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Darling And An Eye-Catching 'Beau'

Published: February 29, 2020 11:45 am ET

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The name Beaumond Hanover wasn’t common in the Grand Circuit races for two-year-old pacers in 2019, but his connections are hopeful he’ll be active in the glamour boy division in 2020. And judging by his late-season efforts, that hope comes from some impressive performances.

That owner and trainer Jack Darling even has the horse to begin with is something that still boggles the mind of the veteran horseman, who paid $45,000 for the son of Sportswriter - Bittorsweet Terror that sold as Hip #7 at Harrisburg in 2018.

“He was the Ontario-sired colt I wanted the most,” Darling told Trot Insider. “I thought he had the best pedigree and he had a great video, so when I went to look at him I loved him but I thought there was no chance we’d buy him because I thought he’d be a hundred thousand-plus. I kind of wrote him off but I went up to watch him sell and, big surprise, I bought him for $45,000. Why [that low] I don’t know. To me he had the pedigree and was just an outstanding-looking colt -- a good size, a little bit of everything that I like.”

Beaumond Hanover is the fourth foal of his dam and a half-brother to speedy stakes winners Chip Walther p, 2, 1:50.3 ($353,745), Bestseller Hanover p, 3, 1:52.1f ($232,200) and sub-1:50 performer JK Wildfire p, 4, 1:49.2 ($204,848). The fifth foal, a Captaintreacherous colt by the name of Bazooka Hanover, sold last fall at Harrisburg for $200,000.

Darling saw potential in Beaumond Hanover as he prepared him for his two-year-old campaign, a possible Ontario Sires Stakes Gold contender in his eyes. After a solid debut qualifier at the end of June at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Beaumond Hanover’s rookie season came to a screeching halt.

“He qualified great the first time, came the last quarter in 27 flat. The next week we took him to qualify a second time and he kicked the cement wall in the paddock. I took him out to warm up and he was dead-lame -- he had a little bump on the outside of his cannon bone… [it] looked fairly harmless. But anyway, took him home and jogged him and he was lame again the next day.

“I got him X-rayed and everything was fine, but that said he had a bone bruise; just jogging he’d be okay. I jogged him three more days and he was just broken-bone lame. I got him X-rayed again and sure enough nothing was broken, it was just a bone bruise.”

That bone bruise required six weeks to heal, with no jogging allowed. Those six weeks essentially cost Beaumond Hanover a good chunk of the lucrative OSS season. He returned to the racetrack on Sept. 10 at Mohawk, closing in :26.4 to win a qualifier in 1:57.3. Darling was ready to see what Beaumond Hanover could do under the lights but once again had to wait to see his pupil perform.

“He made the slightest little break at one point, just about three strides. Didn’t interfere with anybody or change anything and they didn’t chart a break,” Darling said about the Sept. 10 qualifier. “So I thought ‘okay, they thought it was insignificant, no problem,’ so I put him in to go; he was in to go to race. Apparently, about 10 minutes before the race, somebody called the judges. They said they watched the replay of that qualifier and that Beaumond Hanover made a break and shouldn’t be allowed to race.

“So to my chagrin the judges looked at it and saw that he did make a little break and they scratched him. I’ve been around for 40 years and I’ve never heard of that in my life. And who complained I don’t know, I was assuming it was likely somebody who was in the race and [Beaumond Hanover] was the favourite. So that cost me like three weeks.”

After requalifying on Sept. 24, Beaumond Hanover finally made his pari-mutuel debut in a maiden event on Sept. 30 at Mohawk. Driver Jody Jamieson settled the freshman away near the back of the pack early, spotted him third over and then tipped him out in the stretch. A motionless Jamieson allowed Beaumond Hanover to pace home comfortably and win by more than a length in 1:54.1.

His next outing came against non-winners of two company and included a seasoned speedy stakes winner in the form of Allywag Hanover. Those two freshmen, who drew posts nine (Allywag) and ten (Beaumond) in that race, finished one-two with Allywag Hanover prevailing in 1:52.3.

With just $11,500 to his name, Beaumond Hanover’s resume allowed him to qualify for the late season Ontario Sired Harvest Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The colt swept the first two legs -- including a 1:52.3 performance in the second leg of the series, the only time he drew inside post seven in five seasonal starts -- before a comfortable win from post nine in the Ontario Harvest Final on Oct. 31 in 1:53.2 (into a strong stretch headwind) to conclude his season with a 4-1-0 summary from five starts and $52,400 in earnings.

Expect to see Beaumond Hanover’s name listed with Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover on the eligible lists for the more lucrative sophomore pacing stakes in 2020. After being turned out at Marysa Snider's farm outside Ingersoll, Ont., Darling reported the three-year-old version of Beaumond Hanover "looks great" and is back in training, jogging for more than a month thus far and starting on some training miles at Classy Lane Training Centre.

“He’s still a nice horse,” stated Darling. “He’s got the talent and some class to him, so hopefully we’ll have a good year.”

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