Hi there,

Welcome to issue #24 of Insider Access.

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

Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else - this week we review Dragon Again. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com

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Why is the World Trotting Conference such a well-kept secret?

Over the past few weeks we have enjoyed superb coverage of the World Driving Championship in Australia and congratulations again to Dexter Dunn and his well-earned world title.

But what about the World Trotting Conference itself? What have we heard about the speakers, the seminars, the people involved? Who came down under from all over the world representing harness racing?

Nada, zilch, not a word. Try and google anything about it. We did and found nothing.

Even the World Trotting Conference website, www.wtcaus.com, failed to provide anything of significance, except for the splendid agenda of events that the participants enjoyed. They have sections on the site for a list of guest speakers, a summary of conference recommendations and conference closing, but all it says is to check back for updates.

It’s never too late to get it right even with the event being over for a week.

Not even a listing of the WTC International Media Award winners can be found on the website. We had to email the WTC and ask for a list of the winners and while we never got a response, two days later Harness Racing Australia finally sent something out.

Meanwhile bits and pieces of the award winners trickled out but only from the representatives of the winning countries and not from the WTC.

We give an A+ to the coverage of the World Driving Championship, but an F (for failure) to the World Trotting Conference on informing the tens of thousands of harness racing people throughout the world on what took place in Australia.

Harnesslink can only hope within two years that the host country, Canada, will cover the WTC professionally. We know that Standardbred Canada is one of the top organizations in our sport and will more than make up for Australia’s failure.

Congrats to Dexter Dunn

Congratulations to all involved in the recent World Drivers’ Championship, which was conducted in New South Wales as part of the Inter Dominion festivities.

An even more special ‘well done’ to New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn for bringing the title to Australasia in what was a hugely successful tournament.

Dunn’s skill in the sulky saw him beat a host of star drivers, but did he beat the best the world has to offer?

That leads to a question begging to be asked about the selection process, particularly in Australia.

If you were to think right now who is the best driver in Australia, what would your answer be?

Without taking any credit away from this year’s Aussie representative, or those from years past, you may find it interested to note the reinsman widely regarded as the finest produced in the country has never been selected to wear the ‘green and gold’.

Whether the selection panel doesn’t agree with us, or politics is involved, who knows…

But such is our confidence of his standing, we we won’t even mention the driver’s name!!!

NZ Media Coverage Top Notch

A lot of harness racing followers in New Zealand don't appreciate how lucky they are with the amount of coverage their industry gets in the mainstream media in New Zealand.

In a lot of overseas countries there is little or no coverage of harness racing in the daily papers yet in New Zealand we still manage to get some great coverage from some really knowledgeable racing journalists. From Barry Lichter and Michael Guerin in the north to Matt Kermeen in Christchurch and Matt Smith in Dunedin, we have a swag of journalists who not only know and understand what they are reporting on, but bring a bit of passion and enthusiasm to their reporting.

All of them would complain that they don't get enough space for their harness racing stories but the reality is they do wonderfully well in today's newspaper enviroment.

Throw in the Harness Racing New Zealand website, which under Matt Markham has improved ten fold in the last eighteen months and Harnesslink which has continued to expand in the last year and the New Zealand harness racing follower is spoiled for choice on where to get there daily fix of harness racing.

Stallion Review - Dragon Again
Dragon Again
Dragon Again
Dragon Again 1:48.3s ($2,343,428)

Dragon Again is by Dragons Lair from Ever And Again by Towners Big Guy from Ever Shining by Abercrombie from Bertana Hanover by Albatross from Berinda Hanover.


Dragon's Lair p2;1:54.1f 1:51.3 ($1,085,107) broke the world record as a two-year-old in the Breeders Crown beating one of the all-time greats, Nihilator 1:49.3 ($3,225,653).

Here is a piece written about the history of Dragon's Lair after he died in April 2007 courtesy of harnessracing.com.

Dragon's Lair, whose upset victory over Nihilator in the initial year of the Breeders Crown in 1984 is still considered one of the most memorable Crown races in history, died Monday morning at Lindwood Farm in Greensburg, Pa., at the age of 25. "He is going to be missed here at Linwood Farm, I'll tell you that," said Linwood Farm owner Logan Dickerson.

Dragon's Lair won 30 of his 66 career starts but it was that win over Nihilator in the second of the two-heat Breeders Crown after losing the first heat that October 12th 1984 night at The Meadows that is remembered most. "I'm sure we've had some upsets that were sensational over the years, but it set the tone for the Breeders Crown, not only on the racetrack but for the voter's perception on how important the races were," remembered Hambletonian Society president and CEO Tom Charters. The Dragon's Lair/Nihilator match-up was just the third Breeders Crown event ever contested.

Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and owned early in his career by Harvey Heller, Gary Kornfield and trainer-driver Jeff Mallet and later on by the Dragon's Lair syndicate headed by Lou Guida, Dragon's Lair finished his racing career with earnings of $1,085,317. The son of Tyler B took his mark of 1:51.3 in a qualifier at Vernon Downs.

Dragon's Lair went on to a successful stallion career, siring the winners of more than $52 million. His fastest and richest progeny is Dragon Again p, 1:48.3 ($2,343,428). He sire 12 winners of $500,000 or more, including Stone Dragon p,4, 1:50.4 ($931,790) and Electric Slide p,3, 1:52.4 ($908,792). Besides Dragon Again, he also sired sub-1:50 performers Parson's Den (1:49.4f) and Stand Forever, whose 1:49.2h win in the 1996 Senior Jug at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds set a new world record.

Dragon's Lair - North American Stallion Statistics

Eligible to race - 981

Winners - 657

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 3

$500,000+ - 12

$250,000+ - 45

$100,000+ - 150

Sub 1:50 - 5

Average earnings per starter $67,475

Average earning per eligible horse - $53,375

Total earnings to date $52,360,489

Watch - Dragons Lair winning the two-year-old Breeders Crown 1984 in a world record 1:54.1


Ever And Again 1:55.4f ($153,022) was a decent two and three-year-old that was placed in several stake races. She is by Towner's Big Guy and is the dam of eight winners from twelve foals produced.

Ever And Again produced the horse we are profiling Dragon Again 1:48.3 ($2,343,428) 29 wins and voted O'Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year in 1999. She is also the dam of the Camluck gelding Camifications 1:50s ($385,151) 34 wins, The Panderosa gelding El Toro Grande 1:51s ($282,648) 31 wins, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Jo Pas Boss 1:56.1h ($38,480), the Western Hanover race winning mare Ever Western the dam of two $100,000 plus horses Mcever 1:52.2f ($231,302) and Just Heavenly ($178,945), the Kiev Hanover mare Tatras the dam of the very good mare Vysoke Tatry 1:51.2s ($671,805) and In The Bedroom ($126,385) as well as Dakujeme the dam of Barbra Ann ($130,497) and Aprils Golden Hour ($109,228).

The second dam of Dragon Again is the Abercrombie mare Ever Shining 1:56.4 ($94,037). She is the dam of 15 foals for 11 winners including Shining Art 1:51.3f ($242,326), Ivans Dragon 1:54.3f ($167,625), Ever And Again 1:55.4f ($153,022), Shine On Kiev ($112,064), No Friends Ever 1:57.3s the dam of 11 winners including Stockholder 1:50.1 ($242,922) and Standing Tough 1:51.1f ($122,149).

The third dam of Dragon Again is the Albatross mare Bertana Hanover. She is the dam of 10 foals for six winners including D I Dividend ($153,925) and Power Source ($103,895).


Not exactly a "blue blood" pedigree with only two horses in the first three dams making more than $500,000. Plenty of handy horses throughout the first three dams but if you take away Dragon Again it is decidedly average. Not only is Dragon Again by far the best horse produced by Dragons Lair, but he is also by far the best horse produced by his maternal family.


Throughout Dragon Again's career he race against and beat all the following great horses, Western Ideal ($1,455,422), Day In A Life ($1,863,602), D M Dilinger ($1,226,798), Royalflush Hanover ($2,182,205), Big Tom ($1,396,135), Noble Ability ($1,748,890), Color Me Best ($1,533,121), Goliath Bayama ($1,509,163), Red Bow Tie ($2,673,920), Rambaran ($1, 163,139), Cammibest ($1,071,775), Sharky Spur ($1,004,618), Bad Bert ($1,081,566), Jet Laag ($1,001,746), Admirals Express ($2,176,860), Final Cheers ($1,12,659), Tune Town ($1,098,140), Western Dreamer ($1,812,176), Taser Gun ($1,158,893), Artiscape ($1,469,461) and Shady Character ($1,225,905). This is an incredible group of top stars and tough race horses.

Dragon Again was voted O'Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year in 1999 and is the stakes winner of $2,343,428.

At two Dragon Again was the winner of the Ohio Standardbred Stakes (one fifth off world record set the same day), second in International Stallion Stakes, Governor's Cup elimination, Breeders' Crown elimination and leg and final of Scioto Series and was third in the Breeders Crown.

As a two-year-old (1997) Dragon Again had 12 starts for 3 wins, 5 seconds and 2 thirds for $158,995 in stakes with a fastest time of 1:52.3 at The Red Mile in Lexington.

At three Dragon Again was the winner of the $450,000 Hoosier Cup, North America Cup elimination, leg of Meadow Winds Farm Series and an Invitational; second in the Cane Pace, Messenger Stakes and Meadowlands Pace elimination; third in the Meadowlands Pace, Breeders Crown, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Burlington Stakes and eliminations of the Hoosier Cup and Cane Pace; timed in 1:50.2.

