Monticello, NY --- What would the odds be that two horses from the same racetrack lead North America in wins? Probably be real long, you’d think. But on Tuesday (March 19), Haroun Hanover scored his ninth seasonal victory and now joins another Monticello Raceway pacer, Tracys Song, who won her ninth race on Monday, at the top of the North American leaderboard for races won this season.
Both Haroun Hanover and Tracys Song whisked their way through the Mighty M’s Name Your Price Claiming Series, he in the horses and geldings division and she in the mares division.
|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Haroun Hanover won his ninth race of the season on Tuesday.|
On Tuesday, with Jimmy Marohn, Jr. again at the controls, Haroun Hanover left from the eight hole in the 10th race, a $10,000 claimer, and the pacer didn’t make the front until the quarter-mile timer flashed :28.4. But from there it was catch me if you can and nobody could as the 7-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding cruised to an eased-up 2-1/2 length victory over Happyending (Zeke Parker) in a time of 1:58.2 over the muddy racetrack.
However, Haroun Hanover’s story is a bit different than Tracys Song’s. Although both pacers were undefeated in the claiming series, Haroun Hanover was claimed for $4,000 in the horses and geldings division on Feb. 13 for $4,000, only to be taken back the next week for the same tag by his former, and now current owners, Edward Hall and James Hall of Connecticut on the urging of their trainer Danny Gill.
“If he (Andrew Adamczyk) put him (Haroun Hanover) back in the claiming series I told the Halls that we should claim him back,” Gill related. “And he did, so we grabbed him again for $4,000. I guess Andy didn’t like putting up with Haroun's nonsense. He’s a lunatic to jog and train. He pulls your arms off and is not an easy horse to get along with on the backstretch.”
But that wasn’t the first time the Halls have lost and then claimed him back.
“They lost him last year at Pocono Downs and then claimed him back even though he wasn’t having a good year,” Gill added. “He was real good when he was younger. He made $83,000 in the New York Sires Stakes as a 3-year-old and in 2011 he won in 1:52 on a half- mile track and 1:51 on a five-eighths and earned over $110,000.
“They asked me if I’d take him when Pocono closed and I said I would try him in $5,000 claimers since he wasn’t doing any good racing for higher tags at Pocono.
“They sent him to me and when he didn’t race well here in the fives we dropped him to the fours ($4,000 claimers) and he won a race. And then another. They were the only two races the horse won last year.”
Although Haroun Hanover continued to be a handful jogging and training, Gill found a way to get along with the pacer.
“We get him out early in the morning when no one's around,” Gill said. “But a funny thing about this horse is even though he’s a lunatic when jogging Jimmy says he’s easy to drive in a race.”
But when the calendar turned to 2013 Haroun Hanover was a killer. After losing his first start on Jan. 3, Haroun Hanover has won eight in a row -- including one for Andrew Adamczyk -- until tasting defeat when he finished second on March 12 in a $12,500 claiming pace.
Then on March 19 a drop to the $10,000 claiming ranks gave Marohn and Haroun Hanover their ninth seasonal victory together.
“He’s hard to handle warming up and is probably the toughest horse I ever handled in the post parades but when the man says 'go' he’s all business and I can drive him with two fingers. Go figure,” said Marohn.