Hensleys Get Their 'Freak' On At Hanover

Floyd The Freak

Maybe it mattered that the favourite made a miscue early, maybe it didn't. The cheque that the connections of Floyd The Freak will receive after winning the 2022 Balanced Image Trot on Saturday (Aug. 27) at Hanover Raceway still remains the same amount.

Eight Ontario-sired two-year-old trotters headed postward in the 18th edition of the Balanced Image Trot, with this year's purse at $40,000. Elimination winners Rough Tuff Tested, Floyd The Freak and Darbyshire lined up in posts two, three and four, respectively and that trio appeared to be solid contenders along with rail starter Busting With Pride.

With so much talent to the inside on a half-mile oval, positioning is usually crucial for success. Leaving the gate, 5-1 second choice Floyd The Freak (Ed Hensley) and 1-2 favourite Darbyshire (James MacDonald) attempted to leave stoutly but Darbyshire was fumbly-gaited and made a costly miscue. Floyd The Freak was able to outstep Rough Tuff Tested (Jonathan Drury) into that first turn and landed on the lead. After gaining control, Hensley took advantage of the fact that his main competition was out of contention and rated his colt accordingly. With fractions of :30.2, 1:02.1 and 1:32.3, Floyd The Freak ($12.80) was able to fly home in :29.4 to win by a length and a half in 2:02.2. Rough Tuff Tested held second with 14-1 shot Resolved To Win (Scott Young) lacking sufficient resolve to win on this occasion but racing well for show dough.

A homebred of driver Ed and trainer Ashleigh Hensley of Dundas, Ont., Floyd The Freak (Archangel - Escuela) now sports a 3-2-1 summary from six appearances and the win puts his earnings at a solid $47,612.

One year after being sent off as the public choice and finishing third in the 2021 Walker Memorial Invitational, John & Randy Rier's Charmbo Prince ($4.60) made amends as the pari-mutuel favourite in the 2022 Walker Memorial. James MacDonald navigated the winning trip, a pocket ride behind Scene A Magician (Trevor Henry) through fractions of :28.1, :59.2 and 1:29.4 before popping out in the stretch and powering past for the 1:58.4 score.

John Rier trains five-year-old Charmbo Prince (Royalty For Life - Hetties Charm), now a 13-time winner in his career with $142,624 in earnings.

The Saturday card at Hanover also featured five Ontario Sires Stakes divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies. While the divisions varied in purse from $21,400 to $21,800 they all had one thing in common: wire-to-wire winners. The victorious fillies and their connections are as follows.

Race 1 went to favoured Twin Delight ($2.50) a winner in 1:57.4 for driver Bob McClure and trainer Shawn Steacy. Hutt Racing Stable of Malvern, Penn. owns Twin Delight (Bettors Delight - Twin B Cheeks), the fastest of the five OSS fillies that had their photos taken.

Bala ($3.10) kept things chalky in the second division, holding on by a neck for driver James MacDonald in 1:58.2. A daughter of Sportswriter - Muskoka Moonlight, Bala is owned by Erin Swainson Brickman of Sebringville, Ont. with Peter Brickman training.

The third division gave McClure his second OSS sccore as Charming Vixen ($5.10) delivered in 1:59.1. Blake MacIntosh trains Charming Vixen (Sportswriter - Village Jovial) for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Sue Vernon Smith of Oakville, Ont., Mortgage Boys Stable of Fayetteville, N.Y. and Woods And Macintosh of St. George, Ont.

MacDonald and McClure continued to trade turns in the winner's circle, with MacDonald guiding Manasquan Beach ($12.40) to victory in 1:58.1. Ted MacDonell trains Manasquan Beach (Sunshine Beach - Charmed Native) for Kara Morales of Colona,Ill., Barry Bresnahan of Freehold, N.J. and Alyssa Maddox of East Moline, Ill.

Chakka ($25.50) provided the biggest surprise of the afternoon with a near 12-1 upset in the fifth and final OSS division. Tyler Borth engineered the winning maiden-breaking trip for the daughter of All Bets off - Tisdall Hanover, a winner in 2:00.1 for trainer Rene Dion and owners S&R Racing Stable Inc. of Acton, Ont. Martin Leveillee of St-blaise-sur-richelieu, Que. and Stanley Zipkin of Montreal, Que.

To view the full results from Saturday's card at Hanover, click the following link: Saturday Results - Hanover Raceway.  

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