Scruffy Hanover - top BC sire dies
Davis leads driver derby, horse sale set for Nov. 18th

B.C. harness racing has lost one of its top sires with the death last week of Scruffy Hanover, who stood at Les Cridland's Dal Reo Farms in Pitt Meadows.

Scruffy, who was B.C. stallion of the year in 1992, 93, and 98, was 21 years old and died from complications with colic. He was bred at the famous Hanover Show Farm, one of the leading breeding operations in Pennsylvania in the U.S.

He had a good racing record, winning 44 of 136 lifetime starts and earning $297,960. He was the former track record holder for aged horses at Hazel Park in Detroit with a 1:54.3 and for four-year-olds at Los Alamitos in L.A. in 1:54. He was purchased by Dal Reo and raced for trainer Sten Ericsson in the late 1980s.

But it was as a sire he made his name. He was the sire of one horse who raced in 1:53, nine in 1:55, 25 in 1:57 and 19 winners of $100,000 or more.

Among his best known offspring was Red Star Minckler who became the fastest B.C. bred in history when he paced in 1:49.2. Others with fine racing credentials are: Scruffy Ben, who shares the Fraser Downs track record; Red Star Snoopy, winner of more than $300,000; Red Star Trix, who paced in 1:51.3; Red Star Whistler, Dal Reo Finesse and Red Star Fiddler.

Scruffy Hanover, a son of Albatross, was still prolific up to his last months and had been nominated as B.C. stallion as recently as 2000.

He had seven offspring competing in the recent Breeders Stakes eliminations with two, Brother Brass and Dal Reo Damsel, winning legs. Damsel, a three-year-old filly, pushed her career earnings to more than $100,000.

"He was one of the best sires ever in B.C." said Garry Woods, a racing judge and leading expert on horse breeding. "He was a tremendous sire year-in and year-out."

HANDFUL FOR DAVIS: Bill Davis was a little cooler than the week earlier but he still managed to lead the driver derby last weekend. Davis, recently returned from Alberta, had five victories (three on Friday), one more than Rod Therres and Jim Burke. Dave Hudon picked up three wins to run his meet-leading total to 30, six ahead of Tim Brown.

Davis also had five trips to the winner's enclosure on the weekend to lead all trainers. He has 13 for the meet, two behind Wayne Isbister and Larry Micallef.

SALE APPROACHES: The annual B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society yearling sale is set for Monday, Nov. 18 at the Agriplex. Ninety-five yearlings (48 fillies) will be up for sale in the event which gets under way at 6:30 p.m. As this is being written, Bill Pambrun, president of the BCSBS, is at the Harrisburg sale in the U.S. to possibly purchase some broodmares for sale at the Society's yearling sale.

The B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society will hold a raffle at the sale on Nov. 18 and there's still a chance to get a yearling for only $20. Some tickets remain in the total of only 200 which will be sold by the BCSBS in the raffle. For the 20 bucks a person gets a ticket good for a chance to win a $3,500 credit (transferable) towards the purchase of a yearling. The draw will be made at 6:15 p.m. just before the main sale starts.