MILTON, October 28, 2022 – Gaines Hanover kicked off the 2022 Breeders Crown Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park and scored an impressive victory in the $810,000 final for two-year-old trotting colts giving his driver, Louis-Philippe Roy, and trainer, Richard Moreau their first Crown victories in their very successful careers.
Oh Well, the winner of the Mohawk Million last month at the Campbellville track, made a break as the gate left for tonight’s Crown opener. Dave Miller had Dire Straits up to the top from post 10 and hit the first quarter in :27.2. He was passed by Kilmister and Brian Sears just past that point and they trotted by the half in a tepid :57.
Down the backside Yannick Gingras had the favourite Celebrity Bambino in full stride in the outer lane and was neck and neck with the leader at the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Celebrity Bambino took over the lead mid stretch but Roy and Gaines Hanover, who had followed them in the outer flow, tipped off cover and went on by to win in 1:53.2. Celebrity Bambino held for second with Kilmister third.
Roy and Moreau are both multiple O’Brien Award winners as the best driver and trainer in Canada respectively for several seasons, but they had yet to put a Breeders Crown trophy on their mantles until tonight and were thrilled with the outcome.
“It was great, the trip felt pretty good. I just had in my mind I said, ‘please win, we didn’t do all that just for a second,’ it was just a great moment,” said Roy who was thrilled with the trip he was able to work out for Gaines.
“I feel like Yannick was the same way as me, we didn’t want anyone in front to have too easy fractions, but we didn’t want to have to use our horses too early. He knew he had a pretty good horse on his backside and he didn’t want to tow me in too early. I think he drove his perfectly but mine when he showed up was a little bit better.”
Coming into the race Roy noted his only concern was the post Gaines had drawn. ”The rail is a tough spot here; I didn’t know how it would turn out but it actually worked pretty well. I’m coming into the weekend with a few good drives and I never really had the chance to win a Breeders Crown before now so I’m just excited for the whole weekend.”
A Cantab Hall gelding, Gaines Hanover is owned by Gestion Blais of Montreal. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Gaines was purchased for $50,000 at the Harrisburg Sale last year. He is the fourth foal from Gatka Hanover, a winner of $262,000 in her career.
Gaines Hanover, who won his Crown elimination by two lengths last weekend, now has four wins, a second and a third in eight starts so far in his young career. He came into the contest with just under $90,000 on his card but now has an additional $405,000 in his bank account.
The freshman trotting colts kicked off the 2022 edition of the Breeders Crown, the 39th installment of the year end series, which was introduced in 1984. The two-year-olds are spotlighted tonight with the three-year-olds and open performers taking their turns tomorrow evening.
Heather MacKay, for Woodbine Communications