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Hanover (NMR Collection)
Induction Year: 
By Hindoo-Bourbon Belle, by Bonnie Scotland
Catesby Woodford and Ezeliel F. Clay
Philip J. Dwyer and Michael F. Dwyer
Frank McCabe
Bourbon Belle
Bonnie Scotland
Career Years: 

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Purchased for $1,350 as a yearling by Phil and Mike Dwyer, Hanover won the first 17 races of his career and retired after the 1889 season as America’s greatest money earner.


A chestnut son of Hindoo out of the Bonnie Scotland mare Bourbon Belle, Hanover won all three of his starts as a 2-year-old in 1886 — the Hopeful, July and Sapling stakes — all in a period of 17 days.


Trained by Frank McCabe, Hanover became dominant as a 3-year-old. He won both the Belmont Stakes and Brooklyn Derby by 15 lengths, the Coney Island Derby and Swift Stakes by 10 lengths each (defeating Firenze in the latter) and the Tidal Stakes by six lengths (defeating Kingston). He continued to add wins in races such as the Spindrift, Lorillard, Stockton, Barnegat and Stevens stakes before finally suffering a defeat July 30, 1887 in the Raritan Stakes at Monmouth. It was the sixth start of the month for Hanover and his 15th of the year.


Hanover was given an 11-day break before winning the 1½-mile United States Hotel Stakes at Saratoga. He then returned to Monmouth and defeated Firenze and Volante in the 1½-mile Champion Stakes. The Dwyers continued to race Hanover on a grueling schedule and the colt began to wear down. Following the Champion Stakes, Hanover lost twice in a week, prompting Turf, Field and Farm to write: “Hanover’s third defeat on Thursday of last week will probably at last open the eyes of his owners to the fact, which has been apparent to everyone else for a month, that their colt is not only out of condition, but that something is radically wrong … Hanover has this year been set a task never before asked of a 3-year-old either in this country or in England. How well he has responded, the records show.”


Hanover was granted a month’ rest before returning to the races. He added wins in the Second Special, Breckinridge Stakes and Dixie Stakes and finished the year with 20 wins from 27 starts and earnings of $87,632.


Foot problems slowed Hanover as a 4-year-old, as he finished second in all three of his starts before sitting out the majority of the year. He returned in 1889 as a 5-year-old and compiled a record of 9-6-1 from 17 starts and earnings of $15,470. His wins included the Coney Island Cup, Coney Island Stakes (defeating Kingston), California Stakes, Merchants’ Stakes and Express Stakes.


Hanover was retired after the 1889 season with a lifetime mark from 32-14-2 from 50 starts and record earnings of $118,887. He was later purchased by Col. Milton Young’s McGrathiana Stud and became America’s top sire in 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898. Among the top horses sired by Hanover included Hall of Famer Hamburg, Kentucky Derby winner Halma and Preakness winner Half Time. Hanover died March 23, 1899 at the age of 15.