2, 2:05.3m;5, T1:59.4 1999 [1945-1959]
A Dean Hanover foal out of Sorceress, a Volomite mare, Demon
Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. His pedigree carried
more crosses to George Wilkes than probably any horse at stud in
America in recent years.
George Wilkes, the fastest stallion by Hambletonian 10, was
noted for pure gait, extreme speed, and ability to pass those
Purchased by amateur trainer/driver/owner Harrison Hoyt as a
yearling for $2,600, Demon Hanover was developed and trained
entirely by his devoted owner, and treated as the family pet.
Intelligent and well-mannered, he learned his trade in
Saratoga's 2-year-old amateur trots. His extraordinary
consistency, beating all comers with ease, piling up a row of
stake wins, sent him to the 1948 Hambletonian the favorite.
Piloted by Harrison Hoyt, he won in an effortless straight heat
victory. After a series of successes as a 3-year-old, Demon
Hanover graduated to the free-for-all ranks. He consistently
proved that distance racing was no problem, with many of his
successes coming in long distance races. Major win came in the
$50,000 Roosevelt 2-mile trot, when he beat Chris Spencer and
Proximity for first place honors. As a 5-year-old he time
trialed in 1:59.4. Major wins in his last season as a
6-year-old, included the American Trotting Championship and the
Trotting Derby. He was retired in 1951 with total earnings of
$187,344. Most of his wins were free-for-alls against the best
trotters in the country. That same year, Hoyt sold him, for stud
duty, to Gay Acres Farm, OH; the price tag was $82,000. It was
the sixth highest price ever paid for a Standardbred.
Demon Hanover's first two crops immediately indicated he was
siring youngsters like himself, as evidenced by Steamin' Demon
and Demon Rum. They had exceptionally pure gait, extreme early
speed, stamina and an aggressive winning spirit. Their promise
inspired John Gaines to form a syndicate to purchase the
stallion for a record $500,000. At the time, it was the highest
price ever paid for a trotter and equalled among Standardbreds
only by the pacer, Adios. Demon Hanover was transferred to
Walnut Hall Farm for the 1959 breeding season. After a
successful routine operation for the removal of a stone from his
bladder, he suffered a coronary embolism and died on August 16,
1959. He is buried at Walnut Hall, Lexington, KY. He was 14YO.