help promote women in harness racing and we see a champion driver of the future come through the ranks because of this competition,” said Day.

Driver Maggie Jones is looking forward to returning and being part of the series, as well as helping raise much needed funds for Harness the Hope. "It is a huge honour to be included in this event.  The competition will be tough - these women are all accomplished horsewomen and fierce competitors."

"Being able to support and raise awareness for such great causes is wonderful. As someone who went through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in the past year, being able to give back and perhaps also give a ray of hope to anyone experiencing something similar is very rewarding," said Jones.

"We are excited to return and expand the footprint of our event to three additional race tracks. The opportunity to put more spotlight on and showcase many of the best female drivers in the province and to encourage more equality and inclusion in our sport is very important to us and we're proud to be playing a role in doing so. Last year's event was very successful, and we look to follow it up with another great Driving Championship this season," commented Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons, the founder of the event.
 
The series will be a fundraiser at each stop for Harness The Hope, a breast cancer charity founded by the Dustin family 17 years ago, that has deep roots within the harness racing community.  Each driver will donate their driving earnings for the series to the cause, and each race track will have individual fundraising initiatives on-site to contribute to the cause.

Kristy Dustin, the co-founder of Harness the Hope, is very grateful to be involved as the charity recipient of the OWDC.

"The strength and generosity of these participating drivers, hosting race tracks and industry participants is nothing short of astonishing. We are beyond humbled to be the recipient of this year's OLG Ontario Women's Driving Challenge, which will directly help those who have to face a cancer diagnosis through support programs, awareness and research in Ontario," said Dustin.

"Grand River Raceway is pleased to host a leg of the 2022 OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championships,” said Jamie Martin, Raceway Manager at Grand River Raceway. “We are excited to showcase Ontario's top women drivers while sharing the great fundraising efforts of Harness The Hope to our audience and community.”

Participating Drivers in 2022 are:

- Marie Claude Auger
- Natasha Day (Returning Champion)
- Marielle Enberg
- Pam Forgie
- Samara Johnson
- Maggie Jones
- Brittany Kennedy
- Debi O'Brien-Moran
- Julie Walker

The OWDC series schedule is:

Hanover Raceway
   - Saturday, July 16th
Dresden Raceway
   - Sunday, July 17th
Grand River Raceway
   - Friday, August 12th
Leamington Raceway
   - Sunday, September 25th
The Raceway at Western Fair District
   - Friday, October 14th

Hanover, ON - May 24, 2022 - Hanover Raceway is pleased to announce that they will recognize the 2019 Hambletonian Winner and 2021 Hanover Raceway Driving Champion Bob McClure, with a day in his honour on Saturday, July 9th.

The day will also be a fundraiser in support of Bruce Grey Mentorship, a program that serves children and youth from ages 6 to 16, who are in need of a  positive adult mentor.

Bob will be on site to have a meet and greet with fans and sign autographs and take photos.

There will also be a custom-made commemorative item created that fans can purchase at the event, with all proceeds going to Bruce Grey Mentorship, as well as a silent auction that will include a signed set of Bob's Racing colours.

“Bob has grown up on the backstretch of Hanover Raceway, since he was a little boy, then starting his driving career at our race track and on the B Track Circuit. With his hard work, dedication and skill, Bob has become a world-class driver, which includes winning the Hambletonian with Forbidden Trade in 2019 and so many other stake victories with top horses.  Bob won our driving title last season for the first time and has meant a great deal to Hanover Raceway and its fans. We wanted to honour Bob's achievements and give our fans a chance to celebrate with him. We look forward to having this event with Bob and our fans.” Said Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons.

McClure has 2,964 career driving wins and $35,262,167 in career purse earnings and sports a lifetime UDRS of .289.

Bob McClure winning with Sea Can
McClure and Hanover GM, Steve Fitzsimmons

Fans - Due to significant rising costs for printing, our off track program locations will now charge $2.50 each.  They will continue to be available at all locations by noon on Thursday.

Programs can also be downloaded for free on our website.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.   Please note that our Hanover location has changed this season from Tender Pizza to PBJ Cleaning Depot, located at 453 9th Avenue, Unit 2, behind the Queens Bush Pub.

Our off-track program locations this season are as follows:

Hanover - PBJ Cleaning Depot, 453 9th Street, Unit 2

Walkerton - Back To The Future In Health, 913 Yonge Street South

Owen Sound - Huron Bay Co-Op, 1320 2nd Avenue East

Durham - Shell Gas Station - 403274 Grey County Road 4

NA CUP Champion Desperate Man to be in attendance for the event.

