2007 Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Donato Hanover was the first North American trotter to earn more than $2 million in a single season. He raced in 2006-2007 and never finished off the board, compiling a career record of 22-19-1-2. He currently ranks fourth overall – second among trotters – for single-season earnings in North America.
Foaled on May 3, 2004 at Hanover Shoe Farms, Donato Hanover was signed for on November 7, 2005 at the Standardbred Horse Sales Company auction in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for $95,000 by David Scharf of New York City. Scharf picked up Golden Touch Stable (Paul Bordogna) of Fair Lawn, New Jersey and Steve Arnold of Purchase, New York as partners. Donato Hanover was trained by Steve Elliott and driven by Ron Pierce.
In 2006, two-year-old Donato Hanover finished third in his career debut, but would win his remaining 8 starts. The freshman earned $662,587 and was voted Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Major victories included the Peter Haughton Memorial (in a stakes record 1:55) and Breeders Crown.
As a three-year-old, Donato Hanover would extend his winning streak to 19, remaining undefeated until his last 2 races in November. Major victories that year included the Stanley Dancer Memorial, Hambletonian, World Trotting Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic and Kentucky Futurity. Donato Hanover earned $2,336,190 that year, and became the first trotter in the history of the sport to surpass career earnings of $2.5 million during his three-year-old season. He broke the single-season moneywinning record for a trotter by well over $400,000 and was voted 2007 Horse of the Year, Trotter of the Year and Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. At the time of his retirement, Donato Hanover held the record for the fastest trotting mile on a mile track (1:50.1) and co-owned the record for fastest two-heat trotting race on a mile track (3:41.2).
As a sire, Donato Hanover has produced winners of over $13.8 million, including 2011 Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year and Breeders Crown winner Check Me Out 3,1:51.2 ($1,903,795), and 2013 Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year and Breeders Crown winner Shake It Cerry 2,1:53.3 ($909,685).
Donato Hanover stands at Hanover Shoe Farms.