Milton, ON — A fluke accident cost Beaumond Hanover a shot at Ontario Sires Stakes glory last season, but trainer Jack Darling was always confident the pacing colt was Gold Series caliber and that faith was rewarded at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (July 4).
Starting from post seven, driver Jody Jamieson had Beaumond Hanover on the move early and the fan favorite took command from Denali Seelster as the colts reached the :26.4 quarter. From there Beaumond Hanover cruised to a :54.4 half, and when Mayhem Hanover mounted a challenge heading for the 1:22.2 three-quarters Jamieson shifted the strapping youngster into a bigger gear.
Powering down the stretch Beaumond Hanover opened up a 3-3/4 length margin on his peers and stopped the timer in a Canadian season’s best 1:49.1. Examiner Hanover finished second and Denali Seelster was third.
“He’s just a really nice horse. It’s kind of an honor to have a horse like that, he just seems perfect in every way,” said owner-trainer Jack Darling. “He was always our best colt. We had high hopes for him. We were pretty sure he was going to be a good Gold colt last year, but he has come back strong this year. You’re always hoping for it, but you never expect them to be this good.”
The son of Sportswriter trained down in impressive fashion and had one qualifier under his belt last June when he kicked the fence in the paddock and suffered a bone bruise that would take two months to heal. Beaumond Hanover returned to action in September and won four of five starts, including two legs and the final of the Harvest Series, before Darling opted to wrap up his freshman campaign.
This season Beaumond Hanover opened with a five length win in 1:49.4 and then finished third and second in his next two starts. As a result, Darling made a couple of small changes to the colt’s equipment for Saturday’s Gold Series test.
“I changed his shoes, I put aluminum shoes on him to get a little lighter shoe, and a little more grab, a little more reach. I let his hobbles out a little bit. It seemed to help. He’s a big horse so he can go with a big hobble,” said Darling. “He’s just a massive horse, tall, but he’s athletic, he’s got that big shoulder and big hind end that you like. He’s a horse that really stands out on the track. When you’re out jogging him or training him he kind of catches everybody’s eye.”
In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes, Beaumond Hanover is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup (eliminations Aug. 22, final Aug. 29), Simcoe Stakes (Sept. 5) and the Somebeachsomewhere (Sept. 12). Darling said the colt is easy to train and, as long as he stays happy and healthy, should not need many overnight starts to remain sharp for his stakes engagements.
“You can train him all you want, he’s good that way. Easy on himself, a fairly mild-mannered stud, never really acts up,” said the trainer. “He spends an hour out in the paddock every morning from 6 to 7 a.m. He just loves that. You turn him out and he just trots down to the end of the paddock and starts eating grass for an hour, doesn’t worry about anything. He’s a classy horse.”
Unfortunately, Beaumond Hanover’s Canadian season’s mark would stand for just 90 minutes as Tattoo Artist roared around the Milton oval in 1:48.2 in the second $79,328 Gold division.
Driver Louis-Philippe Roy sent Tattoo Artist straight to the front from post eight, ringing up a sizzling :25.3 quarter. Keeping an eye peeled for the advance of Indictable Hanover, Roy took his foot off the gas heading for the :54.1 half and then let Tattoo Artist start to roll again when he caught sight of his rival heading for the 1:21.3 three-quarters. In spite of the sharp early pace, Tattoo Artist had something in reserve and pulled away to a three length victory in a Canadian season’s record 1:48.2. Indictable Hanover settled for second and pocket-sitter Rhythm In Motion was third.
“He certainly stepped up tonight. I knew he was a fast little boy when we trained him down this spring, but that’s pretty good to go that fast this time of year,” said Dr. Ian Moore, who trains Tattoo Artist for Frank Cannon and Let It Ride Stables Inc. “So I guess we’re going to have to try to baby him along and save him for August, the big one I guess. He should do in there anyways.”
Like Beaumond Hanover, Tattoo Artist is eligible for the North America Cup in August, and Moore said he will spend the coming days mapping out a schedule that aims to have the He’s Watching colt in peak form for Woodbine Mohawk Park’s marquee event. Saturday’s outing was the colt’s fourth of his sophomore campaign and his third win.
“I gave him five days off after his last race (June 20), started back jogging him on Friday of last week, and then he had Sunday off as well, and then I trained him on Tuesday a mile and a half and he went the last half in the jog cart faster than I’ve ever been in my life, :56 and a bit,” said Moore. “That was the first time he had the ear plugs in. So he seemed very good going into this and hopefully we can keep him that way for a few more months anyway.”
Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover will return to Gold Series action on Saturday (July 25) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.