The big steed seemed vaguely impatient as he peered out the window of his paddock stall on the backside at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Bulldog Hanover arrived in Anderson to headline an experienced, and talented field of open pacers. The bay stallion is on a roll. On July 16th he did what had never been done in over a hundred years of harness racing, he paced a mile in under 1:46. Less than a month later, the champion horse won Hoosier Park’s Dan Patch Stakes with authority. Like the legendary Dan Patch, Bulldog Hanover dodges nobody, shipping all over North America to dispatch the best of the best in a consistently dominating fashion.
“He does things on the track, he does all the work in the race,” said Johnny Mallia, the assistant trainer to Bulldog Hanover’s Canadian conditioner, Jack Darling. “He doesn’t sit back and let everyone else do the work. He’s the horse doing all the work in the race. At the wire, he’s just drawing away from horses. He doesn’t do anything easy.”
For a stallion that has already served in the breeding shed, he’s an exceedingly easy-going animal, When this reporter held him on a lead line, Bulldog nibbled on the sleeve of my tweed jacket and pressed against my shoulder.
“He’s nice to work with,” Mallia said as he stood beside Bulldog’s stall door. “Perfect to work with, actually.”
Mallia allows, though, that the talented pacer likes to get his own way on the backside.
“He’s a character,” Mallia said with a smile. “He likes to drag you around the place. He wants to where he wants to go. Everything has to be his idea. We just cater to him. We just spoil him and give him treats all the time, just keep him happy.”
Hours later, Bulldog Hanover lived up to all the lofty expectations inherent in holding the 1-mile world record. Not only did he win Harrah’s Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, but he also set a new track record, crossing the finish line in 1:46.3.