The threatening weather held off for the 12th annual Balanced Image Trot eliminations on Saturday night (August 20) at Hanover Raceway. Twenty-four horses battled for eight spots in next Saturday's $61,400 final.
In elimination one, two-year-old Rosberg -- part owned and trained by Julie Walker, formerly of Owen Sound, Ont. -- was guided to the early lead by veteran driver Jack Moiseyev past a fast opening quarter in 29 seconds, and he held the lead past the half in :58.4, the three-quarters in 1:28.4, and the mile in 2:00 flat. Post time favourite Mass Production, who had $100,000 made, looked like he was going to make a late charge, but broke stride past the three-quarter marker and didn’t make the top three.
In elimination two, trainer John Bax and driver Steve Byron teamed up with Parkhill Nocredit, who won the race despite her almost 14-1 odds. Like Rosberg, the two-year-old daughter of Federal Flex led from start to finish through fractional times of :29.2, 1:01.2, 1:32, and the mile in 2:02.2. Parkhill Nocredit also won her Ontario Sires Stakes start at Hanover two weeks earlier for owners the Bax Stable, and Marshall Bax of Hamilton, Ont.
In elimination three, Lady Justice jumped out to the early lead despite post seven thanks to early miscues by some of the inside horses in a :31.1 quarter. P C Pipe Dream, owned by Peter Clements and driven by son Curtis, got away second, but made a break past the half. Scene A Magician, driven by Jack Moiseyev, got away fourth, but moved up into second after a half in 1:03.2, and stayed behind Lady Justice past the three-quarters in 1:33. The two horses duelled down the stretch with Scene A Magician taking the win in a photo finish in 2:02.2. The son of Daylon Magician is owned by Daylon Farms of Komoka, Ont., Gordon Yeo of Calgary, Alta., and trainer Jennifer Pinkerton of Mount Brydges, Ont.
Among the other races was a Racing Under Saddle event won by Lexis D J for rider Sarah Town of Southampton, Ont., in 2:02, which is close, if not a track record for a monte race at Hanover.
Hanover also hosted the 42nd annual Walker Memorial Trot in honour of Allan and Viola Walker of Owen Sound, Ont. West Grey Bay, driven by Natasha Day, was first off the gate and led past the quarter in 29 seconds. The eight-year-old son of Feisty G G led past the half in 1:00, and the three-quarters in 1:30, however, the backfield was ready to pounce down the stretch with Meadowview Cliffy coming out on top in 1:59.3 for driver Doug Brown. Brown said his five-year-old Muscle Mass son is a very consistent horse and was lucky to get past West Grey Bay in the stretch. As for winning the Walker Trot, Brown said it meant a lot of him, because the Walkers are great people and great horse people, so it’s very special.
Hanover also held its Country 93 Survivor Contest, which was won by Murray Cox of Owen Sound, Ont. Cox won a 55-inch Sony TV courtesy of Country 93 and HDTV in Walkerton. Heather Struthers of Kincardine, Ont. was second and won a Cobble Beach Golf Trip, while Marilyn Richards of Tara, Ont. finished third and won $100 in Hanover Chamber Bucks.
After the final elimination, the post positions were drawn for the Balanced Image final, which will be held on Saturday, August 27.
1. Parkhill Nocredit
2. Mister Bianco
3. Scene A Magician
5. Lady Justice
6. Uknow What To Do
7. Lucys Man
AE1. Expose Yourself
AE2. Many A Man
Next Saturday will also include a special fundraiser for the Hanover Hospital Foundation. Blankets are being sold with all the proceeds to the foundation, and a 50-50 draw will be held, as well as human jog cart races in front of the fans, and Craig Dougan of the Almost Hip will play on the Hanover Raceway Rooftop between the races. Post time on Saturday is 7:15 p.m.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Hanover Raceway.
(With files from Hanover Raceway)