Hi there,

Welcome to issue #12 of Insider Access.

Released every 2 weeks, Insider Access showcases insider rumors and commentary in the worldwide harness racing industry.

Each issue includes an exclusive Stallion review not available anywhere else - this week we review Andover Hall.

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Hope we all learned from this debacle

On Labor Day the judges at Mohawk Raceway made a unique decision on the 9th race that Monday night that has soured even people who had winning wagers on it.

The decision to “late scratch” more than half the field yet allow the three remaining horses to count as “official” and not have declared the race a “no contest” while the rest of the races that night were cancelled is unquestionably one of the worst decisions many have ever seen done.

Yet the judges in our industry for the most part are never wrong and have cited rules to back up their decision. Common sense flew out the window on this one. The starting gate went into a slide on the muddy track, then could not get any traction to get out of the way of outside horses. The starting gate judge never hit his lights for a recall.

It was an accident, plain and simple and the race should have been declared a “no contest” and it wasn’t. There is nothing wrong in admitting it when you make a mistake. We are all human. Please consider this as a lesson learned and let’s hope it does not happen again.

What a classy show put on by Mohawk Raceway

Kudos must go out the Mohawk Raceway management team for their superb presentation on Metro Pace Night Saturday, August 30. Not being able to go and cover the races live, we were forced to watch it all via computer simulcasting, but the Mohawk crew made it such a great evening.

Not only did they show crowd shots and their apron was packed with people which is always a great thing to see, the simulcasting production was over the top. There was barely a dull moment, statistics and live interview between and after races was spot on. They kept fans abreast of the specialty wagers and how much the pools were.

And Mother Nature also cooperated with a beautiful night for racing. The track was in prime condition as evident by one world record tied and stakes records set on the evening. Hats off to Mohawk Raceway. Special nights like this will only help entice race fans to keep supporting the industry.

WEG was also rewarded on their Jackpot High 5 mandatory payout that night as it reached a whopping $2,673,879. And for the night WEG was rewarded with a record total of $5,158,621.

Hats off to Mohawk Raceway. Special nights like this will only help entice race fans to keep supporting the industry and tell others about their fun time.

Smoken Up Coverage

Former Herald-Sun writer Adam Hamilton has criticised his old work place for the lack of coverage on Smoken Up’s retirement.

Hamilton took to Twitter to express his disappointment, stating: “Staggered @heraldsunsport couldn't find room for Smoken Up story in 3.5 racing pages in sport section today. Champion deserved better”.

Is the Herald-Sun to blame, or did Harness Racing Victoria’s media department ‘drop the ball’ by either not producing enough material or even giving the daily paper the ‘heads up’?

Given the hundreds of thousands of dollars HRV spends with the paper each year is the industry getting value for money or wasting much needed funds?

On the other side of the scale, Harnesslink had several exclusive articles and photos during the countdown to Smoken Up’s retirement and was the first to report on the night of his farewell appearance.

Betting by Jockeys/Drivers

The revelations that one of New Zealand's leading jockeys David Walker was taking head to head bets against horses that he was riding is just another setback for the image of racing in New Zealand.

New Zealand is one of the few places on the planet where a jockey is legally allowed to bet on races he rides in.

The bet the jockey makes must be on the horse he is riding which is why David Walker is in the gun on this occasion.

How the betting public sees the incident is clear from all the comments on the mainstream media sites.

The general view is that industry is corrupt and that everybody is cheating.

As an industry we spend millions on maintaining the integrity of our racing product but when it comes to betting by jockeys/drivers in New Zealand, we have an outdated approach that is a recipe for disaster.

To its credit harness racing does have a stricter regime than Thoroughbred New Zealand but the only viable option of both codes to regain the trust of our customers is for all jockeys/drivers to be prohibited from betting.

Drastic I know but there is no alternative if we want to show the public that we are serious about the integrity of our industry.

Otherwise we will continue to bleed support from the betting public.

Frozen Semen

We note in Australasia this season that there are at least 34 stallions who are only available through frozen semen.

A lot of the stud fees seem reasonable but as anyone who has used frozen semen can testify, the on farm vet fees can easily run into four figures.

