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'Bulldog' Breaks Through In Gold

Published: August 8, 2021 12:10 am ET

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The early fractions were sizzling and the trip was a long one, but three-year-old pacing colt Bulldog Hanover scored his second Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Aug. 7).

Starting from post 8 in the 12-horse field, driver Jody Jamieson settled Bulldog Hanover in the outer lane in fifth, tucked behind Meadowlands Pace champion Lawless Shadow. As P L Ozzy blazed while challenged by Lawless Shadow to a :25.4 quarter and a :53.4 half, Jamieson was content to bide his time from the second-over spot. By three-quarters in 1:22.3, the favourite was fourth — two lengths behind the pacesetter — and Jamieson was getting ready to hit the overdrive button. Once he squared up in the stretch, Bulldog Hanover hit the big gear and pulled away to a three-quarter length victory in 1:50. Powertrain sprinted up the inside to be second and Bettor Sun, having stalked Bulldog Hanover from the start, was third.

“I thought there would be a few of them that were just gunning out of there so I just thought that if we could let them fight it out a bit, if we could somehow get in contention at the three-quarter pole, we should be okay,” said trainer Jack Darling. “But Jody made me feel better. We were just talking about the race before we went out on the track, about the 12-horse field, and Jody said, ‘Yeah to be honest, the 12-horse field doesn’t really worry me too much because I think this horse can overcome anything that happens to him’. I guess he was right.”

The win was Bulldog Hanover’s third of the sophomore campaign and his second in Gold Series action. He was also a winner in the July 3 season opener, delivering a personal-best 1:49.1 from post 10. In the second Gold Leg, on July 25 at Georgian Downs, the Shadow Play colt finished third after struggling around the turns on the five-eighths mile oval.

“The track up there is fairly loose and he was just having trouble on the turns. He was kind of spinning his wheels Jody said, so he just had to be careful with him, but when he got him straightened out in the straightaway he was flying at the wire,” said Darling. “I knew the horse was okay. It was just the track that affected him. He paced in 1:49.4 when he was having trouble on the track, so, you know, that’s not too bad.”

Cambridge resident Darling shares ownership of Bulldog Hanover with Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. The partners will watch the son of Shadow Play compete in one more Gold Series Leg, on Aug. 21 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and then he has a series of open stake races on his schedule, starting with the Somebeachsomewhere on Aug. 28 and followed by eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup on Sept. 4.

“He’s got next week off and then he’s got another Sires Stake and then I think we’ve got four in a row. But he’s very lightly raced, so hopefully he’ll be fresh enough for it,” said Darling, adding that the winner of $432,786, through 11 lifetime starts, is very easy on himself both at home and at the racetrack.

“He’s always nice and relaxed in the barn, and jogging he’s just as relaxed as can be. He’ll walk as long as you want him to walk, and when you ask him to go, he’ll go, just a really nice horse that way,” said the owner-trainer. “He comes to the track and he’s quiet, he’s relaxed for a stud, take him on the track he just warms up like a professional. He‘ll relax but then when you ask him, or if he sees another horse in front of him he likes to kind of get up and race them a bit. He’s about as close to the perfect horse as you can get I think.”

Next on the Campbellville oval’s Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is a single $158,800 Gold Series division for the three-year-old trotting colts on Monday, Aug. 9. Division point-leader Logan Park will be looking for his third Gold Series victory when he starts from post 1 in the fifth race. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website or register to watch the colts in person.

(Ontario Sires Stakes)

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

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