As a three-year-old (1998) Dragon Again had 21 starts for 5 wins, 4 seconds and 6 thirds for $793,803 in stakes with a fastest time of Q1:51.2 at The Red Mile in Lexington.

At four Dragon Again was the winner of the $350,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (lowering all-age track record by one and two fifth seconds) and the $250,000 Prix d'Automne (setting track record at Hippodrome de Montreal).

Watch - The Canadian Pacing Derby 1999

As a four-year-old (1999) Dragon Again had 13 starts for 8 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds for $498,890 in stakes with a fastest time of 1:49.1s at Mohawk Raceway in Canada.

At five Dragon Again was the winner of the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie (equalling the all-age track record on Northfields' half-mile oval), the final of the Toronto Series, Nicole Hudock Memorial, two legs and final of Presidential Series, leg of the Classic Series, Haughton Memorial elimination and was second in the Haughton Memorial and final of Graduate Series. He was third in Breeders Crown and leg of the Toronto Series.

As a five-year-old (2000) Dragon Again had 24 starts for 13 wins, 5 seconds and 4 thirds for $891,740 in stakes with a fastest time of 1:48.3s at Woodbine Raceway in Canada.


Dragon Again had 70 lifetime starts for 29 wins, 17 seconds and 14 thirds for $2,343,428 with a fastest time of 1:48.3s


This is just one tough and durable racehorse who was a handy two year old, a smart three year old and then just continued to get better as a four and five year old. He reduced his best time every year he raced and never put in less than 100%. He finished in the first three 60 times in his 70 start career over four seasons which is a testament to his toughness. His career statistics for us speak volumes about his attitude and desire.


Dragon Again has left 1,172 foals old enough to race to date (March 5th 2015) from eleven crops produced. He is one of the few stallions in the world that has progeny earnings of over $100 million and has an average earnings per foal born (old enough to race) of a staggering $88,791. His average earnings per starter to date is a massive $114,734. Dragon Again has consistently produced full crops every year averaging 106 foals born annually over the last eleven years. Dragon Again has an outstanding percentage of winners to foals old enough to race of 66%. Dragon Again has left 46 horses that have gone 1:50 or faster and has produced six millionaires to date including the richest Standardbred anywhere in the world Foiled Again 1:48f $6,926,775 (and still racing).

Dragon Again has stood at stud at Hanover Shoe Farms since his racing retirement right up until 2014 where he was shifted to Ohio to take advantage of the new slot producing program in that State. He served 114 mares in 2014 at his new home Sugar Valley Farm and his book is full and closed for the 2015 season at this time.

Dragon Again's first crop of foals were born in 2002 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 109 foals, 49 colts and 60 fillies.

Dragon Again's first crop is headed by the very good three-year-old gelding Gryffindor 1:50f ($798,501) who won 17 races including several stakes and was placed third in the Breeders Crown Final as a four-year-old. Gryffindor is out of the good race-winning Kentucky Spur mare January Spur 1:52 ($256,067).

Next best in this crop is the stallion Roddys Bags Again 1:48.4 ($725,622) 23 wins, now standing as the fastest stallion at stud in Delaware. Roddys Bags Again has already produced the winners of just on $3,000,000 in stakes from very small crops. For example his first crop of just 11 foals born, 10 are winners of $804,735 in stakes. His second crop of 16 foals born has left 15 starters with 14 winners of $1,433,312. That is an unreal average of $95,554 for each starter. Roddys Bags Again is out of the race winning No Nukes mare Get The Bags 1:55.2 ($151,231)

Dragon Again's third richest foal produced in this crop is the fast mare Up Front Dragonfly 1:49.4s ($615,230), followed by One More Time 1:51.4f ($596,240), Steeler 1:50.4f ($542,210), Dragon Island 1:48.2 ($534,047), Answer Me This 1:50.3 ($436,925), Up Front Charlie 1:50.1 ($366,485), The Bam Man 1:50.1s ($333,852) and Blueridge Dbang 1:51.4z ($319,745).

Interesting that Dragon Again only produced the one filly that made the ten richest in this crop and three in the top twenty. Quite unreal especially when he left 60 fillies of the 109 foals produced in this crop.

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2002

Eligible to race - 109

Winners - 77

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 6

$250,000+ - 12

$100,000+ - 34

1:50 or faster - 6

Average earnings per starter $131,842

Average earnings per eligible horse - $104,022

Total earnings to date $11,338,445

Dragon Again's second crop of foals were born in 2003 and are Pennsylvania bred

He produced 95 foals, 48 colts and 47 fillies.

Dragon Again's second crop is headed by the outstanding mare My Little Dragon 1:48.1 ($2,386,055) 24 wins. My Little Dragon won the 2005 USHWA Dan Patch Award for two-year-old pacing fillies, the 2008 O'Brien Award for older pacing mares and the 2008 USHWA Dan Patch Award for older pacing mares. My Little Dragon was unbeaten in six starts as a two-year-old, winning the $500,000 Breeders Crown final at The Meadowlands from the outside post 8 and in the process beat one of the all-time great mares Darlins Delight ($3,024,304) who ran second. As a three-year-old My Little Dragon had 13 starts for 6 wins and 7 seconds for $951,194 in stakes. Once again she won the $569,520 Breeders Crown at Woodbine beating Darlins Delight again who ran second. Hard to believe that My Little Dragon came back as a five-year-old to win the $352,815 Breeders Crown at Mohawk once again beating the great mare Darlins Delight who ran second for the third time in Breeders Crown Finals. My Little Dragon is by Jate Lobell and is now a broodmare producing her first winner in 2014 called My Little Delight 1:52.3s ($82,560).

The second richest foal produced by Dragon Again in this his second crop is the hard hitting stallion Eagle Real One 1:51.2f ($800,349) 53 wins from 318 starts. Next richest is Mizuno 1:51.1f ($453,640) followed by the mare Caviart Sydney 1:52.1f ($448,71), Up Front Peyton 1:50.4f ($435,594), another mare Carousel Frame 1:51.1f ($376,306), Disco Dragon 1:50.3 ($357,769), Sea Dragon 1:50.3 ($336,917) followed by two mares Doinit Dragonstyle 1:51.2 ($326,745) and Up Front Jane E Lu 1:50.4 ($299,390).

Interesting to note that the best and richest horse produced in this crop is the champion mare My Little Dragon. Also five of the top ten richest are mares.

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2003

Eligible to race - 95

Winners - 69

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 14

$100,000+ - 39

1:50 or faster - 4

Average earnings per starter $157,053

Average earnings per eligible horse - $130,321

Total earnings to date $12,250,171

Dragon Again's third crop of foals were born in 2004 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 101 foals from 127 mares bred, 47 colts and 54 fillies.

An incredible crop and by far his best, producing the richest Standardbred of all time Foiled Again 1:48f ($6,926,775 and still counting) 83 wins to date. Foiled Again is out of a race winning Artsplace mare, In A Safe Place 1:54.4 ($86,058). Foiled Again won the 2011 and the 2013 O'Brien Award for aged pacing horses, the 2011, 2012 and the 2013 USHWA Dan Patch Award for older pacing horses. His lifetime record was taken as a nine-year-old in 2013.

Watch - Foiled Again TVG Final at the Meadowlands

Watch - Foiled Again 80th career win at Yonkers

Dragon Again's second richest foal from this crop is the top race mare Tidewaterdragonfly 1:49.3 ($1,079,213) 15 wins. She is out of the unraced Western Hanover mare Happy Jinny. Tidewaterdragonfly won the $718,600 Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk Raceway beating several great mares including Southwind Tempo ($2,445,541) and Hana Hanover ($1,248,556). Tidewaterdragonfly also won the elimination and final of the $405,715 Roses And Red at Mohawk Raceway.

The third richest foal produced by Dragon Again in this his third crop is the stallion Sutter Hanover 1:50.1s ($923,385) who won the $450,000 Governors Cup Final and was second in the $1,500,000 North American Cup at Mohawk to Tell All ($1,568,183). Sutter Hanover was exported to New Zealand for stud duties. Sutter Hanover bred two small crops in New Zealand before being exported to Australia. He left just the 55 foals for nine winners (six fillies) for $109,697 in earnings.

The fourth richest foal born from Dragon Again's third crop is another top mare Little Miss Dragon 1:50.2 ($790,140). As a two-year-old Little Miss Dragon finished second in the $683,100 final of the Breeders Crown and second to Isabella Blue Chip ($804,922) in the $439,000 Three Diamonds Final. Little Miss Dragon is out of the Western Hanover mare Jasmine Hanover.

Others to have made an impact for Dragon Again in this crop are Vlos 1:48z ($599,123), Hennesy Hanover 1:49.2f ($487,774), Hickory Horace 1:51 ($480,564), the mare Crystal Chris 1:51.3s ($426,003), Dragons Blood 1:50 ($405,750) and Big Business 1:50f ($380,610).

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2004

Eligible to race - 100

Winners - 71

$1,000,000+ - 2

$750,000+ - 4

$500,000+ - 5

$250,000+ - 12

$100,000+ - 34

1:50 or faster - 7

Average earnings per starter $227,479

Average earnings per eligible horse - $179,709

Total earnings to date $17,970,853

Dragon Again's fourth crop of foals were born in 2005 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 132 foals from 164 mares bred, 62 colts and 70 fillies.

This is another super crop for Dragon Again with four of his progeny winning over $500,000 including a mare. His best and richest foal born in this crop is the hard hitting millionaire gelding Atochia 1:49f ($1,794,494) 29 wins from 153 starts to date. Atochia is out of the Artsplace half-sister to Jennas Beach Boy 1:47.3 ($1,972,172). Dragon Again's second richest foal in this crop is the rig Moon Beam 1:51f ($785,986) who has sired 24 foals for just the two race winners. Moon Beam is also out of an Artsplace mare called Sun N Moon 1:52.3 ($203,216). Next richest is the mare Up Front Bethann p2,1:51.1 ($586,873) followed by Eagle Now 1:53h ($551,897), Dragon King 1:51.2f ($420,030), the two mares Makerbark 1:49.2f ($406,309) and Ali Rush 1:52.2f ($403,048), Allstair Hanover 1:50.4f ($391,694), Cheyenne Knight 1:50.4f ($387,628) and the mares Mememe 1:52.2f ($369,960) and Lightning Dragon 1:51.1f ($368,564).

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2005

Eligible to race - 131

Winners - 83

$1,000,000+ - 1

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 4

$250,000+ - 21

$100,000+ - 36

1:50 or faster - 4

Average earnings per starter $140,825

Average earnings per eligible horse - $107,502

Total earnings to date $14,082,759

Dragon Again's fifth crop of foals were born in 2006 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 116 foals from 152 mares bred, 63 colts and 53 fillies.

This fifth crop by Dragon Again was a solid crop without the champions of the last two crops. Still a very credible group headed by the gelding Doubleshotascotch 1:51f ($720,583) 33 wins. Next richest in this crop is the stallion Lisagain 1:49.1f ($637,156) followed by Firethorn 1:51.2 ($386,049), Mr Rockford 1:53.1h ($304,484), Spring Again 1:51.2f ($289,112), Mysticism 1:49.2 ($252,343), May Day Jojo 1:51.1f ($250,086) and Monster Dragon 1:49.3 ($239,845).

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2006

Eligible to race - 113

Winners - 73

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 2

$250,000+ - 7

$100,000+ - 25

1:50 or faster - 3

Average earnings per starter $89,472

Average earnings per eligible horse - $67,303

Total earnings to date $7,605,124

Dragon Again's sixth crop of foals were born in 2007 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 112 foals from 150 mares bred, 53 colts and 59 fillies.

Another super hard hitting crop produced by Dragon Again here with two millionaires at the top of the list. The first of those is the stallion Aracache Hanover 1:48.1f ($1,742,285) 34 wins. As a three-year-old Aracache Hanover won the elimination and final of the 35th running of the $547,000 Confederation Cup in 1:52.1 run on the half-mile track Flamboro Downs. He won by five lengths. He won the $200,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood Park another half-mile track in 1:51.4 beating One More Laugh ($2,633,246) who ran second in the process and he won the $58,050 Winbak on Little Brown Jug day at Delaware, another half-mile track in a very fast 1:50.2 by seven lengths. Aracache Hanover is now retired and is standing at stud at Ivy Lane Farm Indiana. Aracache Hanover is out of the Camluck mare Armbro Cachet.

Watch - Aracache Hanover 1:48.1 mile at the Meadowlands

The other millionaire from this crop produced by Dragon Again is the hard hitting gelding Versado 1:48.4f ($1,168,783) 44 wins from 153 starts to date and still racing. Next richest is Here We Go Again 1:49.2f ($682,380) followed by the mare Sand Gesture 1:53f ($433,328), PL Dragon 1:50.4f ($324,648), the mare Dragon Princess 1:50.2 ($238,906) and Up Front Tim T 1:51.2 ($237,746).

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2007

Eligible to race - 109

Winners - 78

$1,000,000+ - 2

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 3

$250,000+ - 5

$100,000+ - 29

1:50 or faster - 3

Average earnings per starter $122,458

Average earnings per eligible horse - $94,371

Total earnings to date $10,286,480

Dragon Again's seventh crop of foals were born in 2008 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 107 foals from 138 mares bred, 55 colts and 52 fillies.

Yet another very good crop produced here by Dragon Again leaving four tremendous horses that all won over $600,000 as young horses, with not that many starts. Three of these four horses are now breeding stallions. Interesting to note that there is only three fillies in the top twenty stake earners in this crop. We start profiling this group by showing a great article written by Kimberly French in 2012 about Dragon Again's richest son from this crop Hugadragon 1:49.3f ($934,834) 48 starts for 17 wins to date. It is an interesting article because it tells you about some of the traits of the Dragon Again progeny and the most important of those is the endurance that they show.

'Hugadragon Begins to Show His Speed' by Kimberly French. (Remember this was written in 2012)

Obviously he is his own unique individual, yet Hugadragon, like all the immediate members of his family, shares common personality traits or characteristics based on his genetic composition. Some of which have caused the Burke family, his breeder/owner, a considerable amount of consternation.

