MILTON, September 3, 2022 – World-record holder Bulldog Hanover lived up to his reputation and 1-9 odds in yet another head-turning triumph, this one coming in Saturday’s $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
On a night when the first 1,000 fans in attendance received a free t-shirt bearing his likeness, Bulldog Hanover fashioned a statement of his own on the racetrack, adding one more high-profile triumph to an already outstanding career.
With Dexter Dunn at the controls, the 4-year-old son of Shadow Play-BJs Squall arrived at tonight’s race on an eight-race win streak and standing as the fastest pacer of all time, courtesy of his 1:45.4 mile in the William R. Haughton this July.
While he was a second off that mark in the Canadian Pacing Derby, he was every bit as outstanding, tying the track and Canadian record in the process.
Tattoo Artist set his sights on the lead as the field was sent on its way, but Dunn had plans of his own, guiding Bulldog Hanover to the front off the first turn and taking his rivals through an opening panel carved out in :26.3. Tattoo Artist sat second, followed by Poseidon Seelster, Jimmy Freight and Desperate Man.
It was status quo through a half in :54.3, with Bulldog Hanover locked-in and looking as though there was plenty left in the tank. Jimmy Freight and Desperate Man were soon on the move, looking to engage the leader ahead of the three-quarter pole, while James MacDonald, in the race bike of Tattoo Artist, waited for an opportunity to take his shot.
In front by 1 ¾ lengths after three-quarters in 1:21.1, Dunn and Bulldog Hanover turned for home large and in charge, as a game Tattoo Artist looked to pull off the 23-1 upset.
At the wire, Bulldog Hanover was a comfortable one-length winner over Tattoo Artist. Poseidon Seelster, at 85-1, was third, while Jimmy Freight finished fourth.
“Well, when you’ve sat behind so many horses and you sit behind a horse like ‘Bulldog,’ it really is a pleasure and it’s a joy being out there,” lauded Dunn. “You know, I’m just along for the ride. You know, what he’s doing is just amazing to see, the way he does it as well. There’s no easy trips for him, he does all the hard work in those big races and he’s running away from good horses.”
The bay, who arrived at the final off a sparkling 1:48.0 performance in his Debry elimination one week ago, is now 24-3-1 from 32 career starts, for trainer Jack Darling, who co-owns with Brad Grant.
“It’s great to have a horse like this and be a part of a horse like this,” said Grant. “I don’t think I’ve got words to say how good it is.”
Darling had similar praise for the standout pacer.
“It’s great to have the family here and the fans here. This horse has really got a fan base out there. There’s so many people cheering for him, it’s just an honour to be involved.”
The veteran conditioner enjoyed the sea of ‘Bulldog’ shirts seen throughout the Mohawk grandstand.
“It’s tremendous. I’ve got calls from all over the United States, people who want Bulldog Hanover t-shirts. It’s just a real thrill to be here.”
Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Bulldog Hanover, 10-0-0 from 11 dashes this year, was a $28,000 purchase (Hip No. 795) at the 2019 Harrisburg Sale.
He paid $2.20 for the Canadian Pacing Derby win.
Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms