Tough Trotter Seeks Second Straight Upset

Lenis, winning his Dream of Glory elim
Published: July 29, 2022 05:25 pm EDT

A surprising upset in the Dream of Glory eliminations has drawn post five and looks to make it back-to-back upsets this Saturday (July 30) in the Dream of Glory Trot Final at Hanover Raceway.

Lenis came up with a big win as the morning line odds longshot at 8-1. The Brian Lee-trained three-year-old gelding won his elimination in the time of 1:59.1. What adds to the surprise of this win is the fact that Lenis was racing with an injury, and Lee is still scratching his head on how his young trotter managed to hurt himself in such a manner. 

“He actually had a broken jaw we noticed in June,” Lee told Trot Insider. “We have no idea how he ended up doing it. He had to get his jaw wired and it's still wired right now.”

Lee was very surprised with the results of his young trotter, who prevailed by a neck in 1:59.1 for first-time driver Austin Sorrie. With Sorrie at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Mike Saftic has picked up the drive aboard Lenis, listed at 8-1 on the morning line.

“I’ll be honest, he hadn’t raced that well his last two starts. We got him scoped after his last start and he showed mucus build-up from allergies. So, we treated him for that, and we really didn’t know what to expect with the allergies and broken jaw.”


Lenis did not have the flashiest two-year-old campaigns but was able to finish near the leaders a couple of times. He got his first win at Woodbine Mohawk Park this past May in the time of 1:57.3 which also stands as his lifetime mark. 

“It took him a while to figure it out. He kept making breaks and we had to stop with him at one point.” 

Lenis needed extra time to develop and is still catching up to the level where Lee thinks he should be performing but the son of Il Sogno Dream is showing flashes of skills that keeps his trainer hopeful. 

“He showed some nice last quarters and he raced well in the Harvest Series,” As a two-year-old, Lenis did have back-to-back second-place finishes in the first two legs of the Harvest Series where he “ showed some nice last quarters and raced well”  before a fifth-place finish in the final.

Over the winter, Lenis showed improvement and showed his trainer some growth both physically and mentally. “He grew quite a bit. He’s got a nice length to him. He trots cleaner this year and seems to be more mature.

“I was expecting him to be a bit better this year, but I wouldn’t say he’s disappointed me. He did have his issues and it seems to be healing well so I’m hoping he will do better going forward.”

Last Saturday’s elimination was only the second time Lenis raced on a half-mile track, but he has shown that he can trot well on the smaller size track. In his two starts on the half-mile track, he has a win and a third-place finish. Over 16 career starts, Lenis has $36,624 in earnings and just the two wins but there is something in this horse that Lee sees and he thinks his time will come soon. 

“He’s a pretty smart colt. He doesn’t do too much wrong. He’s usually pretty steady on the track. At home, he’s pretty quiet and to himself. He can get worked up in the paddock with the other horse but he’s slowly learning how to behave.”

Lee himself is having one of his best years as a trainer in 2022. So far, he has earned more than $130,000 in earnings and hasn’t had a year like this for over a decade. Lee recognizes that it all comes down to the horses that he has in his barn. “It has been one of my better years. It’s all about the horses you have. The horses make you or break you.”

Good horses also come from good relationships like the one Lee has with the young trotter’s owner Leonard Christopher and his wife, Mary. “His wife, Mary, comes every day to the barn and loves to help with the horses. They both just love the horse,” said Lee, who relayed that Lenis is named after Leonard’s grandfather.

Looking forward to the upcoming final, Lee knows Lenis has his work cut out for him. “I wish he drew a bit better. The five hole is going to be a bit tougher. There are some nice colts that drew inside him. We’ve worked on his allergies this week so I’m hoping to see more from him this week.” 

With fellow elim winners Sea Can (PP1, Scott Young) and Drinks At Home (PP3, Travis Henry) to his inside,  Lenis will have to face more adversity but, clearly, that’s nothing the colt hasn’t faced and already conquered to get to this point.

First post time for the Dream of Glory card is 6:15 p.m. as Hanover shifts to a special nighttime card of harness racing with fireworks after the card and a 50/50 draw in support of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society.

The field for the $52,200 Dream of Glory Trot is as follows:

1. Sea Can - Scott Young - Mark Etsell - 3-1
2. Renegade Gypsy - Mario Baillargeon - 5-2
3. Drinks At Home - Travis Henry - Luc Blais - 2-1
4. Three Finger Pour - Jason Ryan - Shannon Henry - 6-1
5. Lenis - Mike Saftic - Brian Lee - 8-1
6. Promise For Life - Bruce Richardson - Rene Dion - 12-1
7. Armstead Cole - Tyler Moore - Chantal Mitchell - 10-1
8. Evil Guy - Trevor Henry - Shannon Henry - 4-1

To view the entries for Saturday's card, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Hanover Raceway.

(A Trot Insider exclusive by Trey Colbeck)