Milton, ON — Bulldog Hanover scored his third Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Aug. 21), beating five rivals to the wire in a personal best 1:49.
Sent off the favorite in the lone C$154,800 three-year-old pacing colt Gold division, driver Jody Jamieson of Guelph, ON eased Bulldog Hanover away from post two and settled in fourth as Century Heineken (Doug McNair) led the field to a :26.4 opening quarter. Second Bruiser (James MacDonald) made a move to the front heading by the :53.4 half and soon after Jamieson had Bulldog Hanover on the move. Second Bruiser reached the three-quarters in 1:21.2 with Bulldog Hanover and Desperate Man (Trevor Henry) looming in the outer lane. The stretch battle came down to Bulldog Hanover and Desperate Man, with the fan-favorite prevailing by one-half length in 1:49. Desperate Man settled for second and pocket-sitter Century Heineken was two lengths back in third.
“The race actually went good for him, he raced big, he raced tough, but Jody (Jamieson) said for some reason he was kind of spinning his wheels again on the track, kind of like he was up at Georgian,” said trainer Jack Darling. “So I am a little bit puzzled right now, what’s causing that. We might have to do a little bit of shoeing adjustments, but he raced big, first-over.
“He’s just one of those horses, he obviously wasn’t, for some reason, getting over the track like he should, but he still pulled it off. He’s just that kind of horse,” added the Cambridge resident, who shares ownership of Bulldog Hanover with Brad Grant of Milton, ON.
Last year’s Super Final champion, Bulldog Hanover has been bested twice in six starts this season. The first came in his June 12 sophomore debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the second in the July 25 Gold Series Leg at Georgian Downs. The colt seemed to struggle around the turns on the Georgian Downs five-eighths mile before sprinting home in :27.3 to finish third behind Desperate Man and Lawless Shadow.
“He (Jamieson) said he wasn’t bad, but there was a little something. He just wasn’t quite keeping up the way he normally was. He’s good and sound and everything, so I’ll just make a few adjustments and hopefully get it ironed out,” said Darling. “Everything is just a guess right now, but he was sharp as a tack warming up, he was sharper than he ever was tonight warming up. There’s always something in this business.”
Provided Darling can sort things out, Bulldog Hanover is slated to make his next start in the Somebeachsomewhere stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, Aug. 28. After that, the son of Shadow Play and BJs Squall is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup, with eliminations on Sept. 4 and the final Sept. 11, and the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 18. The three-year-old pacing colts return to Gold Series action on Sept. 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Many of Bulldog Hanover’s peers will be joining him in open stake action over the coming weeks, including Lawless Shadow, who skipped Saturday’s Gold event to head south for the $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Another son of Shadow Play, Lawless Shadow controlled the tempo in the Saturday afternoon contest and dug in down the stretch to record a 1:48.2 victory over a field of American-bred colts. Driver Mark MacDonald was reunited with The Meadowlands Pace winner for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge, ON and his co-owners R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St. Bruno, QC and Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL.
Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Aug. 23 with a single $155,600 Gold Series division for the three-year-old trotting colts slated for Race 6. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website or register to attend in person click here.