Hanover, ON - May 9, 2022 - Hanover Raceway is pleased to announce that they will recognize 10 time Hanover Raceway Driving Champion Trevor Henry, with a special day in his honour on Saturday, July 23rd, with many festivities taking place as part of the celebration.

The day will also be a fundraiser in support of Canadian Tire Jump Start, a program that provides kids in need the opportunity to participate in sports.

Trevor will be on hand to have a meet and greet with his fans and sign autographs and take photos with them.

2021 North America Cup Champion and OSS Super-final Champion Desperate Man, a horse that Trevor drove to victory last season in both of those prestigious races, will also be at the Raceway for fans to get photos with and meet.

Desperate Man will also lead the post parade for Hanover's Dream of Glory Eliminations, which will be part of their July 23rd race card.  His owners John and Kathy Cecchin and, Paul and Nikki Davies have also graciously allowed the race track to display their 2021 North America Cup Trophy and OSS Super Final Trophy and other memorabilia of his career to date.

There will also be a Trevor Henry custom-made Commemorative T-Shirt created that fans can purchase at the event, with all proceeds going to Jump Start, as well as a silent auction that will include a signed set of Trevor's Race Colours.
   
"We're delighted to have this day in honour of what Trevor Henry has meant to Hanover Raceway and it's fans over the years.  He has the most driving wins and driving titles at our race track in our history, and I know our fans will be thrilled to be part of this day to honour him.  A huge thank you to Trevor and Shannon Henry for being very willing to be part of our vision for having this event." said Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons.  

"This event has been in the planning stage for almost two years, but we wanted to wait until we could return to regular attendance levels and enjoy the social interaction with fans to make this event special.  In the meantime, Trevor and Desperate Man won the North America Cup and the OSS Super Final last fall, so we reached out to the Cecchins and Davieses to see if Desperate Man could be part of this day.  We're incredibly grateful that they were excited to have him be included in the day, and I know our fans will be happy to meet and pet him and watch him lead the post parade for our Dream of Glory eliminations." commented Fitzsimmons.

Watch the Replay of Trevor Henry driving Desperate Man to the 2021 Pepsi NA Cup victory.

By Steve Fitzsimmons

2021 Balanced Image Champion - Sea Can | Photo by: Tiffany Chantel Photography

It's just under three months until Hanover Raceway kicks off its 2022 race season and about 5 months away from the eliminations of our Signature race, the Dream of Glory final.

The race is open to three year old Ontario bred trotting colts and geldings with less than $75,000 in earnings last season and fillies with less than $100,000 in earnings.

Hanover Raceway had 77 horses remain eligible for this year's edition.   A huge thank you to all the owners and trainers who kept their horses eligible for this race.  Along with a sizable purse, Hanover Raceway will also be awarding the winner an Original Framed Art Work of the winning horses victory, created by famed artist Michelle Hogan (harnessartist.com) that will be a lifelong cherished keepsake for the winner.

Last year our Winter Book rated both the winner (Publicity Seeker) and second place finisher (Sweet Soul David) in our top three contenders for the race.   We wish all 77 horses the very best of luck, but our goal is to highlight who we feel are the top 15 contenders eligible for this year's race.  We understand prognostication is an inexact science, especially with horses who may dramatically improve from last season or who didn't race last year and become a serious contender.   No trainers were contacted for their feedback on their horses training back either.

With all of that said, there are a treasure trove of top colts, geldings and fillies who make the 2022 Dream of Glory edition very compelling.  

Here are the Top 15 Contenders for Dream of Glory Supremacy.

Power of an Angel

After battling against the province’s best two-year-old pacing fillies for the last two months, Power Of An Angel returned home to Hanover Raceway and found her way to the winner’s circle in the first of five $21,450 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions on Saturday (Sept. 4).

“Finally something went our way, and we got a little lucky,” said trainer Roger Gebhardt. “I always liked her. She was a very nice filly. I broke her and trained her down, and then I sent her down to Martin Lachance for four months, expecting her to do well in the Golds, and things didn’t turn out. She had some really bad luck in the Gold Series.”

Fortune smiled on Power Of An Angel on Saturday as she left well from post two and tucked in behind favourite Warrawee Xpat. As that filly rang up fractions of :28.4, 1:00.1 and 1:29, and then fought off a challenge from Speaker Nancy around the final turn, driver James MacDonald waited for his opportunity with Power Of An Angel. Coming off the turn, he slid Power Of An Angel three-wide, and the filly sprinted home to a one-length victory in 1:58.2. Speaker Nancy finished second and Warrawee Xpat settled for third.

“I was just really fortunate. A lot of times you don’t get out of the two-hole there, but I got to kind of swing out across, and when she saw some real estate at the top of the stretch, she went by,” said MacDonald, who drove the filly for the first time. “She’s a nice filly, and she was racing against a lot tougher, so it was good to see her get some confidence and get a ‘W.’”

Power Of An Angel made two starts in the Gold Series, finishing sixth and eighth, and also took on North America’s best in the August 28 Eternal Camnation, where she finished sixth. The Sunshine Beach daughter’s only top-three finish came in a July 29 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where she was second by a neck.

“Martin (Lachance) had her ready; it just wasn’t working out, so I decided to bring her home and race her,” said Gebhardt, whose wife, Carol, owns Power Of An Angel. “I thought she was a better filly than what she’s turned out to be, but who knows? It’s surprising how they get a bit of confidence — she might — she’s faster than what she’s shown so far. Anyway, we’re quite happy today to finally get the monkey off our back.”

Power of an Angel
Power of an Angel

Gebhardt expects Power Of An Angel will make her next start in the fifth Grassroots leg, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 20, with an eye to finishing among the top 20 point earners and qualifying for the September 30 Grassroots Semi-Final. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final advance to the October 9 Grassroots Championship.

It's been a long time coming, but after significant manufacturer and shipping delays, we are happy to introduce our new Starting Gate - which will go into operation for this week's Dream of Glory Final card!

We are also pleased to welcome Domm Construction, who is our new sponsor for the gate.   We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing the Domm Construction Starting Gate in action this weekend.

 

May 10, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hanover Raceway and Dresden Raceway are pleased to announce the OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship — a new partnership initiative for 2021 that will see top female drivers from Ontario compete over two days.

The first day of the event will take place at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, July 17, followed by races at Dresden Raceway on Sunday, July 18. Each track will hold five races exclusively for the competition, with drivers earning points, depending on how they place, on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.  

Drivers will donate their driving earnings to the Canadian Cancer Society (for Cervical Cancer) at Hanover Raceway and to Harness The Hope (for Breast Cancer) at Dresden Raceway. There will also be fundraising initiatives taking place at each track for their respective charities.

Eight Ontario drivers will be participating in the event, including Marie-Claude Auger, Natasha Day, Maggie Jones, Britt Kennedy, Andrea Leon and Julie Walker. There will also be two special guest drivers from other jurisdictions rounding out the field — if allowed under COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Hanover Raceway General Manager, Steve Fitzsimmons is very happy to introduce this initiative.

"This championship will put a spotlight and showcase many of the best female drivers in the province and give them a chance to compete for the Ontario title. Down the road we hope to have stops at most race tracks in Ontario for this event. I'm thrilled that OLG has come on board as our title sponsor. They saw the value of this initiative from the start and we're very happy to have them partnering with us. I also want to thank Jonathan Zammit and Ontario Racing for their strong support of this event," said Fitzsimmons.

For OLG’s President and CEO, Duncan Hannay, supporting the Ontario Women’s Driving Championship is an important part of his organization’s ongoing commitment to the horse racing sector in Ontario.

“We’re proud to support Ontario’s horse racing industry and to be part of an event that showcases some of Ontario’s amazing women drivers. The Ontario Women’s Driving Championship will also help to draw more diverse fans to the sport, which aligns with OLG’s goal of promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.” said Hannay.

Natasha Day, one of the participating drivers, is excited to be part of the event. 

"I’m looking forward to showcasing our women drivers in Ontario and I’m proud to be a part of an incentive to get women out on the race track and give opportunities to those who may not get a chance otherwise," said Day.

Dresden Raceway Track Announcer/Public Relations Director, Gary Patterson feels this event will be a must watch competition.  

"We'll have many of the best Ontario female drivers, as well as a few special guest drivers. It will be a fun competition to watch and very competitive, as they try to win the Ontario title," said Patterson.

Ontario Racing Executive Director, Jonathan Zammit feels this is an exciting event that fans and the industry alike will appreciate.

"Ontario Racing is very proud to be working with Hanover Raceway and Dresden Raceway on this exciting competition.  Showcasing the outstanding drivers and horse people that compete in Ontario is something we are always interested in. Events like the OLG Ontario Women’s Driving Championship further solidify Ontario’s reputation as a premier racing destination," commented Zammit.

Although the competitors will be donating their driving earnings to the respective charities, the event will have a $2,000 purse, with the prize money being awarded to the top five in the championship, on a 50-25-12-8-5 basis.