A lot of stud farms today in conjunction with the vet practice they use will offer breeders a set fee vet contract for fresh semen service on farm. They give the breeder a limit to their exposure when things don't go to plan and they give the vets some cash flow up front and the practice seems to suit both parties.

We think it's time that a similar scheme was brought in for frozen semen.

It would obviously be a lot dearer than a contract for service via fresh semen but with so much frozen semen available, some first time users are going to get a real shock when the first vet account arrives.

It is hard work retaining the breeders still involved in the industry so any move to have set fee contracts for frozen semen would be welcomed by most breeders.

Stallion Review - Andover Hall
Andover Hall
Andover Hall

Stats as of the 8th September 2014


Andover Hall is by the ABC Freight horse Garland Lobell from Amour Angus by Magna Force from Kenwood Scamper by Texas from Lindy Speedy Lady by Speedy Count.

Andover Hall's sire Garland Lobell trotted 1:55.3 at Lexington as a three-year-old. He had 63 starts for 14 wins, 15 seconds and 7 thirds for a total of $345,689 in purses.

Garland Lobell did much better as a stallion at stud as he has become this century's dominant sire of sires and sire of dams of sires. Especially when bred to the sensational producing mare Amour Angus (dam of Andover Hall) and her full sister Canne Angus.

The combination of Garland Lobell over Amour Angus and Garland Lobell over the full sister to Amour Angus, Canne Angus, has significantly improved the entire breed dramatically throughout the harness racing world.

Amour Angus produced Andover Hall 3,1:51.3 ($875,047), Angus Hall 3,1:54.3 ($830,654), Conway Hall 3,1:53.4 ($818,884), Emile Cas El ($454,688) dam of this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton 3,1:50.3 ($961,876) and Impressive Kemp ($501,074), Adams Hall 3,1:55.1 ($395,019) and Garnelia Angus the grand dam of Godiva Hall 1:53.3f ($818,475).

Canne Angus produced the great mare Cameron Hall 1:53.4s ($2,138,787) who in turn left three winners including Ultimate Cameron 1:53.3s ($809,899) before her untimely death, and Canland Lobell a good race winning mare that has produced perhaps the best stallion in the world today Cantab Hall 3,1:54 ($1,524,305).

Cantab Hall is the current 2014 leading all-aged sire of trotters with $5,610,718 in purses. He is also the current 2014 leading sire of three-year-old trotters with $2,327,493 in the bank. Cantab Hall is also the current 2014 leading all-age sire of average earnings per starter at $48,489.

Garland Lobell - statistics

Eligible to race - 873

Winners - 542

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 5

$500,000+ - 11

$250,000+ - 45

$100,000+ - 167

Sub 1:53 - 2

Average earnings per starter $82,298

Average earnings per eligible horse - $61,747

Total earnings to date $53,905,102


A handy racehorse but no champion on the racetrack, Garland Lobell is one of those freakish stallions that comes along every twenty years or so and completely changes the breed.

Of the top six trotting sires on the 2014 all-aged trotting sires earnings list, three are sons of Garland Lobell and one (Cantab Hall) is from a daughter of Garland Lobell and then there is Donato Hanover a son of Andover Hall by Garland Lobell. That is 5 of the top 6 trotting sires in the world today.

No other sire or dam in recent memory has had such a profound influence on the breed and their sons and daughters will ensure that continues for a few years yet.

Some history on Andover Hall

Andover Hall became international headline material as a yearling after he was sold for a astonishing $482.000 at the Standardbred Selected Sale in Kentucky as hip #45 on 1st of October 2000. It made him the most expensive yearling of 2000 and the fourth highest priced in Standarbred history at that time. Many of those costly babies usually don't offer much return on investment but Andover Hall has turned out to be one of those exceptions to the rule.

Without doubt, the fact that his older brothers Conway Hall 3,1:53.4 ($818,884) and Angus Hall 3,1:54.3 ($830,654) had already proven themselves on the racetrack did push his price up considerably. But he was the center of attention for a variety of reasons. He was a much different type than his older brothers, especially conformation wise. He was dark brown in colour, without any marks and he was a lot longer and taller than his brothers, a very athletic individual.