"He's just like the rest of his family, which is one step above being severely mentally handicapped," explained Ron Burke, who conditions the 4-year-old son of Dragon Again and Hip Huggers. "He ended up having to be broken by the Amish, which we have never had to do, because he does things his own way and doesn't care. He went from being dangerous to simply annoying."

The gelding, one of the first horses the Burkes have ever bred, has competed in top company throughout his two year career.

In his initial season of racing Hugadragon captured his career debut in a $7,800 affair at The Meadows on June 23, 2010. After breaking his maiden, he paced five more miles before he returned to the winners' circle, but did show promise by finishing second in two Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events worth $51,026 and $74,539 at The Meadows on July 3, 2010 and August 16, 2010 and in the $21,000 Arden Stake also at The Meadows on July 31, 2010. He was fourth in a $60,192 Pennsylvania Sire Stake on July 31, 2010 at Harrah's Chester Downs and the $200,000 Sire Stake Final at Harrah's Chester on September 5, 2010.

Breeders Crown

The gelding finally had his photograph taken on September 24, 2010 in a $29,520 Keystone Classic division at The Meadows before traveling to Pocono Downs on October 1, 2010 to finish second in his $25,000 Breeders Crown Elimination. He ended his season with an eighth place finish in the $600,000 Final the following week. From 11 trips to the post, Hugadraon collected three victories and four second place finishes, with earnings of $119,005 and a mark of 1:53.1f.

On May 20, 2011, the horse returned to the races with a triumph in a $13,000 non-winners' race at Pocono Downs. But like the year before, although the gelding was consistent in lucrative events, he only entered the winners circle twice between the third week in June and the first week in October.

Hugadragon finished fourth in the $26,367 division of the Reynolds at Pocono Downs on July 9, 2011, in a $70,078 Pennsylvania Sire Stake on July 16, 2011 at The Meadows, in the $500,000 Adios Final on July 30, 2011 at The Meadows and in his $84,288 Little Brown Jug Elimination, but was placed fifth, at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on September 22, 2011.

After competing in The Jug, the gelding finally found his best form. He won a $100,500 division of the Bluegrass Stake at The Red Mile on October 2, 2011, the $243,000 Tattersall's Pace also at The Red Mile on October 9, 2011. He then finished second in his $25,000 Breeders Crown Elimination at Woodbine Raceway on October 22, 2010, before hitting the wire seventh in the $500,000 Final the following week.

Subsequent to that poor performance, Hugadragon went to Indiana Downs to annex the $275,000 Monument Circle on November 5, 2011, then to Balmoral Park on November 12, 2011 where he was second in the $225,000 American National and closed out his sophomore campaign at Dover Downs with victories in $32,745 Matron Stake Elimination on November 20, 2011 and the $221,465 Final on November 27, 2011. He compiled a record of 21-7-5-3, banked $715,828 and lowered his speed badge to 1:49.3f.

"As long as you take him to the marshal and let him collect himself two minutes before the race, he is usually all right, but that is not a guarantee," Burke said. "He's in Florida now and while he was being driven the other morning he was about 10 feet from the pond before he finally decided he was going to turn instead of going in. He has a mind of his own and you don't know if he will make it to the gate or if he does, just not participate at all.

"I think in the Breeders Crown (Final) he didn't show up," he continued. "His driver (Sylvain Filion) went from trying to win the race to trying to figure out how to get him to the gate and get involved."


It took Burke quite some time to realize, despite his stubborn disposition, Hugadragon did possess the ability to defeat the elite in his division and anticipates 2012 might be the season he begins to shine.

"When we raced him at the Meadowlands last year (second in the $102,750 Oliver Wendell Homes on August 6), is when if I finally knew he had extreme speed and before that I wasn't sure if he did," Burke recalled. "I knew he was a nice horse, but I didn't know what kind of horse. He paced in 1:48 and I could say if Roll With Joe (2011 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt and Gelding of the Year) weren't there, I think he could have won that race. It was when he seemed to break loose."

Even though dealing with his temperament on certain occasions is definitely a struggle, Burke feels Hugadragon has made enough progress to become one of the top horses in his already talent-laden barn.

"He'll get a little bit of a later start, but I do have him staked to everything this year," he said. "Out of all the horses we have that are Dragons (by Dragon Again) he has showed the most improvement. I think without a doubt the Dragons tend to get better with age. In fact I've seen it with Atochia ($1,795,122) and I've seen it with Foiled (Foiled Again, 2011 Champion Aged Pacer and Pacing Horse of the Year). Out of every other one we have had, he most fits the pattern of Foiled. He has taken abuse and kept going so there is a part of me that hopes he is getting better and has a good year."

