by Bob Heyden
Ron Burke trainee Hannelore Hanover certainly has some gaudy numbers as we head towards balloting time. Beating the boys and repeating in the Breeders Crown are going to weigh heavily in her favor for the Horse of the Year award. Burke has knocked on the door before with his incredible roster of stars, but this might just be the year he kicks it in.
Could Hannelore Hanover do what Su Mac Lad did in 1962 and be Horse of the Year despite having had a better seasons the year before? In 2016, she won 17 of 20 start and $1.1 million but ran into a couple of buzz saws named Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit and a Trotting Triple Crown winner in Marion Marauder.
Incredible Tetrick numbers
Tim Tetrick, who recently recorded his 10,000th career win at age 35 turns 36 on Nov. 22. Tetrick has won 18 Breeders Crowns and five Meadowlands Pace titles by age 35, numbers that may stand for a while. Congrats to the man who also owns maybe the most unbreakable record for drivers in the sport. In 2012, Tetrick was the regular driver of horses that earned seven divisional titles. No one else has ever had more than four in any single season.
Beach at $20 million
Some numbers about Somebeachsomewhere, the first ever $20 million single season sire:
Eight of the 12 Cane Pace starters this year were his sons and he went 1-2-3-4.
There was only one son of Somebeachsomewhere in the first Sam McKee Memorial and that horse, Check Six, won it at boxcar numbers.
He won the three Triple Crown races this year with three different horses — Filibuster Hanover in the Jug, Huntsville in the Cane, Downbytheseaside in the Messenger.
He’s had 43 Breeders Crown finalists the past two years — 25 last year and 18 in 2017.
His son Dr J Hanover is the year’s fastest horse (1:46.4), the same as dad. That makes them the first ever sub-1:47 winning father-son.
Pure Country won the Breeders Crown at both two and four. Only Eternal Camnation did this prior among female pacers.
Somebeachsomewhere went into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame nine months after he retired.
Born the wrong year
Phaetosive seems to have done exactly what her sire Explosive Matter did. She, like dad, was born in the wrong year. Explosive Matter was in the Muscle Hill crop of 2009 when they went 1-2 in the Hambletonian. Now his daughter is in the same crop as Manchego (12-for-12). Phaetosive’s 1:53.3 elimination win at Hoosier in the Breeders Crown elimination would have won 32 of the prior 33 Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting filly finals.
Brett Pelling was seen at Harrisburg. He left the U.S. after the 2005 season after 18 stirring seasons in the U.S., culminating in Rocknroll Hanover’s domination and a HOY season in 2005. Pelling was 1-2 that year in the Meadowlands Pace (Village Jolt was second). Pelling is also the man who brought us the first sub-1:50 pacing filly — 1:49.4 Armbro Romance in 1998 in the Ladyship Stakes; the man who won the NA Cup and the Meadowlands Pace twice in the same year (1995 Davids Pass and 1999 The Panderosa); the man who swept all the hardware at Delaware, OH in 1998 in the Jug and Jugette and then won the Triple Crown of Pacing with two different horses; the man who worked for Ross Croghan and had Noel Daley and Nifty Norman working for him.
Follow the bouncing ball
The first ever sire to win two Breeders Crowns then sire a winner of two Breeders Crowns was Artsplace (1990, 1992) who sired Artiscape (1997-1998). Then, for good measure, Art Major added his name to the list with his own pair in 2002-2003. Artsplace is now the first sire to win two Breeders Crowns and sire a female winner of a pair of Crowns — Artiscape 1997-1998 and then Shelliscape in 2012-2013.
Andover Hall sired this year’s Hambletonian winner and Muscle Massive sired this year’s Kentucky Futurity winner. Both were sales-toppers themselves — Andover Hall $482,000 in 2000 and Muscle Massive $425,000 in 2008. Andover was favored to win the 2002 Hambletonian, but an early mishap ended that. Muscle Massive did win the Hambletonian in 2010 over Trotter of the Year Lucky Chucky in the last strides.
Crowns and world records
Some of those since the onset of the Breeders Crown in 1984 who have set world marks who then parlayed that into a Breeders Crown score include:
Youaremycandygirl 1:50 in 2017; Staying Together 1:48.2 in 1993; Walner 1:51.3 in 2016; Huntsville 1:49 in 2016; Always B Miki 1:46 in 2016; Jennas Beach Boy twice — in 1:48.4 in 1995 and then 1:47.3 in 1996; Mission Brief 1:50.3 in 2014.