International trainers dominate divisional honors guaranteeing another
foreign-trained Horse of the Year.
by Bob Heyden
It might be a meeting of the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and it will be held in Orlando, FL, but tonight’s (Feb. 19) Horse of the Year (HOY) banquet is going to feel more like a United Nations gathering.
Consider the following five facts that all tie in directly with HOY night.
1. IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM 12-OF-22 HORSES OF THE YEAR HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY THOSE BORN OUTSIDE THE USA.
2002 — Real Desire, Blair Burgess (Canada)
2005 — Rocknroll Hanover, Brett Pelling (New Zealand)
2006 — Glidemaster, Blair Burgess (Canada)
2008 — Somebeachsomewhere, Brent MacGrath (Canada)
2009 — Muscle Hill, Greg Peck (Canada)
2011 — San Pail, Rod Hughes (Canada)
2013 — Bee A Magician, Nifty Norman (New Zealand)
2014 — JK She’salady, Nancy Takter (Sweden)
2016 — Always B Miki, Jimmy Takter (Sweden)
2018 — McWicked, Casie Coleman (Canada)
2020 — Tall Dark Stranger, Nancy Takter (Sweden)
2021 — Test Of Faith, Brett Pelling (New Zealand)
*Should Bulldog Hanover be crowned 2022 HOY, Jack Darling (Canada) will be added to this list.
2. HOY ALL-TIME RACE/SPEED MARKS WITH FOREIGN TRAINERS/DRIVERS OR BOTH.
1980 — Niatross, 1:49.1, Clint Galbraith (Canada)
1985 — Nihilator, 1:49.3, Bill O’Donnell (Canada)
1992 — Artsplace, 1:49.2, Bob McIntosh (Canada)
1993 — Staying Together, 1:48.2, Bill O’Donnell and Bob McIntosh (both, Canada)
2016 — Always B Miki, 1:46, Jimmy Takter (Sweden)
*Obviously Bulldog Hanover could also be added to this list by virtue of his 1:45.4 clocking with Jack Darling (Canada) and Dexter Dunn (New Zealand)
3. INTERNATIONAL MONI MAKER.
The last repeat HOY, Moni Maker (1998-99) did most of her damage overseas.
1998 — Money won in North America: $411,750. Money won overseas: $818,078
1999 — Money won in North America: $527,471. Money won overseas: $967,497
4. 2022 DIVISIONAL BALLOTING DOMINATED BY INTERNATIONAL TRAINERS.
For the first time the U.S. is shut out.
2YOCT — Volume Eight, Noel Daley (Australia)
2YOFT — Special Way, Ake Svanstedt (Sweden)
2YOCP — Stockade Seelster, Dr. Ian Moore (Canada)
2YOFP — Sylvia Hanover, Shawn Steacy (Canada)
3YOMT — Cool Papa Bell, Jim Campbell (Canada)
3YOFT — Joviality S, Marcus Melander (Sweden)
3YOCP — Pebble Beach, Noel Daley (Australia)
3YOFP — Treacherous Dragon, Nancy Takter (Sweden)
OHP — Bulldog Hanover, Jack Darling (Canada)
OMP — Test Of Faith, Brett Pelling (New Zealand)
OHT — Ecurie D, Ake Svanstedt (Sweden)
OMT — Bella Bellini, Nifty Norman (New Zealand)
5. PRESUMPTIVE 2022 HOY, POY AND TOY WITH FOREIGN TRAINERS.
POY and HOY frontrunner Bulldog Hanover, Jack Darling (Canada)
TOY frontrunner Bella Bellini, Nifty Norman (New Zealand)
HERE ARE 10 MORE HOY FUN FACTS:
1. Sep Palin went 1-2 in year one of the HOY balloting in 1947, with Victory Song leading the way. The very first HOY lived until the summer of 1962 passing at age 19. Remember that Palin’s Greyhound competed when there was no HOY award.
2. Ladies went 1-2 in 1958 for the first time with Emily’s Pride over Belle Acton even though they each had 28/81 first place votes cast.
3. Adios Butler won the Triple Crown (1959) and then two HOY titles, but in different years. In 1959 he was the first Pacing Triple Crown champ at 3 and then was honored as HOY at 4 and 5.
4. Only twice has a multiple HOY also sired multiple HOYS:
Cam Fella (1982-83) sired 1991 and 1994 HOY Precious Bunny and Cams Card Shark, respectively.
Albatross (1971-72) sired three straight: Niatross twice, 1979-80 and Fan Hanover, 1981.
5. Neither three-time HOY ever sired one. Bret Hanover (1964-66) and Nevele Pride (1967-69) both missed that mark.
6. A HOY trotter still has never sired a HOY trotter. We came close in 2012 when Chapter Seven was HOY. His sire, Windsong’s Legacy, was a close second in the voting in 2004 to HOY Rainbow Blue, 119-98.
7. Ladies ruled HOY from 1995-2001 winning five of the seven votes:
1995 — CR Kay Suzie
1996 — Continentalvictory
1998 — Moni Maker
1999 — Moni Maker
2001 — Bunny Lake
8. It’s been 14 years since a Hambletonian winner has also been HOY. The last was Muscle Hill in 2009.
9. The winningest dash driver ever, Dave Palone, drove 1992 HOY Artsplace, just once and prior to that year. The winningest money driver of all time, John Campbell, drove 1998-1999 HOY Moni Maker once in 1997.
10. If it’s a clean sweep for Bulldog Hanover, it could mark the first time in 75 years that the HOY vote is unanimous.
So, get ready folks for tonight’s Dan Patch awards celebrating the 75th anniversary of USHWA and HOY. Perhaps we should refer to it as “over-seers from overseas” since for one night anyway Orlando is most certainly in the import/export business, big time.