Dean Hoffman, the former editor-in-chief of Hoof Beats magazine, once referred to him as "the proverbial long, tall Texan".

He would stand out, compared to Angus Hall and Conway Hall, on the racetrack as well. At the age of two he already stood 16.2 hands tall, but despite his size he possessed a smooth and natural gait. In addition, he carried his head high on the track, giving him a majestic aura. Unlike his brothers he was a line-gaited-trotter, with enough length not to interfere.


As a 2-year-old, Andover Hall was nothing short of outstanding on the racetracks. He won his first eight consecutive starts, including the Campbellville Stakes, the Champlain Stakes, the Bluegrass Stakes, the Hanover Colt Stakes and a Breeders Crown elimination.

In the Breeders Crown final he got tangled up behind the gate and never really got into the race. Although he didn't end the season on a high note, he still earned divisional honours as the Dan Patch 2-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year.

His follow-up sophomore season was full of incidents. He failed as the odds-on favourite in the $1 million Hambletonian final after he went off stride and galloped for most of the mile. He went of stride again in the $1,144,500 Canadian Trotting Final and he missed the $800,000 Breeders Crown as well.

Andover Hall's scariest incident occurred just prior to the Breeders Crown final, when he escaped his Mohawk paddock and was discovered trotting down the 401, Canada's biggest freeway.

While his life was spared through prompt and heroic interventions by motorists, the colt had injured himself enough to warrant his scratching from the Breeders Crown final that night.

Nevertheless, Andover Hall did show that he was an elite level three-year-old trotter on numerous occasions. His win in The World Trotting Derby gives you a good indication of how talented he was. In winning his heat Andover Hall trotted 1:51.3 which equaled the fastest time ever recorded at that time. Andover Hall came back to win the race-off against the other heat winner Like A Prayer ($1,313,242) to claim the top prize.

Watch - World Trotting Derby 2nd Heat 2002

Watch - World Trotting Derby RaceOff 2002

Throughout his racing career Andover Hall beat the likes of Kadabra ($2,190,707), Like A Prayer ($1,313,242), Chip Chip Hooray ($1,149,626), Duke Of York ($925,921), Malabar Maple ($509,151) CR Excalibur ($463,412) and Taurus Dream ($552,391).


Andover Hall's first 2-year-old crop born in 2004 was led by Donato Hanover 3,1:50.1 ($3,058,058), Pampered Princess 3,1:53 ($1,740,655), Adrian Chip 3,1:54.2 ($1,136,910) and Danae 3,1:54.2 ($531,001). It was nothing short of sensational.

Watch - Donato Hanover Hambletonian 2007

Watch - Donato Hanover 2007 RED MILE Kentucky Futurity Final

He was the runaway leader on the list of sires of freshman (2yr) money-winning trotters in 2006 with a record amount in purses of $3,189,467, blowing the competition away by a huge margin Who, by the way, happened to be his full brothers Conway Hall with $2,066,769 and Angus Hall with $1.967,167.

Andover Hall led the three-year-old sires list with this crop by a huge $3,650,000 more than his nearest rival, his full brother Angus Hall. Andover Hall's progeny had earned a massive $7,969,359 for the year with just 74 starters compared to Angus Hall's 110 starters. Andover Hall also was a very close second on the all-aged list with only 134 starters with $9,391,075 in purses. His full brother Angus Hall beat him by only $161,000 to lead the all-aged sires list for trotters that year but he had 312 starters, more than double Andover Halls.

First crop of 120 foals from 157 bred resulted in 56 colts and 64 fillies.

A staggering 48 of his first crop of 120 foals have been exported to Europe and of those 48 exported foals 18 were unraced. They were probably sold as yearlings so Andover Hall's first crop statistics have to include that fact.

The following statistics are North American statistics only.

