Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dresden Raceway’s track in good hands with Lilley & Hamm

When Dresden Raceway’s Trackman Hank Lilley announced his retirement earlier this year they didn’t have far to look as Alex Lilley and Darian Hamm stepped in to one of the hardest roles at the track.

Track officials say Lilley and Hamm have been awesome in their team approach to making Dresden Raceway one of the best surfaces in Ontario.

The dynamic duo both have the same mission of keeping Dresden Raceway safe for the horses, drivers and great for racing.

The 36-year-old Lilley is no stranger to the horse business as his grandfather is Mac Lilley a breeder and former driver and trainer, while his father Jeff is a trainer and former driver.

“I’ve been around horses my whole life,” said Lilley, in a media release.

“It’s a family business.”

The Dutton native recently hung up the driving colours for the seat of the tractor and water truck after a career that saw 10,740 starts with 974 wins and over $6-million in purses.

“I wasn’t getting many live mounts and was ready for a change, I really don’t miss driving and I’m still part of the sport,” Lilley said.

Lilley and wife Lacey have four children, Coral, Jate, Sadie and Connor, who are all enamoured with the horse business.

“They are always at the barn helping out and are all real keen to learn the business,” Lilley added.

“I’ve raced at some awesome tracks including getting my start right here at Dresden as well as racing at Hiawatha, London and Windsor. I’ve met some really great people through the years and even though I’m not driving I will still get to see them,” Lilley said.

“Darian is young but he is already lengths ahead of most and is dedicated to the sport,” said Lilley.

Lilley’s partner Hamm has also been around horses his whole life as his father Bill Hamm and grandfather Roger Hamm have owned, trained and driven horses.

The 26-year-old West Lorne native, worked as a trackman at Western Fair Raceway last year under Doug Lilley and is looking forward to working with Alex.

“Alex is hard worker and tries to get everything perfect,” Hamm said in a media release.

Hamm noted that Dresden is a great place to work because all the horse people are so respectful of the property and all pitch in to help keep the grounds in top shape.

“I really love learning the skill, it’s a craft that not everyone can do,” Hamm said.

“I think Alex and I make a great team and we are working hard to make Dresden a great surface.”

They say a good trackman is worth his weight in gold and if that’s true, Dresden Raceway has struck it rich with Alex Lilley and Darian Hamm.

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