End of article

Back to Dragon Again and the other three top horses produced from this his seventh crop. Second richest to Hugadragon is the very fast stallion Custard The Dragon 1:48.1f ($777,817) 40 starts for 13 wins. He is out of the Jate Lobell mare Eternal Justice. Custard The Dragon won the $500,000 Hoosier Cup and the $300,000 Max Hempt Memorial during his three-year-old career but his claim to fame was undoubtedly in Adios elimination at The Meadows in 2011. Custard The Dragon paced harness racing's fastest-ever mile for a three-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track (1:48.1) in winning his elimination race for the $500,000 Delvin Miller Adios at The Meadows. The time also was the fastest ever - for any horse, any age - at the Pittsburgh-area oval. Custard The Dragon is now at stud in Western Canada at Moores Equine Clinic in Alberta.

Watch - Custard The Dragon

The third richest horse produced by Dragon Again in this crop is another stallion called Westwardho Hanover 1:49.1f ($691,023) 39 starts for 13 wins. A winner of the Keystone Classic at two, Westwardho Hanover was a multiple stakes winner at three with victories in the finals of the $330,000 Progress Pace and the $162,000 Cleveland Classic and in eliminations of the Breeders Crown and the Matron. Westwardho Hanover is out of the Western Hanover mare Western Duel. Westwardho Hanover is now standing at stud at Meridian Farms, Milton, PEI.

Yet another stallion from this crop of Dragon Again is the top young stakes horse Wink N Atcha 1:50.4f ($601,447) 56 starts for 16 wins Wink N Atcha is from the Artsplace mare Kiss My Lips. A stand out winner of seven stakes at two including the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship, Wink N Atcha had continued success at three with stakes victories and third place finishes in the finals of the Meadowlands Pace and Hoosier Cup. Wink N Atcha is also standing at stud at Meridian Farms, Milton, PEI.

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2008

Eligible to race - 107

Winners - 76

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 2

$500,000+ - 4

$250,000+ - 6

$100,000+ - 24

1:50 or faster - 3

Average earnings per starter $94,135

Average earnings per eligible horse - $77,420

Total earnings to date $8,283,890

Dragon Again's eighth crop of foals were born in 2009 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 138 foals from 171 mares bred, 70 colts and 68 fillies.

This is Dragon Agains' largest crop born and again it was a very solid group of extra good race horses. Interesting to note that there is only two fillies in the top ten earners of this group. Although this crop lacked the killers or champions it still produced a lot of very good stake and hard hitting race horses. He still produced three horses that won over $700,000 headed by the fast Speed Again 1:48.1s ($802,691) 86 starts for 22 wins. Speed Again lowered Mohawk's track record for a two-year-old when he recorded a victory in 1:50.3. As a two-year-old he recorded a second-place effort to A Rocknroll Dance ($2,441,164) in the $510,000 Governors Cup and a third-place finish in the $1,000,000 Metro Pace Final at Mohawk.

The second richest son of Dragon Again from this group is Easy Again 1:50.1f ($745,351) 78 starts for 23 wins. A ridgling son of Dragon Again, Easy Again broke the track record at Scioto Downs with a 1:50.1 win in a $30,000 Invitational Pace in August 2014. The next richest in this crop is Hillbilly Hanover 1:49.3 ($701,010) 88 starts for 18 wins. Hillbilly Hanover is out of the mare Hattie. He is a half-brother to Holborn Hanover, who earned $2 million on the racetrack, and millionaire Hyperion Hanover. Prior to Hillbilly Hanover, ten of Hattie's 11 foals made it to the races and earned a total of $4.62 million. Here is another comment from top trainer Ron Burke, this time about Hillbilly Hanover. "He's the breed that we like, he's a Dragon Again and we seem to do well with them. He's kind of our kind of horse; a little bit on the lazy side, but good-gaited, has a lot of talent and just needs maybe to be pushed, to get it out of him."

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2009

Eligible to race - 138

Winners - 94

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 1

$500,000+ - 3

$250,000+ - 7

$100,000+ - 34

1:50 or faster - 5

Average earnings per starter $95,730

Average earnings per eligible horse - $78,133

Total earnings to date $10,626,084

Dragon Again's ninth crop of foals were born in 2010 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 101 foals from 127 mares bred, 51 colts and 50 fillies.

Current five-year-olds, this crop of Dragon Again has once again shown just what a tremendous sire Dragon Again really is because he just keeps producing solid crops of top race horses. Every crop to date has shown that his progeny on average is earning about $95,000 plus per starter. This group of just five-year-olds, have already averaged $96,000 plus per starter, and they still have years of earning potential left in them.

This crop is headed by Pennsylvania's three-year-old filly champion Charisma Hanover p3, 1:49 ($735,656) 19 wins from just the 56 starts. Charisma Hanover romped to a stakes record at Yonkers Raceway in the $178,684 final of the Lady Maud Pace for three-year-old fillies. Charisma Hanover beat I Luv The Nitelife ($1,947,511) by a head to capture the $161,000 American-National Stakes in 1:49 at Balmoral Park. Charisma Hanover won a Grand Circuit race in the $84,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park's half-mile oval. She is an outstanding mare that is back racing in 2015.

