12/21/2017 12:43PM

Harness: 2017 Dan Patch Award winners announced

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Dean Gillette
Hannelore Hanover was one of two unanimous Dan Patch award winners.

History-making Pure Country and Manchego, unanimous selections Ariana G and Hannelore Hanover, and money-leader Downbytheseaside were among the 12 horses named 2017 Dan Patch Award winners Thursday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

Pure Country became the first female pacer in history to receive Dan Patch honors at ages 2, 3 and 4. The complete list of award-winning pacers is Pure Country (older female), Downbytheseaside (3-year-old male), Blazin Britches (3-year-old female) Lost In Time (2-year-old male), Youaremycandygirl (2-year-old female) and Keystone Velocity (older male).

Manchego became the first undefeated 2-year-old female trotter to win a Dan Patch trophy since the category for fillies was created in 1978. In addition to Manchego, the divisional award-winning trotters are Ariana G (3-year-old female), Hannelore Hanover (older female), Fourth Dimension (2-year-old male), What The Hill (3-year-old male) and Marion Marauder (older male).

Ariana G, Hannelore Hanover, and Marion Marauder are repeat winners.

A total of 131 Dan Patch Award ballots were returned by the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s membership this year.

Dan Patch Award winners will be honored at a banquet Feb. 25 at Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., at which time Trotter, Pacer, and Horse of the Year will be announced.

Ariana G, one of four Dan Patch Award winners from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, won 12 of 15 races this year and earned $1.12 million for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who also bred the filly. Driven by Yannick Gingras, her victories included the Hambletonian Oaks, Breeders Crown, and Elegantimage Stakes.

Five-year-old Hannelore Hanover, the first repeat winner in the trotting mare division since Buck I St Pat captured three trophies in a row from 2008-10, won 10 of 17 races this season and earned $1.04 million. She became the fastest female trotter in history when she won the Allerage Farms Open Trot in 1:49 2/5 at Lexington’s Red Mile and was the first mare to beat the boys in the Breeders Crown Open since Moni Maker in 1998.

Other wins for the Ron Burke-trained Hannelore Hanover included the Maple Leaf Trot, where she also defeated male rivals, and the Armbro Flight Stakes. She is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. Gingras was her regular driver.

Marion Marauder, a 4-year-old stallion who was last season’s Trotter of the Year, won three of 10 races this year and earned $769,182 for owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Marion Marauder’s victories included the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship and he was second in the International Trot. He was trained by the wife-and-husband team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling and driven by Scott Zeron.

What The Hill, another trotter from the Burke stable, won nine of 18 races this year and earned $948,178 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. His triumphs included the Breeders Crown and Canadian Trotting Classic and he concluded his campaign by beating older horses in the TVG Series championship. He was driven by David Miller.

Manchego was a perfect 12-for-12 this season and earned $873,948 for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Trained by Takter and driven by Gingras, her wins included the Breeders Crown, Jim Doherty Memorial, and Peaceful Way Stakes.

Fourth Dimension, trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc., won eight of 11 races and earned $397,410. His wins included the Valley Victory Stakes. He was driven by Brian Sears.

All of the winning trotters received at least 78 percent of the vote with the exception of Marion Marauder, who garnered 53.4 percent as he outdistanced runner-up Crazy Wow by 31 votes.

Pure Country joined male pacer Jenna’s Beach Boy as the only pacers in the last 45 years to receive divisional honors at ages 2, 3 and 4. Jenna’s Beach Boy accomplished the feat from 1994-96. The homebred Pure Country won five of 16 races and earned $461,168 for owner Diamond Creek Racing and trainer Takter. All her wins came in her final 10 starts, with Mark MacDonald in the sulky, and included the Breeders Crown, TVG Series championship, and Lady Liberty.

Downbytheseaside finished his campaign with a four-race win streak on his way to leading the sport with $1.60 million in purses. The colt’s victories included the Messenger Stakes, Progress Pace, Carl Milstein Memorial, and Art Rooney Pace. He was trained by Brian Brown and owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. Chris Page, Brian Sears, and David Miller all guided the horse to stakes wins.

