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Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Look Back to October 26, 1991

I was going through some stuff this morning and came across an issue of Harness Horse, the October 26, 1991 edition to be precise.  What made this edition so special as it was the only one I kept?  It was the final edition of the magazine as it ceased publication.  What can I say, I seem to subscribe to magazines which cease publication, of which Hub Rail and Harness Horse are the two harness racing magazines I was with at the end (hoping the two I still subscribe to aren't getting nervous).

Anyway, coming across this magazine, I decided to take a look back and see what was going on in the world of harness racing; at least in North America.  Let's take a look back together and see what was happening.

  • Eldon Harner's son Steve Harner died in an accident shipping a horse in to race at Pocono Downs.  Steve a driver/trainer in his own right was only 35 years old at the time of passing.
  • Freehold Raceway, enjoying an increase in on-track and simulcasting handle increases its purses by $30,000 for the rest of the year, meaning $330,000 in purse funds will be spent weekly.  The weekly invitation will be going for $17,000 while $4,000 claimers and maidens will be racing for $2,600.
  • Peace Corps startled horsemen and fans when the trotter was entered in a race at Fargestad racetrack in Karlstad, Sweden, the hometown track of her owner.  The daughter of Baltic Speed won her 13th of 15 starts for the year in a mile rate of 2:01.2 over the 5/8 mile oval, winning easily by 2 lengths.
  • Walter Paisley won the $17,000 FFA with Cleverlator in 1:59.2 over the sloppy Maywood oval.
  • Trainers at Blue Bonnets held a one day boycott, forcing the cancellation of racing on Saturday, October 19 to press their demands for compensation for shipping horses in.
  • Gordon Waterstone reported from Pompano Park on the Breeders Crown eliminations.  Among the elimination winners were Cookout (Jan Johnson, 2yoft) in 1:56.3, Armbro Jacuzzzi (Jan Nordin, 3yoft) in 1:57.4, Digger Almahurst (Doug Brown, 2yocgp) in 1:53.1, and Direct Flight (Ron Waples, 2yocgp) in 1:53.1 while defeating Sportsmaster.
  • Topping the Top Ten for the week is Precious Bunny who earned 15 of the 16 first place votes. Who earned the other first place vote?  Peace Corps.
  • On the Calendar, October 26 is closing day at Louisville Downs while Quad City Downs and Muskegon Racecourse will close the following evening.
  • Jim Doherty ended Tulsa Blue Chip's 5 race win streak with All Da Time at Freehold in 1:55.3 in the Invitational on October 19.
  • How Bout It won the weekly pacing FFA in 1:55 driven by Doug Hamilton at Maywood Park while Lawful Hanover (Dave Magee) won the $130,000 Abe Lincoln Pace for 2yos in 1:58.2.
  • Mohawk Raceway sees Apaches Fame, driven by Bill Fritz, victorious in the JFA/FFA handicap in 1:54. 
  • Garden State Park had $1 million handles on Friday and Saturday evenings (October 18 and 19).
  • On Sunday, October 13, Monticello Raceway celebrated Australasia with Fort York A winning the Australian Pace in 2:04.1 while What You Got N won the Great Barrier Wreath Pace in 2:00.2 and the Qantas Air Invitational Pace went to The Benz N in 1:58.1.
  • Yonkers Raceway doesn't report their attendance anymore but on the plus side, are racing doubleheaders on Tuesdays.  On Saturday, October 12, Armbro Intercept, driven by Richard Wojcio in 1:55.2 won the weekly Open Handicap.
  • Heading into Harrisburg, the sales topper thus far for 1991's yearlings is Winky's Goal ($210,000).  Tagliabue was a bargain at $100,000.   At the major sales, Super Bowl is the leading trotter with his 29 yearlings selling for an average of $52,206.  No Nukes was the fourth overall leading stallion and leading pacing stallion with his 64 yearlings selling for an average of $40,010.
  • The Octoberfest Yearling Sales held at the New Jersey Horse Park sold 257 yearlings for an average price of $4,587.


1 comment:

Larry Hanes said...

So many of the tracks mentioned are no more.