06/12/2002 12:00AM

Canterbury track report


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Honor the Hero, one of the better horses to have raced at Canterbury Park in the 1990's, led the post parade May 27 for the race named in his honor, but he won't be making a career of being a pony horse.

During his racing years, the 14-year-old gelding also competed at tracks in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, and Nebraska, in a career that spanned seven years and 58 starts. Along the way Honor the Hero set the pace in the 1994 Breeders' Cup Sprint (finishing seventh) and made a trip to Japan to run in the Japan Cup Sprint. He won 25 races and earned $688,037.

After retiring in 1996, Honor the Hero became an event horse, but that career ended when he was injured.

Trainer Vic Hanson began to use Honor the Hero as a pony horse while preparing for the racing season at his South Dakota training facility, and the gelding came with Hanson when he shipped his stable here. Honor the Hero handled the post parade duties well enough in his May race, but Hanson decided not long after that he was not going to work out.

"He was just a little too much of a racehorse," Hanson said.

But Honor the Hero may have one last honor coming. Following a one-year hiatus, the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame Committee has been reconvened, and Honor the Hero was listed as one of the nominees on this year's ballot. The winners will be announced at the Hall of Fame breakfast here on July 20.