When talking about his horse Ken Hanover, trainer Roland Mallar’s voice fills with pride, as the three-year-old colt by Captaintreacherous-KJ’s Justine is poised to race in the prestigious 78th Little Brown Jug on September 21st.
Winning the Max Hempt Memorial Consolation
At Pocono Downs at Mohegan PA
Chris Tully Photo Credit

Roland Mallar, who owns Ken Hanover with Patrick Leavitt, William Jordan and Dennis Osterholt, is better known as Polie, a nickname he inherited from his grandfather. “My grandfather was Polie, and I would hang around with him, so everyone started calling me Polie,” he laughed.

He’s had a career in harness racing for as long as he can remember. “I’ve had horses since I’ve been in high school. That’s all I’ve ever done.”
Ken Hanover has been solid in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing this season, winning two of the four starts in the preliminaries; finished 2nd by a neck in an open at the Meadowlands; and added a win at Pocono leading up the eliminations for the Adios on July 22nd. A strong 2nd in his elimination paved the way to the $350,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.
“He had kind of a rough go there with the post,” Polie said with a sigh. “Then he kind of got away in a bad spot, and it was a tough decision for David (Miller), I think, whether to stay in or pull first up against Linda Toscano’s horse, (It’s My Show) who set a world record the week before, who we finished second to, who’d never been beat. And the horse that wound up winning the Adios (Cannibal), he was in the 2 hole, and Ervin Hanover was in the 3, so we opted to stay in and took a chance, and Linda Toscano’s horse wasn’t good that day, and got beat. But he (It’s My Show) came back and set another world record in Lexington, so how do you know? It’s hard to pull on a horse that had never been beat, and had set that world record. As it turned out, maybe we should have.”
“David (Miller) even said that, ‘Maybe I should have pulled’, but it’s easy when it’s over. He paced a good mile though, finished up good. We just went on from there, on to the next one. That’s all we can do.”
Following the Adios, Ken Hanover added a win back at Pocono on the Sun Stakes Saturday card in the Max Hempt Memorial Consolation, and a 2nd in Sire Stakes at the Meadows.
A tough field awaited him in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship on September 3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia, and he was up for the challenge. With Its My Show; Seven Colors; Fulton and Ervin Hanover in the race, he turned in a gritty effort. “We thought, briefly there, that we were in the right spot. Seven Colors dropped ahead of us,and I thought maybe we’d get second-over trip. But he quarter-poled into the lead, (Dexter Dunn) and Scott Zeron didn’t really put up much of a fight with Its my Show, so now we’re stuck fourth. We wound up first-over. He tried hard! A couple of those horses, they’re on their game right now, just a little bit better than him that day.”
The key is, that he tries hard, every start. “He gives you a good effort. The last three weeks has been a little brutal, with the trip to Pocono, and then the last two starts he’s been first-up. He hangs in there, though, as best as he can.”
A little time off now is the plan before shipping to Delaware, Ohio and the Little Brown Jug. “He’s gone four weeks straight now, which he hasn’t done all year. He’s been racing kind of sporadically. So this is the first time that he’s had to go four straight weeks, and they were all kind of tough trips. He bounces back quick, though, he seems to, anyway. I’m going to give him a little more time off this time.”
“We’ll just train him up, and hope for a good draw there in Delaware and see what happens!”
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