USTA Home > News Home > Easy Lover Hanover looks to step up in Dayton Pacing Derby

Easy Lover Hanover looks to step up in Dayton Pacing Derby
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

       Decrease Text Size    Increase Text Size   Print  Email

Ken Weingartner
Freehold, NJ --- Easy Lover Hanover won six of his final seven races last year, including the Progress Pace to close his 3-year-old campaign, but trainer Ben Wallace was in no rush this season to push the gelding into action against the sport’s top older pacers.

After watching Easy Lover Hanover’s development over the course of this year, though, Wallace thinks the horse is ready to climb the ladder.

“There were no illusions of grandeur,” Wallace said about entering this year. “There were no illusions we were going to move right up and take on the better aged horses.

“But I did know he was a good raceway horse that hopefully could develop into an open-type pacer, which I have no doubts he will off what he’s done this summer. His numbers have shown he can go where he has to go. I have to think with a year’s maturity he might just be that notch better to make him that type of horse. We’re optimistic about him looking forward.”

New Image Media photo
Easy Lover Hanover has won 19 times in his career, with earnings of $385,660.

Easy Lover Hanover has won three of 15 races this year and earned $65,236 for owner Brad Grant. On Friday, he will compete in the $140,000 Dayton Pacing Derby at Ohio’s Hollywood Dayton Raceway, where McWicked is the 5-2 morning-line favorite, followed by Rockin Ron (3-1) and Check Six (4-1).

The 14-race card, which begins at 6:15 p.m., also includes the $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby. Hannelore Hanover is the 2-1 choice, followed by Homicide Hunter (3-1) and JL Cruze (9-2).

Easy Lover Hanover heads to the Dayton Pacing Derby off several sharp efforts, including a win at Mohawk on Sept. 9 and a second in the preferred on Sept. 23, when he was beaten by a neck and paced his final quarter-mile in :25.4. He has come home in :25.4 or faster in three of his past four starts.

“He deserves to be there,” Wallace said. “The only difference between him and the rest of them is that he doesn’t have the money the rest of them have made. But he didn’t really have the opportunity.

We just hoped he would develop into a useful racehorse. His last six starts or so have suggested maybe there are good things to come with him. He’s raced very well. I almost have to throw away the (seventh-place finish) in the Canadian Pacing Derby. He got himself in a bad spot. He was the last horse turning for home and he was beaten three lengths. He was as good as anybody through the lane.

“He’s a worthy participant. I don’t think we’ll be embarrassed.”

Last year, Easy Lover Hanover won 15 of 31 starts and $314,124. He was purchased by Grant at the 2016 Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale, which came two weeks after a fire at Classy Lane Training Centre destroyed a barn that housed horses trained by Wallace, Roger Mayotte, Chantal Mitchell, Kris DiCenzo, Dan Lagace, and Floyd Amos. Grant owned four horses killed in the fire, all trained by Wallace.

Wallace said if Easy Lover Hanover “is respectable” in the Dayton Pacing Derby, he will be pointed to the Allerage Farms Open Pace on Oct. 7 at The Red Mile. That would be the horse’s final stakes race of the season, but next year he could see a fuller stakes schedule.

“He’s just a gorgeous horse,” Wallace said. “If you saw him now you’d think he was just starting the year. He’s round, dappled, and his attitude is perfect. The work that we’ve put into him, and the work he’s had to do to race, has certainly stuck to him; it has not set him back one inch. That gives me the feeling that maybe down the road he could be a division one aged horse.

“If nothing changes between now and then, we will stake him up in that regard next February when you start looking at your summer races. He’s a competitor. He wants to race. Those are the two criteria you need to make a horse and he has both of them.”

Following is the Dayton Pacing Derby field in post-position order.

PP-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1. Luck Be Withyou-Brett Miller-Chris Oakes-12/1
2. Easy Lover Hanover-Doug McNair-Ben Wallace-10/1
3. Dealt A Winner-Aaron Merriman-Mark Silva-8/1
4. McWicked-David Miller-Casie Coleman-5/2
5. Missile J-Tim Tetrick-Scott DiDomenico-9/2
6. Rockin Ron-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-3/1
7. Boston Red Rocks-Josh Sutton-Steve Elliott-6/1
8. Check Six-Chris Page-Ron Burke-4/1
9. Mach It So-Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Jeff Bamond Jr.-15/1

Following is the Dayton Trotting Derby field in post-position order.

PP-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1. JL Cruze-David Miller-Eric Ell-9/2
2. Musical Rhythm-Jason Brewer-Benoit Baillargeon-12/1
3. Warrawee Roo-Daniel Dube-Luc Blais-8/1
4. Pasithea Face S-Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-5/1
5. Centurion ATM-Aaron Merriman-Ake Svanstedt-15/1
6. Crazy Wow-Chris Page-Ron Burke-6/1
7. Hannelore Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-2/1
8. Homicide Hunter-Brett Miller-Chris Oakes-3/1

Related Articles :

Holloway Barn fronts Bluegrass colt and filly pace

Search Articles: