It was a perfect night for racing and a large crowd enjoyed the 41st annual Walker Memorial Trot won by Dragin The Wagon on Saturday at Hanover Raceway.
Five-year-old Dragin The Wagon was coming off a win in his last start at Hanover and went off as one of the favourites in the Walker Memorial.
Driver Anthony Haughan grabbed the early lead aboard Dragin The Wagon past the opening quarter in :29.2 and got a bit of a breather past the half in 1:00.3. Despite attempts to put pressure on the leader, Dragin The Wagon led past the three-quarters in 1:29.3 and held off Brandon CS and Ross Battin late to win by just under a length in 1:59.
The Walker Memorial is dedicated to Allan and Viola Walker of Owen Sound, who were tremendous horsepeople, especially with trotters. Allan was inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.
Dragin The Wagon has won five of his 20 starts this season for trainer Jeff Byron and owners James, David and Micheal Cantelon of the Toronto area.
In other action, J Harris had the hot hands winning three of the other nine races on the card, including the opener with the Jennifer Rankin-trained Turn A Buck in 2:03.2 for owners Bill Rankin of Dundas, Lawrence Baker of Alberton and Ralph Jardine of Arthur. Harris also won race eight with Aldrin Hanover in 2:00.4 for owner Karl McNaughton of Clinton and race nine with Distinctiv Cam in 1:58.2 for owner Terry Rutledge of Auburn -- both winners are trained by MacNaughton.
On the grandstand side, Sharon Taylor of Owen Sound won the Country 93 Survivor contest. Over 50 fans qualified for the final by correctly picking four horses to finish in the money during qualifying rounds in July. Taylor won a 58-inch Samsung Smart TV courtesy of Country 93 Radio and HDTV in Hanover and Walkerton.
Next Saturday, Hanover Raceway plays host to the Balanced Image Rrot eliminations. A total of 183 horses are eligible to compete in the eliminations. The top eight finishers will return on Saturday, August 29 for the second biggest purse of the Hanover season. Post time next Saturday is 7:15 p.m.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Hanover Raceway.
(With files from Hanover Raceway)