Dedi's Dragon 1:49.4f ($692,069) 69 starts for 14 wins to date. A stallion, Dedi's Dragon is the second richest foal produced by Dragon Again in this crop. Dedi's Dragon staked his claim as a top star when beating and upsetting the invincible Captaintreacherous ($3,153,541) as a three-year-old in the $252,000 Monument Circle at Hoosier Park. Dedi's Dragon became just the second horse that season to find the chink in the armour of Captaintreacherous, and the heroic feat earned the Ron Burke trainee his biggest payday.

Watch - Dedi's Dragon beating Captaintreacherous

Next on the list of top earners for Dragon Again is the good mare UF Dragons Queen 1:50.3f ($529,682) 81 starts for 15 wins. Duvuto Hanover p3,1:48.4 ($423,140) is the fourth richest in this group followed by Our Dragon King 1:49.1 ($418,621), the mare Scandalous Hanover 1:49.3f ($363,570), Martini Hanover 1:49.3f ($338,603), the mare Coffee Addict 1:51.3f ($315,843), Evenin Of Pleasure 1:49.2 ($269,197) and Delaware Hanover 1:50f ($262,462). This crop is noted for the outstanding numbers of 1:50 and faster horses produced, ten in total.

North American statistics for his foals produced in 2010

Eligible to race - 102

Winners - 78

$1,000,000+ - 0

$750,000+ - 0

$500,000+ - 3

$250,000+ - 11

$100,000+ - 21

1:50 or faster - 10

Average earnings per starter $96,608

Average earnings per eligible horse - $82,401

Total earnings to date $8,404,898

Dragon Again's tenth crop were born in 2011 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 74 foals from 95 mares bred, 31 colts and 43 fillies.

Dragon Again's tenth crop of foals produced are now four-year-olds in 2015 and this group has been rather disappointing to date. Dragon Agains' best two foals produced from this group are the mare Stucklikeglue 1:52.2 ($167,555) and the promising Dragons Successor 1:49.3 ($34,530) with just the 5 wins and 4 seconds from his handful of starts to date. This crop has earnings of $1,712,173 to date.

Dragon Again's eleventh crop of foals were born in 2012 and are Pennsylvania bred.

He produced 85 foals from 107 mares bred, 39 colts and 46 fillies.

Dragon Again's foals were two-year-olds in 2014 and is the last crop eligible to race to date. This was a solid group of two-year-olds with five $100,000 plus winners. While he did not produce the champion this lot were still a promising group which includes Dragon Eddy p2,1:51.1f ($143,607) 9 starts for 5 wins, Lyons Again p2,1:52.4s ($179,751), the filly Kays Dragon Lady ($145,182), Rich Wisdom p2,1:51 ($142,290), Wakizashi Hanover p2,1:51f ($104,089), the filly Green Tree Alexis p2,1:53.1f ($98,386), UF Larry Alltheway p2,1:51.4f and the promising Rufo who from only four starts as a two-year-old has won in 1:51.4. This crop has earnings of $1,431,094 to date with 31 winners from the 85 eligible to race.

Dragon Again bred 125 mares in 2012 and 133 in 2013 before moving to Sugar Valley Farm in Ohio in 2014 where he bred 113 mares. He is currently full and closed for the 2015 breeding season.

Dragon Again - Overall North American Statistics

Eligible to race - 1172

Winners - 776

$1,000,000+ - 6

$750,000+ - 14

$500,000+ - 32

$250,000+ - 95

$100,000+ - 282

1:50 or faster - 46

Average earnings per starter $114,734

Average earning per eligible horse - $88,722

Total earnings to date $104,064,069


This is one stallion who you confidently say has left stock that are a carbon copy of their sire. They can get up and go at two but you know they will get better at three, four and beyond. They have inherited his toughness and durability with so many of his stock performing to a high level year after year on the track. He has shown he can leave both quality colts and fillies who are competitive at the elite level of our industry as well as the raceway runners who have to perform week in week out. His overall statistics are right up there with the best and we have struggled to find a major fault with his stud career to this point.


Dragon Again has been a great sire right from his first crop and with the record he has established as a sire, his service fee of $5,000 is outstanding value. He can leave top colts and fillies but what should be just as appealing to breeders is the general toughness and durability that his stock are noted for.


The one that is mentioned to us every now and again is that some can be difficult to handle. As one Hall Of Fame trainer said to us, they are a real "horsemans horse" that can be a handful for the less experienced but he always found that they came around if you were patient.


It is hard to be too critical of this stallion when you look at his record. His stock are different to a lot of the horses racing today in that they will race on as older horses every bit as good if not better than they do as two and three year olds. Dragon Again can leave both elite level fillies and colts and at $5,000 is outstanding value for a stallion with his record.


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