He received 89.3 percent of the vote as he outpaced runner-up Fear The Dragon, who also was trained by Brown.

Youaremycandygirl, history’s fastest 2-year-old female pacer thanks to her 1:50 mile in a division of the International Stallion Stakes in Lexington, won nine of 11 races this year and closed the season with a seven-race win streak. Her victories included the Breeders Crown, She’s A Great Lady, and Three Diamonds. She earned $895,615 for owner Bill Donovan, trainer Burke and drivers Gingras and Louis-Philippe Roy.

Lost In Time, who was trained by Jim Mulinix before heading to the Takter stable for his final two starts, won five of nine races and earned $608,112 for owners A Rocknroll Dance Racing, Denny Miller, William Rufenacht, and Team S Racing Stable. His victories included the Metro Pace and Governor’s Cup. He was driven by Zeron.

Blazin Britches won the balloting’s closest vote, defeating runner-up Agent Q by 14 votes among 3-year-old female pacers. Blazin Britches, trained by Brown for breeder/owner Emerald Highlands Farm, won 11 of 15 races and earned $540,424. Her triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Nadia Lobell, and Shady Daisy. She was driven primarily by Trace Tetrick, but also scored a stakes victory with David Miller.

In the division for older male pacers, nine horses received at least one vote, with Keystone Velocity coming out on top by 31 votes over runner-up Mach It So. The 9-year-old Keystone Velocity won eight of 22 races and earned $783,442 for owners Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., and VIP Internet Stable. His victories included the Ben Franklin Pace and Levy Memorial Series championship. Trained by Rene Allard, he was driven by Dan Dube and Simon Allard.

Information regarding the Dan Patch Awards banquet is available at www.ushwa.org. Follow are profiles for the 12 divisional champions.

TROTTERS

2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER

Fourth Dimension (103 votes/78.6 percent)

Chapter Seven – Corazon Blue Chip – Muscle Hill

Yearling price: $200,000 under name Seventh Wonder at Lexington Selected Sale.

Breeders: Ray Schnittker, Steven Arnold, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Arden Homestead Stable.

Owner: Courant Inc.

Trainer: Marcus Melander. Driver: Brian Sears.

Races: 11-8-1-0. Purses: $397,410. Mark: 1:52.4 at Lexington.

Top wins: $464,650 Valley Victory; $59,400 International Stallion Stakes division.

2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER

Manchego (130 votes/99.2 percent)

Muscle Hill – Secret Magic – Cantab Hall

Yearling price: $120,000 under name Whispering Hills at Lexington Selected Sale.

Breeder: Brittany Farms.

Owners: Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, Herb Liverman.

Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras.

Races: 12-12-0-0. Purses: $873,948. Mark: 1:52.4 at Mohawk.

Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $330,800 Jim Doherty Memorial; $307,500 Peaceful Way.

3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER

What The Hill (120 votes/91.6 percent)

Muscle Hill – K T Cha Cha – Angus Hall

Yearling price: $65,000 at Lexington Selected Sale.

Breeder: Stan Klemencic.

Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, Deo Volente Farms.

Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: David Miller.

Races: 18-9-1-2. Purses: $948,178. Mark: 1:51.4 at Mohawk.

Top wins: $560,880 Canadian Trotting Classic; $527,500 Breeders Crown; $350,000 TVG Championship.

3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER

Ariana G (131 votes/100 percent)

Muscle Hill – Cantab It All – Cantab Hall

Yearling price: Homebred.

Breeders: Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld.

Owners: Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld.

Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras.

Races: 15-12-2-1. Purses: $1.12 million. Mark: 1:51.1 at Meadowlands.

Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $315,700 Elegantimage.

OLDER MALE TROTTER

Marion Marauder (70 votes/53.4 percent)

Muscle Hill – Spellbound Hanover – Donerail

Yearling price: $37,000 under name Marion Monopoly at Lexington Selected Sale.

Breeder: William Mulligan.

Owners: Marion Jean Wellwood, Devin Keeling.

Trainers: Mike Keeling, Paula Wellwood. Driver: Scott Zeron.