Eligible to race - 120

Winners - 70

$1,000,000+ - 3

$750,000+ - 3

$500,000+ - 4

$250,000+ - 10

$100,000+ - 26

Sub 1:53 - 2

Average earnings per starter $149,987

Average earnings per eligible horse - $107,491

Total earnings to date $12,898,903

Andover Hall's second crop were born in 2005

He produced 116 foals, 59 colts and 57 fillies from 157 mares bred. The number exported from this crop total 38 of which 13 were unraced

This crop was led by the very good three-year-old Clerk Magistrate 3,1:53.2 ($822,506) now exported to Europe, as well as Andover America 1:51.4s ($765,231), Poster Pin Up ($439,135), Surtees Hanover ($413,419) and Saorse ($307,887).

Eligible to race - 114

Winners - 64

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 12

$100,000+ - 27

Sub 1:53 - 1

Average earnings per starter $103,096

Average earnings per eligible horse - $78,678

Total earnings to date $8,969,323

Andover Hall's third crop were born in 2006

He produced 80 foals, 34 colts and 46 fillies from 110 mares bred. The number exported from this crop total 24 of which 13 were unraced

And Heez Perfect with a record of 1:52.3f ($821,070) headed this crop as well as Salutation Hanover ($661,990), Wuthering Hanover ($494,440), Sea Raven ($492,269) and Up Front Annika ($442,737).

Eligible to race - 81

Winners - 42

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 10

$100,000+ - 14

Sub 1:53 - 41

Average earnings per starter $126,606

Average earnings per eligible horse - $78,152

Total earnings to date $6,330,303

Andover Hall's fourth crop were born in 2007

He produced 70 foals, 36 colts and 34 fillies from 103 mares bred. The number exported from this crop total 16 of which 11 were unraced.

Fourth crops are always less likely to produce the same numbers as the first three crops but with Andover Hall's fourth crop he still produced high class race horses. His top four earners this year were all fillies headed by Behindclosedoors 3,1:53.2 ($589,226), Spicy Wings 3,1:54.3 ($569,771), Perfect Chance 1:53.1 ($411,184) and Christiana Hanover 3,1:53.4 ($326,511).

Eligible to race - 70

Winners - 39

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 5

$100,000+ - 17

Sub 1:53 - 0

Average earnings per starter $100,131

Average earnings per eligible horse - $68,662

Total earnings to date $4,806,311

Andover Hall's fifth crop were born in 2008

As a result of his exceptional first two crops of racing age the stud fee of Andover Hall was raised to $25,000 one of the highest ever in the harness racing industry for a trotter.

This still resulted in Andover Hall breeding his largest crop of mares ever. He bred 158 mares that produced 114 foals, 58 colts and 56 fillies. Again 28 foals from this crop were exported and 19 of those were exported unraced.

Andover Hall produced two outstanding mares that topped the crop with over a million in purses. They were Cedar Dove 4, 1:52.3 ($1,185,081) and Beatgoeson Hanover 5, 1:51.4f ($1,151,959). He also produced Big Rigs 4, 1:52.1f ($665,718), Luckycharm Hanover 5, 1:52.2 ($429,736), Backstreet Hanover ($404,529), Mythical Hall ($390,923) and Swan In A Million 1:52.4 ($342,297)

Watch - Cedar Dove - Breeders Crown 3Y Filly Trot 2011

Eligible to race - 116

Winners - 41

$1,000,000+ - 2

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 3

$250,000+ - 9

$100,000+ - 19

Sub 1:53 - 5

Average earnings per starter $101,662

Average earnings per eligible horse - $64,854

Total earnings to date $7,523,008

Andover Hall's sixth crop were born in 2009

Andover Hall served another big book of mares this year 151 resulting in 106 live foals, 59 colts and 47 fillies. Only 17 foals from this crop were exported of which just 7 were unraced.

This crop was headed by Upfront Billy 4, 1:52 ($539,111), Magic Tonight 3, 1:52.4 ($468,174), Overandovervictory 1:53.4f ($259,490) and Go Tapaigh ($254,530)

Eligible to race - 104

Winners - 60

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 1

$250,000+ - 5

$100,000+ - 17

Sub 1:53 - 3

Average earnings per starter $76,389

Average earnings per eligible horse - $54,354

Total earnings to date $5,652,771

Andover Hall's seventh crop were born in 2010

Andover Hall served another good book of mares 129 in total. This produced 78 live foals, 43 colts and 35 fillies. Only 10 were exported with just 7 of those unraced.