For additional information about the event, please contact Hanover Raceway General Manager, Steve Fitzsimmons at 519-901-4360 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

June 3, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hanover Raceway and Dresden Raceway are pleased to announced the final two drivers to complete this year's field for the 2021 OLG Ontario Women's Driving Championship.

Marielle Enberg and Pam Forgie will join the field, which already includes Marie-Claude Auger, Natasha Day, Maggie Jones, Britt Kennedy, Andrea Leon and Julie Walker.

Drivers will donate their driving earnings to the Canadian Cancer Society (for Cervical Cancer) at Hanover Raceway and to Harness The Hope (Breast Cancer research/services) at Dresden Raceway. There will also be fundraising initiatives taking place at each track for their respective charities.

The first day of the event will take place at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, July 17th, followed by races at Dresden Raceway on Sunday, July 18th. Each track will hold five races exclusively for the competition, with drivers earning points, depending on how they place, on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

"We are very pleased to add both Marielle and Pam to our field of drivers and look forward to having them participate in our event." commented Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons.

For additional information about the event, please contact Hanover Raceway General Manager, Steve Fitzsimmons at 519-901-4360 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Marie Claude Auger

Natasha Day

Marielle Enberg

Pam Forgie

Maggie Jones

Britt Kennedy

Andrea Leon

Julie Walker

 

Dash Winning Driver & Top Percentage Leading Driver - Doug McNair

McNair enters our final race card of the season with 37 wins and a commanding 20 win lead over his nearest driving competitor, as well as an amazing .525 UDR at the Raceway.  He wins this year's Leading Driver and Top Percentage Driver Titles.

This season was like coming home for McNair, who spent much of his youth in nearby Walkerton, Ontario and grew up on the grounds of the Raceway on Saturday nights.

His season included a seven win performance on August 15th and capturing his first ever Dream of Glory Title, driving Remember Titans to a mild upset victory.

The Woodbine Mohawk Park regular can now also add 2020 Hanover Raceway Driving Titles to his resume.

 

Dash Winning Trainer - Patrick Shepherd

In 51 starts going into today's card, Shepherd has chalked up 15 wins in 51 starts, giving him a commanding 7 win lead and the 2020 Hanover Raceway Leading Trainer's Award.

Horses in his care posted 24 on the board finishes and gave their trainer a .379 UTRS at the Raceway.

 

Ray and Lue Leifso Award
(Leading Non-Driving Percentage Trainer with top UTRS - Minimum 15 seasonal starts)

To be decided on the final day's race card.  It's too close to call.  Several trainers still with a chance to win it.

This award was named in remembrance of Ray and Lue Leifso, who raced here consistently and were massive supporters of the Raceway in its early days.  Their family connection to the Raceway continues to this day, as their son Dean is Hanover Raceway's Chairman.

 

Ab Fleishauer Horse of the Year - Deputy Seelster

The 3 year old Thinking Out Loud Colt bred by Seelster Farms made his presence felt at the Raceway in his rookie season.  He registered 4 wins, a second and a third in 10 seasonal starts, earning $11,090 and posting a mark of 158.4.  Deputy Seelster is trained by Dale Fritz and owned by Fritz and his partners Mike Sawyer of Walkerton, Edward Acheson of Proton Station and BWP Stable of Toronto.

This award was named in honour of one of the founding members of Hanover Raceway, who was also a horse owner and Judge.

 

Claimer of the Year - Destiny Cruise

The  classy 13 year old Badlands Hanover mare was the Queen of the $7,000 claiming handicap, registering 5 wins in 8 starts at the Raceway, stashing away $9,215 in earnings at the Raceway.

Trained by Patrick Shepherd for owner Cameron McQueen of London, the mare has earned $252,468 in her career and has 60 lifetime wins and counting to her credit.

 

Bud Fritz Rising Star Award - Driver, Austin Sorrie

Austin Sorrie's talent and potential has been on full display this season at the Raceway.  In only his 3rd season driving, the 20 year old PEI native posted 11 wins, 14 seconds and 10 thirds in 79 starts at the Raceway and $45,815 in earnings, along with a .280 UDRS.  He has also passed $1,000,000 in career driving earnings this season and is on pace to post career highs in all categories.

The young man from PEI has a bright future ahead.

The Bud Fritz Rising Star Award is awarded to an up and coming Trainer or Driver who races at Hanover Raceway and who shows strong potential to continue to grow and become a star in our industry in the future.

From August 1st, 2020

From August 1st, 2020

Hanover, Bentinck & Brant Ag Society

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