For years Pennsylvania has been to Standardbreds what Kentucky is to Thoroughbreds. With some of the best stallions and mares, along with hosting some of the sports most prestigious races, PA has been the premier state in which to breed and race Standardbreds.
Hanover Shoe Farms in Hanover, PA has long held the title of “The Greatest Name In Harness Racing”. Since 1922 Hanover has been setting industry records and their sires have produced some of the greatest horses the sport has ever seen.
HANOVER’S VETERAN: WESTERN HANOVER
Western Hanover was foaled at Hanover Shoe Farms on March 28, 1989. By No Nukes and out of the Albatross mare Wendymae Hanover, Western Hanover would not only go on to be one the greatest pacers in the sport’s history, but would also become one of the greatest sires of all time.
Western Hanover was Hanover’s highest priced yearling at the 1990 sale. Purchased by George Segal for trainer Gene Reigel for $105,000, Western Hanover earned over half a million dollars at 2. His freshman season victories included wins in The Governor’s Cup, Lou Babic Memorial, Champlain, and the New Jersey Futurity.
The 2002 Hall of Fame Inductee began his sophomore campaign in the Spring of 1992 winning two consecutive qualifiers at Scioto Downs in Ohio. He would make his first pari-mutual start in Scioto’s top class on May 9, finishing second a length behind the winner timed in 1:55.
Western Hanover then made the trek east to The Meadowlands where he won a New Jersey Sire Stake, the Elimination and Final of the New Jersey Classic before heading to Rosecroft to win a 3-year-old stake there as well. He would then go on two capture the first two legs of pacing’s Triple Crown before being nosed out by Fake Left in the third heat of the Little Brown Jug. Western Hanover would end his three-year-old campaign with seasonal earnings of $1,844,315. Other wins included the Windy City Pace, James Dancer Memorial, Provincial Cup, Cleveland Classic, and the Tarrapin Stake. He would then head off to stud having amassed career earnings $2,541,647, a record of 42: 27-9-4, and a lifetime mark of 1:50:4. At the end of his racing career he would retire as the sixth leading money earning pacer of all time.
Western Hanover would begin his stallion career in 1993, an illustrious career that would span over a decade. Standing at his birthplace, Hanover Shoe Farms, Western Hanover would break sire records across the board during his time there. His first crop of 131 foals produced 42 winners. He would go on to sire winners of over $171,000,000. His offspring included 18 millionaires, 446 winners of $100,000, 1,298 winners in 2:00 or faster, and 751 winners in 1:55 or faster.
He is the sire of some of the sport’s greatest pacers including Won The West, who amassed earnings of $3,487,024. He was also the sire of 1997 Pacing Triple Crown winner Western Dreamer.
Many of Western Hanover’s offspring would also stand at Hanover during their careers at stud including Well Said, The Panderosa, and Western Ideal.
Along with producing some of the greatest stallions in the sport’s history, Western Hanover also has been a tremendous broodmare sire. He has sired the dams of winners of almost $70,000,000, 166 over $100,000, 341 winners in 1:55, and 17 winners in 1:50. He is the grandsire of Dancinwiththestaz and millionaire Shark Gesture.
Western Hanover would stand his entire stallion career at Hanover Shoe Farms before passing away at the age of 18 in 2007 due to complications from a hernia. Two years after his passing he was still at the top of the list, when he became the all time money producing sire of all equine breeds.
Take a look at the best of Western Hanover’s 1992 season here:
FROM NOVA SCOTIA TO PENNSYLVANIA: SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE
Somebeachsomewhere by Mach Three and out of the Beach Towel mare, Wheres The Beach, was born on May 25, 2005 in Ohio. Trained by Brent MacGrath, Somebeachsomewhere began his career winning three qualifiers at Nova Scotia’s Truro Raceway in 2007 after being purchased for $40,000 at the 2006 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
Paul MacDonell, who would become Somebeachsomewhere’s regular driver, took the lines for his first career start in an elimination of Grand River Raceway’s Battle Of Waterloo in 2007. He would win both the elimination and final of the Battle Of Waterloo before going on to remain undefeated in his two-year-old campaign, a campaign that included the Metro, Champlain, and the Nassagaweya.
After starting his three year old season with a win in a qualifier at Mohawk, Somebeachsomewhere would go on to win the Burlington, Pepsi North America Cup, and an elimination of The Meadowlands Pace.