This crop produced another millionaire in Spider Blue Chip 3,1:51.3 ($1,197,947) and the very good horse Creatine 3,1:52.3 ($941,067). This crop are four-year-olds at this time and others in this crop to impress are Major Athens 3,1:53.3 ($387,720), Handover Belle 4,1:51.4 ($386,915) and Upfrontluckycarol ($288,880).

Watch - Spider Blue Chip - 2013 Breeders Crown Final - Three-Year-Old Colt Trot

Eligible to race - 78

Winners - 44

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 6

$100,000+ - 10

Sub 1:53 - 4

Average earnings per starter $95,213

Average earnings per eligible horse - $69,246

Total earnings to date $5,331,946

Andover Hall's eighth crop were born in 2011

This crop are current three-year-olds in 2014. Bred to only 80 mares this season Andover Hall produced just 54 foals, 28 colts and 26 fillies. Only one horse has been exported to date and that as unraced.

This crop has already produced the outstanding Nuncio 3,1:51.4 ($1,159,420) who finished second in this years Hambletonian. Unfortunately Nuncio has been overshadowed by both his stable mates Father Patrick and Trixton this year but nevertheless he is an outstanding horse from a very small crop of 28 colts.

Eligible to race - 54

Winners - 26

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 1

$250,000+ - 1

$100,000+ - 4

Sub 1:53 - 1

Average earnings per starter $61,032

Average earnings per eligible horse - $42,949

Total earnings to date $2,319,229

Andover Hall has served good books of 135 mares in 2011 and 135 in 2012. He bred just 79 mares in 2013.

Overall statistics

Eligible to race - 832

Winners - 404

$1,000,000+ - 7

$750,000+ - 11

$500,000+ - 17

$250,000+ - 58

$100,000+ - 134

Sub 1:53 - 20

Average earnings per starter $97,336

Average earnings per eligible horse - $65,280

Total earnings to date $54,313,354


When looking at the above statistics you have to take into consideration the extra large number of exported progeny to Europe. A massive 182 of Andover Hall's progeny have been exported and this has a dramatic effect on Andover Hall's overall statistics.


Andover Hall has no progeny bred in Australia


Andover Hall has no progeny bred in New Zealand but has Frozen Semen available for the first time this 2014/2015 breeding season that is about to begin. His service fee has been set at very realistic fee of $7,500 plus GST an incredible bargain for New Zealand breeders.


We have no statistical data on progeny bred in Europe for this review.


Andover Hall has continued to leave elite level colts and fillies every year since first going to stud. This year he is fifth on the 3 year old sires list with the least number of foals of any of the top ten stallions and by quite a margin. Not only do his stock race in the classics at two and three but they go on with the job as older horses. And then to complete the picture we have Andover Hall's broodmares doing an outstanding job.


The major problem that Andover Hall has faced throughout his career is that his statistics have been badly skewed by the high number of his offspring that have been exported to Europe. Of his 832 foals eligible to race, 182 or 21.87% ended up in Europe and that has meant that Andover Hall's stats don't truly reflect the position as far as any of his average earnings go or winners to foals for that matter.


One of the breed changing sons of Garland Lobell that has reshaped the trotting breed in North America and will do so for the immediate future.

Sons or grandsons of Garland Lobell dominate the all age sires list at the moment and his mares have done a similar job in the broodmare barn.

Andover Hall can hold his own with any of them and one important point to note when assessing his siring career is that from his first crop Andover Hall produced the champion Donato Hanover 1:50.1 ($3,058,058) who went to stud at Hanover Shoe farms after his three year old season.

Now with Andover Hall also being at Hanover Shoe farms, there can be little doubt that Andover Hall suffered during the time that Donato Hanover was trying to establish himself as a sire.

This implies no disrespect to Hanover Shoe who were just trying to manage a tricky situation but it must have hurt Andover Hall quality wise.

Regardless Andover Hall continues to produce quality stock year in year out and has more than earned his spot at the top table of trotting stallions.

Andover Hall's story is a remarkable one, and the final chapter clearly hasn't been written yet.

Overall rating - 9.5/10

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