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Banking On Moonshiner Hanover

Published: June 2, 2017 4:41 pm ET

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Moonshiner Hanover did not win many races last year, but his ability to make money won over trainer Chris Beaver.

Beaver, who owns Moonshiner Hanover with Synerco Ventures and Bill Manes, saw the colt win one of 12 races last year yet bank $263,101. He ranked sixth in earnings among all two-year-old male trotters and was the only two-year-old trotter in the top 25 with fewer than three victories.

Moonshiner Hanover aided his cause by finishing second six times, including in the Breeders Crown, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. The aforementioned races were three of the colt’s four most lucrative starts of the season.

“He always seemed like a nice horse, but to make that much money and not really win any races was a big surprise,” Beaver said. “He just always seemed to show up going for a lot of money.”

On Saturday, Moonshiner Hanover will show up for the second of three divisions of the Currier & Ives Stakes for three-year-old trotters at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. Moonshiner Hanover is one of five Hambletonian eligible horses in the $39,808 division, along with Phi Alpha, Giveitgasandgo, Affair Of Honor, and Snowstorm Hanover.

Moonshiner Hanover, who will have Aaron Merriman in the sulky, is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line behind returning Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Giveitgasandgo at 2-1. Corey Callahan will drive Giveitgasandgo for trainer John Butenschoen.

The $1 million Hambletonian is Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

“I think he’ll be in the bigger races,” Beaver said. “He hasn’t shown the qualities of a great horse yet, but I’ve had some horses that have raced competitively in that top group of three-year-olds and he’s a lot like them. He looks like he’ll go with them. We’ve got him staked enough, so if he can show up like he did last year he could make a lot of money. He’s the kind of horse that I think will rise to the level of his competition.”

Moonshiner Hanover won his seasonal debut May 22 in a division of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows. The colt had offseason OCD removal in his left-hind ankle, which slowed his return to action and prompted Beaver to skip the first round of the Sire Stakes on May 20 in favor of the Stallion Series.

Moonshiner Hanover won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3.

“I tried to bring him back without rushing him too much,” Beaver said. “I think he raced well enough his first start. He got a little lazy when he got to the front, but he still raced well.”

Moonshiner Hanover is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Madam Hooch. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner Gabe The Bear Dean and was purchased for $27,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale.

Beaver also will send out Fraser Ridge, Andy M, and Always A Good Time in the Currier & Ives. None are eligible to the Hambletonian, but Andy M is the 5-2 second choice behind 7-5 Sortie in the $39,808 third division while Always A Good Time is 5-1 in the same split. Fraser Ridge is 5-1 in the $38,808 first division, where High Glider is the 5-2 choice.

Fraser Ridge and Always A Good Time are sons of former Beaver Stable star Triumphant Caviar.

“I have a special place in my heart for my Caviars; they’re like my grandkids,” Beaver said with a laugh. “Always A Good Time seems to have really come back a lot better horse this year. I’m going into these races like I like to go into them. I like to have a horse that’s 4-1, 5-1, 9-2; you’re in the ballpark.”

Hambletonian-eligible horses in the Currier & Ives first division are Meme Hanover, Muay Hanover, Stealth Hanover, and Simply Volo.

Hambletonian-eligible horses in the third division are Brand New Key, Dover Dan, Sortie, and Thisguyisonfire.

First race post time is 1:05 p.m. for the first race and the Currier & Ives divisions are races one, four and eight.

A look at open stakes for three-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles

Date – Track – Event – First – Second – Third

May 6 – Freehold – Dexter Cup – Lord Cromwell – Gustavo Fring – Southwind Cobra

May 19 – Meadowlands – NJSS – Long Tom – Yes Mickey – Deacon Tony

May 19 – Meadowlands – NJSS – What The Hill – Southwind Cobra – New Jersey Viking

May 20 – The Meadows – PASS – SortieGiveitgasandgo – High Glider

May 20 – The Meadows – PASS – Andy M – Gustavo Fring – Stealth Hanover

May 20 – The Meadows – PASS – Common Parlance – Brown BearBrand New Key

May 29 – Vernon – NYSS – Stick With Me Kid – Bills ManTop Flight Angel

May 29 – Vernon – NYSS – Devious Man – Lord Cromwell – Aces And Eights

May 29 – Vernon – NYSS – Enterprise – Swell Chap – Meetmeinthemiddle

(Hambletonian eligibles in bold)

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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