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Cambridge harness horse sets world record for fastest mile ever

Originally purchased for $28,000, Bulldog Hanover is now a world record holder with a value in excess of $7 million
Bulldog Hanover and his driver Dexter Dunn, break the world record for fastest mile at the William R. Haughton at Meadowlands Racetrack.

A Cambridge horse has set the world record for fastest mile ever by a standardbred horse. 

No standardbred horse has ever completed a mile race in less than one minute 46 seconds. All that changed when Cambridge’s Bulldog Hanover took to the track at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., last Saturday.

With Dexter Dunn in the sulky, Bulldog Hanover outpaced a field of 12 to set the new mark of one minute 45.4 seconds after tying the previous record a week earlier. 

“I honestly had a tear in my eye as they crossed the line. Just watching him is incredible,” said Cambridge horseman Jack Darling, Bulldog’s co-owner and trainer. 

This is not the only time he has been close to beating the record. In his previous three races, he tied the old record twice and was a tenth of a second off in the third. 

Darling bought Bulldog for only $28,000, and has trained him since he was two years old. To date the horse has won over 20 races, racking up over $1 million in prize money during his lifetime. 

According to Darling this horse is an anomaly, for every 50,000 horses you get one like Bulldog. 

“Just been doing it for so long, and this is the kind of horse you’re looking for. I have had some great horses, but to get a horse like this is incredible,” said Darling. 

Bulldog has around seven big races left in him this year. Soon he’ll leave for Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana for the Dan Patch, and then the Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Darling hopes he can continue with the success he has and to avoid any untimely injuries that might affect Bulldog's future as a breeding horse. 

“There’s always a fear that something could happen, but if you live in fear of what might happen, he might not have broken this record. That’s the nature of the business,” said Darling. 

The four-year-old horse is at the top of his game and in his prime, said Darling, but after these scheduled races he will be retired to breed. His current value is well beyond $7 million according to Darling. 

After Bulldog is retired, Darling has around seven other horses he is training and racing. While none of them might be the next Bulldog Hanover, Darling never expected his prize horse's story to go this way either. 

“I never really thought this would happen,” said Darling. “Every time you go to the sale, you’re hoping to get a good one, but to get to this level is really something special.” 

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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