Things will come full circle this week for driver Trevor Henry, when he returns to Hanover Raceway to be part of an event in his honour, the aptly named "Trevor Henry Day" on Saturday, July 23.
The racetrack is celebrating the success that Henry has had in his career and it seems fitting that it happens at his home track. His partner in his biggest triumph, 2021 North America Cup winner and Canada's Horse of the Year, Desperate Man, will join him at the Grey County oval. They will be part of a fundraising day on behalf of Canadian Tire JumpStart, a program that provides kids in need of opportunity to be able to participate in sports.
Harness racing has been a lifelong family affair for Henry. The Arthur, Ont. native grew up around horses and from a young age was travelling to a variety of racetracks with his father Ross and his stable of horses. It got Henry interested in being part of the business very early on in his life.
"Just going to the races with my parents and being around the horses every day at the barn. It just grows on you. It's something that you stick with, you like it," said Henry.
From modest beginnings driving just for the family stable, Henry has earned every inch of his success. After honing his craft to become a solid B track driver, he then turned himself into the most dominant B track driver in Ontario — dubbed the "King of the B Tracks" — which ultimately led him to driving on Canada's biggest stage at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He's done that quite successfully, as evidenced by winning Canada's biggest pacing event, the Pepsi North America Cup with Desperate Man last fall.
On top of that monumental victory, the biggest of his career, was that it came on behalf of close friends John & Kathy Cecchin and their daughter and son-in-law, Paul & Nikki Davies. Henry had also inspected and gave the thumbs up to Desperate Man as a yearling, on behalf of the ownership group before they bought him at auction. He also had a front row seat in watching him train down from the very start of his development.
"We're great friends and we keep our horses at their farm. As a yearling, you see them the whole way through. It was quite an experience to go from the horse at the start to the finished product. It's quite a thing," commented Henry.
Henry's career has been a model of consistency and reliability. Long known for his ability to get the most out of his charges and his aggressive and highly successful driving style (his license plate reads THtofront), he has chalked up almost 7,300 wins and is approaching $72 million in purse money. Among his career highlights are three Lampman Cup titles (1996, 2007, 2019) for the top Ontario Sires Stakes driver and leading the nation with 512 wins in 2012.
He represented Canada at the World Driving Championship in France and has won many of Canada's top races, with the North America Cup, Confederation Cup, Battle of Waterloo, Prix D'Ete and Molson Cup among them.
He has also captured 10 Hanover Raceway driving titles as the track's leading dash winner, but somehow missing from his accomplishments is a Dream of Glory title -- an oversight that Henry's daughter doesn't let him forget.
"My daughter keeps reminding me that I've never won the Dream of Glory," said Henry with a chuckle. "We have a couple horses this year that look all right and they're eligible for it and I think they have a shot, so I'm hoping for it."
"This event has been in the planning stage for almost two years, but we wanted to wait until we could return to regular attendance levels and enjoy the social interaction with fans to make this event special," said Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons. "In the meantime, Trevor and Desperate Man won the North America Cup and the OSS Super Final last fall, so we reached out to the Cecchins and Davies to see if Desperate Man could be part of this day. We're incredibly grateful that they were excited to have him be included in the day and I know our fans will be happy to meet and pet him and watch him lead the post parade for our Dream of Glory eliminations."
Team Henry has entered a pair of sophomore trotters into the Dream Of Glory eliminations. A total of 22 three-year-old trotters will compete in three elims, slated as races six, eight and nine. Henry's hopefuls head postward in the second and third elims, with Three Finger Pour (Muscle Mass - Jayport Sweetheart) the 2-1 morning line favourite from post four in the second elim and 4-1 shot Evil Guy (Il Sogno Dream - Hall Of Fern) drawing the outside post seven in the third and final elim.
Prior to the card, Trevor Henry will be signing autographs and doing meet and greets from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m and Desperate Man will be available for photos and for fans to pet and visit with for most of that time period. There will be a massive silent auction of incredible harness racing memorabilia and other fantastic items and there will be commemorative Trevor Henry Day T-Shirts available to purchase and have signed.
To view the entries for Saturday's card, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Hanover Raceway.