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Hanover Raceway is pleased to announce their upcoming training schedule for ship-in horses to train.  Training will be done by appointment only and space is limited.

Please click image or visit the 2021 Training Schedule for a list of announced dates and COVID-19 terms and conditions.

Trainers can schedule their appointment by calling Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons at 519-901-4360 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By Steve Fitzsimmons

2020 Balanced Image Champion - Sweet Soul David

It's just under 2 months away from opening day at Hanover Raceway and close to 4 months away from the eliminations of our biggest race, the Dream of Glory. The race is open to 3-year-old Ontario Sired trotting colts and geldings with less than $75,000 in earnings last season and fillies who had earnings of less than $100,000.

We were blessed with 94 horses being nominated to remain eligible. First, thank you to all the trainers and owners who kept their horses eligible for this race. We promise to give you our very best to give this event the spotlight it deserves. Along with a sizable purse, we will also be giving the winner an Original Framed Art Work of the winning horses victory, created by famed artist Michelle Hogan (www.harnessartist.com), that has a value of $1,000 and is a lifelong keepsake for the winner.

I thought we would size up the contenders for the event, understanding that we can only base things on race lines from the eligible horses and there is no doubt that a horse who was unraced at 2 or very lightly raced will be heard from and could very well win the event. That said, we have a treasure trove of high quality colts, geldings and fillies that are eligible to our race. Some "contenders" may also choose a different racing path and not enter the elimination of our race and we understand that as well. I also didn't contact any trainers to get their feedback on how any of the horses are training back for this season.

With all that said, here are 15 strong contenders for Dream of Glory Supremacy.

 

Dash Winning Driver & Top Percentage Leading Driver - Doug McNair

McNair enters our final race card of the season with 37 wins and a commanding 20 win lead over his nearest driving competitor, as well as an amazing .525 UDR at the Raceway.  He wins this year's Leading Driver and Top Percentage Driver Titles.

This season was like coming home for McNair, who spent much of his youth in nearby Walkerton, Ontario and grew up on the grounds of the Raceway on Saturday nights.

His season included a seven win performance on August 15th and capturing his first ever Dream of Glory Title, driving Remember Titans to a mild upset victory.

The Woodbine Mohawk Park regular can now also add 2020 Hanover Raceway Driving Titles to his resume.

 

Dash Winning Trainer - Patrick Shepherd

In 51 starts going into today's card, Shepherd has chalked up 15 wins in 51 starts, giving him a commanding 7 win lead and the 2020 Hanover Raceway Leading Trainer's Award.

Horses in his care posted 24 on the board finishes and gave their trainer a .379 UTRS at the Raceway.

 

Ray and Lue Leifso Award
(Leading Non-Driving Percentage Trainer with top UTRS - Minimum 15 seasonal starts)

To be decided on the final day's race card.  It's too close to call.  Several trainers still with a chance to win it.

This award was named in remembrance of Ray and Lue Leifso, who raced here consistently and were massive supporters of the Raceway in its early days.  Their family connection to the Raceway continues to this day, as their son Dean is Hanover Raceway's Chairman.

 

Ab Fleishauer Horse of the Year - Deputy Seelster

The 3 year old Thinking Out Loud Colt bred by Seelster Farms made his presence felt at the Raceway in his rookie season.  He registered 4 wins, a second and a third in 10 seasonal starts, earning $11,090 and posting a mark of 158.4.  Deputy Seelster is trained by Dale Fritz and owned by Fritz and his partners Mike Sawyer of Walkerton, Edward Acheson of Proton Station and BWP Stable of Toronto.

This award was named in honour of one of the founding members of Hanover Raceway, who was also a horse owner and Judge.

 

Claimer of the Year - Destiny Cruise

The  classy 13 year old Badlands Hanover mare was the Queen of the $7,000 claiming handicap, registering 5 wins in 8 starts at the Raceway, stashing away $9,215 in earnings at the Raceway.

Trained by Patrick Shepherd for owner Cameron McQueen of London, the mare has earned $252,468 in her career and has 60 lifetime wins and counting to her credit.

 

Bud Fritz Rising Star Award - Driver, Austin Sorrie

Austin Sorrie's talent and potential has been on full display this season at the Raceway.  In only his 3rd season driving, the 20 year old PEI native posted 11 wins, 14 seconds and 10 thirds in 79 starts at the Raceway and $45,815 in earnings, along with a .280 UDRS.  He has also passed $1,000,000 in career driving earnings this season and is on pace to post career highs in all categories.

The young man from PEI has a bright future ahead.

The Bud Fritz Rising Star Award is awarded to an up and coming Trainer or Driver who races at Hanover Raceway and who shows strong potential to continue to grow and become a star in our industry in the future.

by Steve Fitzsimmons

It has been a very odd type of season, with everything that we've had to contend with regarding Covid 19.  It started with our race track having only essential personnel and horse people and no fans allowed and has ended with a limited number of only 100 fans able to attend.

First of all, I want to give a huge thank you to the horsemen and women who have supported our race track with their attendance and the entry of their horses.  You are the show and a great show this season it was.   We also appreciate you rolling with the punches on the protocols we have had to deal with together, to keep us safe.  I know it was different for all of us, but you dealt with it without complaint.  For that I say thank you.

As many of you are aware, this was my first season as the General Manager of Hanover Raceway.  Even in the middle of a pandemic, it was a pleasure to be here and to be a part of helping to make the Raceway  be the best it can be.  It's a team effort and I can honestly say that we have a fantastic group of employees, who all take great pride and care in their work and who have done a tremendous job.

To everyone at home and those who have been able to come to the track, thank you so very much for all of your support, encouragement and positive messages.   With your support this season, we expect our wagering will be up over 90% compared to last year!  Many of you have told us how much you enjoy our broadcast of the races, as well as our pre-game show and between races commentary.

We appreciate that and it's been a lot of fun bringing that to you every week.  Tony Elliott did a great job in his role as our Analyst.  For a rookie, he performed like a seasoned veteran and was also my Assistant here at the Raceway.  He was a huge part of our success this season and should be very proud of his efforts.  I know I am.

We had great moments this season.  One big one was Remember Titans winning the Dream of Glory final in a modest upset, giving Driver Doug McNair his first Dream of Glory win and making a winner of the large Landmark 12 Ownership group that owns Remember Titans.  I'm told there are over 60 owners.   About 15 of them were here that day and made it quite an atmosphere.

We also had the poignant victory of Sweet Soul David in the Balanced Image final, a horse named after Driver Denis St. Pierre's 18 year old son, who passed away a couple years ago in an unfortunate motorcycling accident.  St. Pierre was in the bike and visibly moved that his son's namesake delivered when it mattered most.   It was a touching scene in the winner's circle that brought a tear even to the most hardened observer.

There were also two appearances from the all-time winningest mare in Canadian racing history, 12 year old Rustys Flying, who chalked up wins number 102 and 103 in her hard knocking career. We're glad we could be a small part on the journey of this iron tough lady.

As we look forward to next season, we all share the hope that we'll be able to have as many of you who wish to come to the race track, to be able to do so.  Thanks again and stay healthy and safe and see you all in 2021.



Steve Fitzsimmons is the General Manager of Hanover Raceway.

Follow him on Twitter @playbyplayguy

 

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