12/15/2016 1:16PM

Harness: Ariana G tops Dan Patch award winning trotters for 2016

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Derick Giwner
Ariana G received 152 votes as the top 2-year-old trotting filly of 2016.

Top-earning female trotter Hannelore Hanover and Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder were among six trotters named Dan Patch Award winners Thursday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Leading vote-getter Ariana G, Broadway Donna, Obrigado, and Walner also were named divisional champs by the organization.

A total of 155 Dan Patch Award ballots were returned by USHWA’s membership. Ariana G, Hannelore Hanover, Marion Marauder, and Walner all were selected on at least 94 percent.

Broadway Donna, who received 83 percent of the vote among 3-year-old female trotters, is a repeat winner. The six champions came from six different training stables.

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Divisional honors for pacers will be announced Friday. Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be announced at noon Monday in a live show streamed over the Facebook pages of USHWA, Hoosier Park, and the Harness Racing FanZone. The presentation will be hosted by Emily Gaskin, Hoosier Park’s race marketing manager.

Marion Marauder was named the sport’s best 3-year-old male trotter following a campaign that saw the colt become the ninth Trotting Triple Crown winner – and first since 2006 – by sweeping the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity. 

In addition, Marion Marauder won the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on his way to $1.48 million in purses. His earnings led all trotters in North America.

Marion Marauder won 10 of 15 starts and finished second three times this season for the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling. Marion Marauder is owned by the couple’s son, Devin Keeling, and Wellwood’s mother, Marion Jean Wellwood. Scott Zeron was the colt’s regular driver.

A son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Spellbound Hanover, Marion Marauder was bred by William Mulligan.

For the second consecutive year, filly Broadway Donna was named a divisional champion and in the process joined her dam, Broadway Schooner, in receiving a Dan Patch Award at age 3. Broadway Schooner was honored in 2009.

Broadway Donna, a daughter of stallion Donato Hanover, won seven of 12 starts and earned $664,708 in purses for breeder/owner Fashion Farms. Trained by Jim Campbell and driven by David Miller, her wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female trotters, Kentucky Filly Futurity, and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.

Four-year-old mare Hannelore Hanover was named the sport’s best older female trotter. She won 17 of 20 races and earned $1.11 million in purses, leading all female trotters in earnings. Her victories included the Breeders Crown Mare Trot and the Hambletonian Maturity, where she defeated male rivals.

She also beat the boys in the Centaur Trotting Classic in addition to winning the Armbro Flight Stakes, TVG Series championship for female trotters, Fresh Yankee, Muscle Hill, and Miami Valley Distaff. Her mile time of 1:51 in winning the Armbro Flight equaled the world record for a 4-year-old trotting mare.

Hannelore Hanover, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras and Ricky Macomber Jr., is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. A daughter of stallion Swan For All out of the mare High Sobriety, she was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms.

Obrigado was named the best older male trotter. The 6-year-old gelding’s wins included a world-record-equaling 1:53 2/5 performance around Northfield Park’s half-mile oval in the Cleveland Trotting Classic and victories in the TVG Series championship for male trotters, Maxie Lee Memorial, Charlie Hill Memorial, Crawford Farms Open, and Dayton Trotting Derby. He won more than $800,000.

The gelding, trained by Paul Kelley and driven by Mark MacDonald, is owned by the Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, and Stable 45. Obrigado, bred by Mike Andrew, is a son of stallion Boy Band out of the mare Malimony.

Walner won seven of eight races and finished the season with a five-race victory streak that included triumphs in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, Kindergarten Classic Series championship, and a division of the International Stallion Stakes in a world-record 1:51 3/5.

Linda Toscano trained Walner for owner Ken Jacobs. Tim Tetrick handled the driving. The colt is a son of stallion Chapter Seven out of the mare Random Destiny. He was bred by Overseas Farms.

Owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz finished second with All The Time in last year’s voting for best 2-year-old female trotter, but captured the division this year with the aforementioned filly’s sister, Ariana G. The homebred daughter of Muscle Hill out of Cantab It All won nine of 11 races and earned $743,967.

Trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Gingras, Ariana G’s wins included the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters, Jim Doherty Memorial, Peaceful Way Stakes, and New Jersey Sire Stakes championship.

2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER

Walner (151 votes)
Chapter Seven---Random Destiny---Ken Warkentin
Yearling Price: $90,000 at Lexington Selected Sale
Breeder: Overseas Farms Ltd.
Owner: Ken Jacobs
Trainer: Linda Toscano Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 8-7-0-0 Purses: $484,037 Mark: 1:51 3/5 at Red Mile (world record)
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $200,600 Kindergarten Classic; $56,000 International Stallion Stakes division

2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER

Ariana G (152 votes)
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: 11-9-1-0 Purses: $743,967 Mark: 1:51 4/5 at Red Mile 
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $306,500 Doherty Memorial; $275,880 Peaceful Way

3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER

Marion Marauder (146 votes)
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: Paula Wellwood, Mike Keeling Driver: Scott Zeron
Races: 15-10-3-0 Purses: $1.48 million Mark: 1:51 3/5 at Meadowlands
Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $500,000 Yonkers Trot; $431,000 Kentucky Futurity; $209,040 Goodtimes

3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER

Broadway Donna (129 votes)
Donato Hanover---Broadway Schooner---Broadway Hall
Yearling Price: Homebred
Breeder: Fashion Farms
Owner: Fashion Farms

Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: David Miller
Races: 12-7-2-1 Purses: $664,708 Mark: 1:51 1/5 at Red Mile
Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $312,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final

OLDER MALE TROTTER

Obrigado (88 votes)
Boy Band---Malimony---Malabar Man
Sale Price: $53,000 at 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale
Breeder: Michael Andrew
Owners: Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins, Stable 45
Trainer: Paul Kelley Driver: Mark MacDonald
Races: 17-7-2-4 Purses: $808,320 Mark: 1:51 2/5 at Vernon Downs
Top wins: $400,000 TVG Series final; $210,000 Hill Memorial; $200,000 Maxie Lee Memorial

OLDER FEMALE TROTTER

Hannelore Hanover (151 votes)
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 LLC, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva Stables
Trainer: Ron Burke Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Ricky Macomber Jr.
Races: 20-17-2-0 Purses: $1.11 million Mark: 1:51 at Mohawk (equals world record)
Top wins: $471,200 Hambletonian Maturity; $250,000 Breeders Crown; $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic

--edited release (United States Harness Writers)