Gaines Hanover Earns Career Best In Mohawk Preferred

Gaines Hanover
Published: May 13, 2024 11:15 pm EDT

Gaines Hanover faced no easy feat in his journey to dethrone the favourite in the $36,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, May 13, but the Richard Moreau student made it happen in a career-best mile time.

A dense field of three millionaire earners made up half of the six feature trotters. Fashion Frenzie (Louis-Philippe Roy) was the first millionaire to take charge of the field to the quarter in :26.2, while $2.47 million earner Amigo Volo (Tyler Borth) was caught on the outside. Rounding out the top three at the top of the mile was millionaire Logan Park (Doug McNair). Fashion Frenzie took the trotters to the half in :55. After that mark, Logan Park took over from the outside and through to the three-quarters in 1:24.1.

Through the half and three-quarters, Gaines Hanover was making 'gains' of his own as he was on an outer flow bid. 'Gaines' and 'Logan' met on the same level going into the final turn, with only a nose separating the pair. They battled towards the finish line, but it was Gaines Hanover to prevail at the wire by three-quarters of a length in 1:52. Logan Park had to settle for second and Pemberton (Bob McClure) took the show spot.

Gestion J Y Blais Inc. owns the four-year-old Cantab Hall-Gatka Hanover gelding. Gaines Hanover won his second straight race in three starts this year and his ninth race from 24 career starts. He moved his career bankroll to $728,756. As the 8-1 upset victor, 'Gaines' paid $17.10 to win.

Moreau scored a training triple on the evening card after winning with Gaines Hanover, Captain Fireball ($8.20), driven by James MacDonald, in 1:51.4, and Flyingevenbettor N ($77.40), with Doug McNair, in 1:51.3.

St Pierre Prevails In Mohawk Billings Pace

Daniel St Pierre skimmed the pylons before veering out in the cavalry charge and slipping through a pristine lane to grab the win at the line with Coalition Hanover in the evening's $15,000 CKG Billings Pace.

St Pierre pulled back and raced eighth through a never-ending skirmish at the top. Mamba (Charles Longo) swooped to take the lead from Chief Of Staff (Anthony Verruso) past a :27.2 first quarter but then yielded the lead to Typhoon Stride N (Stephen Halkes) entering the backstretch. Typhoon Stride N then faced a first-over push from Hes Swift (Nello Guglielmi) up to a :56.2 half and through three-quarters in 1:24.3 while the whole field sprawled towards the center of the track.

With the field spread eagle for home, Control The Power (Robert Ciavardini) came calling for the lead first and overhauled Typhoon Stride N and staved off all the other closers except for Coalition Hanover, who fanned from the pylons to the four-path. As Control The Power drifted inside in late stretch, Coalition Hanover kept a straight line and quickened with a final jolt to down the leader by a head at the end of a 1:53.1 mile. Beyond Better (Julie Walker), sent off as the 2-1 favourite, rallied from last to take third and Thatll Be Tiger (Matt Zuccarello) grabbed fourth. 

Pam Forgie trains Coalition Hanover, a six-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere, for owners Triple S Equine and Brian Hammell. He paid $13.40 to win.

The American Harness Drivers Club (AHDC), which donated $1,000 to the Ronald McDonald house on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs, made another donation from its short Canadian tour on Monday night at Mohawk.

AHDC President Verruso led the presentation of a $1,000 donation to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS) following the fourth race Billings event featuring several AHDC club members. The OSAS is a charitable organization founded in 1996 focused on providing homes for retired and Standardbreds not in competition within Ontario.

Verruso was joined by fellow AHDC and Billings drivers for the cheque presentation in the winner's circle.

The AHDC members present OSAS with a donation

“As a sport, we should do what we can to help racehorses have homes off the track when they're racing days are done,” said Verruso. “Supporting programs like the OSAS is one of the rewarding pieces of being an amateur driver. We get to enjoy the thrill of the competition and then help support the animals that make our game so great.”

Monday’s donation is just another of many thousands of dollars the AHDC has disbursed to charities in 2023. As amateur drivers, members of the AHDC do not retain the driver’s share of purse earnings from races and instead reserves those dollars for charitable causes.

To view Monday's harness racing results, click the following link: Monday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

(Standardbred Canada and CKG Billings & AHDC)

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