Harrisburg, PA – Hanover Shoe Farms has been selected as the Breeder of the Year through year-end voting by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). The Association has also voted Dunk The Donato as its Trotting Broodmare of the Year and Road Bet as its Pacing Broodmare of the Year.
Hanover Shoe Farms, located in southeastern Pennsylvania not far from the Maryland state line, has been the leading breeder of Standardbred racehorses in terms of racetrack winnings for the last 73 years – in every year since formal records began to be kept in 1949. In 2021, Hanover nursery graduates had earned $34,371,979 at press time, a figure which broke harness racing’s previous record, also set by Hanover, of $33,994,426 in 2019.
Hanover’s “marquee” performer during 2021 was the 4-year-old pacer Allywag Hanover, who went the fastest mile of the North American season when he won in 1:46.4 at Lexington, and dominated the free-for-all ranks with victories in the Sam McKee Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Allerage, and TVG Championship, along with a division of the W.R. Haughton Memorial. His 1:46.4, coming over a mile track, was within four-fifths of a second of the all-time fastest mile in harness racing, and he came even closer to the record for a five-eighth mile track, with a 1:47.2 win at Pocono just two-fifths of a second for fastest mile ever over that size of track.
Other Hanover stars of 2021 included the star older pacing mare Lyons Sentinel, now a $2 million winner lifetime, and a trio of hard-knocking sophomore pacing males – Abuckabett Hanover, Bulldog Hanover, and Rockyroad Hanover – who each earned over $580,000 despite often meeting up against each other.
Trotting Broodmare of the Year Dunk The Donato is a 2009 foal by Donato Hanover out of the Winky’s Pine mare Irene’s Lucky Lady, and was bred by Adam Victor and Son Stable LLC. Dunk The Donato never made it to the races, but she has made up for lost time in the breeding shed: in 2021 her 3year-old E L Titan filly Splash Blue Chip earned $293,205 and won in 1:51.4, also finishing 3-3 in Breeders Crown competition, and her 2-year-old Walner colt Threepointbluechip earned $136,602 while taking his mark of 1:55f in the Matron at Dover. Both of these horses were bred by Dunk The Donato’s present owner, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc.
Pacing Broodmare of the Year Road Bet is a 2010 foal by Bettor’s Delight by the Matt’s Scooter mare Road To Pandalay; she took a mark of 1:52f, earned $380,315, and was bred by Winbak Farm. Cattlewash, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, was bred by W. J. Donovan and was just 18 days old when Road Bet was sold to her current owner Stephen Dey III; in 2021 Cattlewash (1:46.4, $1,314,787) won the Graduate Final and a division of the W.R. Haughton Memorial in a year where he won $490,010. Road Bet also was the dam of 2021’s spectacular 2-year-old pacing filly Niki Hill, a daughter of Always B Miki bred by Dey, a winner of nine of 10 starts and $904,057 who culminated her dominant season with a Breeders Crown victory.
Hanover Shoe Farms and the connections of Dunk The Donato and Road Bet will be honored at USHWA’s Dan Patch Night of Champions Awards Banquet, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL. Those wishing to take out a congratulatory ad in the Souvenir Journal should contact Lynne Myers at email@example.com; sponsorship opportunities can be explored with Shawn Wiles at firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets for the Awards Banquet, contact Judy Davis-Wilson at email@example.com; to book rooms at the Rosen Shingle Creek, go to the USHWA website, where in the middle of the first page is a link directly into their reservations computer.