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Hanney Wins Comeback Race at Freehold

After almost a year on the sidelines, Irish Joe Hanney celebrated his 39th birthday in grand fashion at Freehold Raceway on Friday (October 22). He won the first race of his comeback, guiding Angel’s Pride to victory.
Hanney was injured in a spill at Freehold on October 23, 2020, and spent months on the sidelines while recovering from shoulder and knee surgeries. He made his return with one drive on Friday’s card, Angel’s Pride, for trainer Scott DiDomenico. She went off as the 6/5 favorite in the six-horse field.
Hanney originally rated Angel’s Pride in third place early on. Sensing a slow pace developing, Hanney pulled and sent his drive to the lead. They easily cleared to the front and established control before the half-mile point.
As they neared three-quarters, Hanney and Angel’s Pride began to open up, leading by 2 1/2 lengths as they turned for home. Although Wiggle Delight flew home, the wire came in time for Hanney and Angel’s Pride, who won by half a length. The final time was 1:56.1.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Hanney has been based in the United States for more than a decade. He won his first race as a driver at Freehold on May 4, 2012, and has won 281 races lifetime with earnings of over $1.5 million. In his most recent full season of driving at Freehold, 2019, Hanney finished tenth in the driver standings, with 33 wins from 383 starts.
Live racing at Freehold continues on Saturday (October 23), with a 13-race card starting at about 12:30 PM. The card features the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund final for 2-year-old filly pacers.