Races: 10-3-3-2. Purses: $769,182. Mark: 1:51.2 at Meadowlands.

Top wins: $458,750 Hambletonian Maturity; $240,000 Graduate Championship.

OLDER FEMALE TROTTER

Hannelore Hanover (131 votes/100 percent)

Swan For All – High Sobriety – Dream Vacation

Yearling price: $32,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale.

Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms.

Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva Stables.

Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Yannick Gingras.

Races: 17-10-5-0. Purses: $1.04 million. Mark: 1:49.2 (world record) at Lexington.

Top wins: $526,250 Breeders Crown Open; $486,260 Maple Leaf Trot; $184,690 Armbro Flight.

PACERS

2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER

Lost In Time (96 votes/73.2 percent)

A Rocknroll Dance – Summer Mystery – Artiscape

Yearling price: $47,000 at Lexington Selected Sale.

Breeder: Diamond Creek Farm.

Owners: A Rocknroll Dance Racing, Denny Miller, William Rufenacht, Team S Racing Stable.

Trainers: Jim Mulinix, Jimmy Takter. Driver: Scott Zeron.

Races: 9-5-2-0. Purses: $608,112. Mark: 1:50.1 at Mohawk.

Top wins: $660,960 Metro Pace; $411,700 Governor’s Cup; $58,000 International Stallion Stakes division.

2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER

Youaremycandygirl (128 votes/97.7 percent)

American Ideal – Sweet Lady Jane – Somebeachsomewhere

Yearling price: $150,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale.

Breeder: Birnam Wood Farms.

Owner: W J (Bill) Donovan.

Trainer: Ron Burke. Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Louis Roy.

Races: 11-9-0-0. Purses: $895,615. Mark: 1:50 (world record) at Lexington.

Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $405,000 She’s A Great Lady; $381,200 Three Diamonds.

3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER

Downbytheseaside (117 votes/89.3 percent)

Somebeachsomewhere – Sprig Hanover – Allamerican Native

Yearling price: $65,000 under name Beach Blue Chip at Lexington Selected Sale.

Breeders: Blue Chip Farms, Janet Seltzer, Jeffrey Scott Rabinowitz, Jordan Farkas, Robert Wood.

Owners: Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, Diamond Creek Racing.

Trainer: Brian Brown. Drivers: Chris Page, Brian Sears, David Miller.

Races: 22-14-2-3. Purses: $1.60 million. Mark: 1:48.3 at Dover Downs.

Top wins: $500,000 Messenger; $308,060 Progress; $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial; $300,000 Art Rooney Pace.

3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER

Blazin Britches (66 votes/50.3 percent)

Rock N Roll Heaven – Soggy Britches – Allamerican Ingot

Yearling price: Homebred.

Breeder: Emerald Highlands Farm.

Owner: Emerald Highlands Farm.

Trainer: Brian Brown. Drivers: Trace Tetrick, David Miller.

Races: 15-11-2-0. Purses: $540,424. Mark: 1:48.4 at Meadowlands.

Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $160,000 Nadia Lobell; $113,950 Shady Daisy.

OLDER MALE PACER

Keystone Velocity (65 votes/49.6 percent)

Western Hanover – Venus Killean – Run The Table

Yearling price: $3,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale.

Breeder: George Hempt.

Owners: Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., VIP Internet Stable.

Trainer: Rene Allard. Drivers: Dan Dube, Simon Allard.

Races: 22-8-3-1. Purses: $783,442. Mark: 1:47.3 at Rosecroft.

Top wins: $529,000 Levy Championship; $500,000 Ben Franklin; $100,000 Potomac Pace.

OLDER FEMALE PACER

Pure Country (121 votes/92.3 percent)

Somebeachsomewhere – Western Montana – Western Hanover

Yearling price: Homebred.

Breeder: Diamond Creek Farm.

Owner: Diamond Creek Racing.

Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Mark MacDonald.

Races: 16-5-3-1. Purses: $461,168. Mark: 1:48 (Q) at Meadowlands.

Top wins: $250,000 Breeders Crown; $200,400 Lady Liberty; $175,000 TVG Championship.

-edited release (USHWA)