Somebeachsomewhere would suffer his first and only career defeat in the final of the Meadowlands Pace, coming up a nose short to Art Official in a race that was arguably the most incredible performance of his career. After being parked out, Somebeachsomewhere had to go three wide to make the front after hitting the half in an astonishing 51:4. He would lead to three quarters in 1:19:1, one of the fastest three quarter times ever recorded, and then engage in a stretch long battle with Art Official. He hit the wire a nose behind Art Official in a world record 1:47:0.
Through the remaining part of his career, Somebeachsomewhere would set a world record at The Red Mile, winning the Bluegrass in 1:46:4. Other major wins included the Confederation Cup, Tattersalls, Messenger, Breeders Crown, and the Matron. He ended his racing career with earnings of $3,221,299, a record of 21: 20-1-0 and a lifetime mark of 1:46:4. When he retired from racing, Somebeachsomewhere was the leading single-season money winning pacer and held or co-held eight world records. He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in 2015. In addition, he was also named Newsmaker of the Year for Nova Scotia in 2008.
Following his racing career, Somebeachsomewhere went to Hanover Shoe Farms where he began his stallion career. Standing for a fee of $20,000, he would quickly become one of the top sires to ever stand at Hanover. In 2010 he was chosen as Harness Racing’s Horse of the Decade.
Somebeachsomewhere’s stallion career would become almost as impressive as his racing career. His progeny made a huge mark in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and the Pennsylvania Stallion Series. Some of his greatest offspring include Captaintreacherous. Captaintreacherous was a winner of over $3,000,000 and was named the Dan Patch 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year and the Dan Patch 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year.
He is also the sire of Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach, Sunshine Beach and Somewhereovertherainbow. In November 2017, Somebeachsomewhere was diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy. Sadly, Somebeachsomewhere lost his battle with cancer and passed away in 2018 at the age of 13 at the Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Center in New Jersey. He was laid to rest at Hanover Shoe Farms.
When he passed away, he had sired winners of $84,600,000. He was the leading sire in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, he also set a record for standardbred stallions, when his progeny earned $23,700,000.
The Meadowlands Race Of The Decade #1: The 2008 Meadowlands Pace
Cantab Hall was born on January 20, 2001 in Lexington, Kentucky. By Self Possessed out of the Garland Lobell mare, Canland Hall, Cantab Hall was purchased at the 2002 Tattersalls Yearling Sale for $310,000 by trainer Ron Gurfien for Brittany Farms and Jerry Silva.
Cantab Hall made his first start in a qualifier on June 25, 2003 at The Meadowlands. During his freshman campaign, Cantab Hall went 10-for-10, headlined by wins in the American National at Balmoral and the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands. He would end the year with earnings of $461,337. His undefeated record led to him being voted “Trotter of the Year” and “2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year”.
Cantab Hall made his first appearance as a three year old on June 11, 2004 in a Meadowlands qualifier. With Mike Lachance driving, he won both qualifiers before going on two win two stakes at The Meadowlands to start the season. During his three-year-old season, he would only be worse than third in 2 of his 13 starts. The final start of his career was made in the American National at Balmoral Park, where he went out a winner, finishing ahead of Justice Hall in 1:55. Cantab Hall ended his racing career with a record of 23: 14-5-2, earnings of $1,442,303 and a lifetime mark of 1:54.
Following his racing career, Cantab Hall would head to Hanover where he would make his mark as one of the all time great trotting sires in the sport’s history. Leading all trotting sires in seasonal earnings for three consecutive years (2012-2014), Cantab Hall was also second in seasonal earnings in 2016 and 2017.
To date, Cantab Hall has produced 901 starters, 583 of those in 2:00 and 189 in 1:55. His offspring have amassed earnings of $94,553,544. He has produced eight millionaires including Father Patrick, who is now one of the best trotting sires in the sport himself. He is also the sire of two Hambletonian Oaks winners, Wild Honey and Lifetime Pursuit, and Hambletonian runner-up Explosive Matter, as well as Crystal Fashion, Uncle Peter and Pastor Stephen.
Cantab Hall has also proven himself as a tremendous broodmare sire. He has sired dams of winners of over $16,000,0000, including millionaires Southwind Frank, who is also making his mark as a Pennsylvania sire. Other millionaires include Ariana G, earner of almost $2,000,0000, a two time Breeders Crown winner and the winner of the 2017 Hambletonian Oaks. He is also the grandsire of the world’s fastest trotting mare, Manchego, as well as Atlanta and Six Pack.
Cantab Hall, now 19 years old, still stands at Hanover Shoe Farms and in 2018 was inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.
Cantab Hall wins the 2004 American National at Balmoral: