It was a rainy, cold and windy night but a good crowd enjoyed All-Trot Day at Hanover Raceway, and the final night for Race Announcer Frank Salive
The 12-race card included the 35th annual Walker Memorial Trot, and the final of the fifth annual Balanced Image Trot for two-year-old olds.
In the Walker Memorial, named after Hall of Famer Allan Walker and wife Viola, Nobananas jumped out to an early lead in the one second off track hitting the quarter in a quick :28.2. Logan Aas (Mike Whelen) got away second, while Sam Nelson (Bruce Richardson) got away third. Nobananas, under the steering guidance of Dave Boughton, hit the half first in :59.2, and the three-quarter mark in 1:29.2.
All Logan Aas could do was come within a length of Nobananas, who finished the mile in 2:00 flat.
Part owner Murray Cox of Rockwood, Ont. said afterwards he had some nervous moments from Logan Aas but he felt his horse was quite capable during the race, and said the eight-year-old son of Earl was a pleasure to have in the barn.
Kim Matthews of Belwood, Ont. also shares ownership of the winner of five races in 19 seasonal starts. Nobananas has won 31 races lifetime and now sports a bankroll totaling $341,141.
The fifth annual Balanced Image final featured the top two horses from four eliminations the previous week. Fastest elimination winner Hava Kadabra (Dave Boughton) grabbed the early lead and hit the quarter mile marker in :28.4. The son of Kadabra kept the lead over Markofdistinction (James McClure) and Zorgwijk Knight with Doug Bowins, in a half time of 1:00 and three-quarters in 1:31.1, however, it was Zorgwijk Knight who pulled out first over after the three-quarters and stormed home for the victory in 2:01.4, his lifetime best on a half mile track, and fourth
lifetime win in five starts.
Owner Percy Elkins of Campbellville, Ont. recently bought the small two-year-old for $70,000 and told his friends he thought he might make some money with this one. Elkins supplemented his new horse to the Balanced Image eliminations for $4,000 , and the winner's share of the $58,000 will help him pay off his debt. Elkins says it was quite a thrill to win the Balanced Image final, and his heart was pumping for the whole mile.
Zorgwijk Knight has won four of his five starts this year giving him a total of $57,030 in earnings.
In other action, Bjs Fancy was the wire-to-wire winner in the $9,500 Fillies & Mares Preferred #3 Trot. Driven by Stuart Sowerby, the five-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Perfect Partner carved out fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:29.2 en route to a 1:59.3 victory by over a length. Jtlady Strong (James McClure) made a three-wide move at three-quarters to come on for second over the pocket-sitter, Apeachtoremember (Trevor Henry).
Bjs Fancy notched her sixth win in 24 starts this year for traine Sue Marie Gangell and owner David Schneider of Coral Springs, Florida. Her 17th lifetime score bumped her bankroll to $153,220.
All Trot Night was the final night of racing for Announcer Frank Salive, who recently accepted a job as Announcer and Publicity Director at Isle of Pompano Park. During a presentation of thanks from General Manager Gord Dougan, Salive said it was a pleasure to work at Hanover Raceway the past four years, and he takes away many fond memories.
Salive also used the moment to speak to the Horse Racing Hall of Fame Committee asking them to reconsider their decision not to induct Mr. OSS Dave Wall, and former female driver Mildred Williams into the Hall of Fame. Salive said he also felt strange being the focus of the story the past few weeks instead of just reporting the story, and said he hoped he did an adequate job during his over 155,000 races he's called over the past 20 plus years. Dougan said Salive has done much more than an adequate job and he will be missed.
Peter Kyte of Guelph, Ont. takes over the announcing duties as of September 5, which is CKNX Night. Everyone who attends will get to enter a draw for a 42 inch Panasonic Hi-Def TV and stand worth $1,500. Post time is 7:15 p.m., and the card includes the Ontario Sires Stakes Two-Year-Old Filly Trot.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click here.
(With files from Hanover Raceway)