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Monday, April 28, 2014

Memorable Moments In Harness Racing Part 2

Sept 27, 2006: Pampered Princess becomes the sport’s first sub-1:55 2-year-old trotter with a 1:54.4 win at Lexington.

Oct 7, 1966: Bret Hanover became the first standardbred to break 1:54 with a 1:53.4 mile at the Red Mile.

Feb 22, 1965: One bettor hit the 7-7-4-3 Twin Double at Yonkers Raceway for 127, 552.70. He took it all in cash.

Aug 23, 1969: Une De Mai beat Nevele Pride in the Roosevelt International.

Sept 7, 1965: Bret Hanover paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old—1:55—in the first heat of the Horseman Futurity at Indianapolis. Adios Vic won the second heat in 1:56.3.

Nov 29, 1974: Little Brown Jug winner Melvin’s Woe (Bret Hanover) was stolen from his stall at Bonnie Brae Farm in Wellington, Ohio. The horse was to have embarked on his stud career in two weeks, having been booked to 100 mares. Farm owner William Murray received a phone call at 6 A.M. in which a man told him he’d never see the horse again. Owner Thurman Downing told the horsenappers to keep him. Melvin’s Woe was recovered and went on to a forgettable career as a stallion.

Aug 14, 1948: First million dollar handle at Roosevelt Raceway.

August 7, 1999: The Meadowlands handle of $7,218,518 was the highest ever in the sport.

Nov 22, 1961: Adios Butler made the last start of his career a winning effort as he took the National Pacing Derby at Roosevelt.

Oct 1, 1971: Four-year-old Steady Star broke Bret Hanover’s 1:53.3 record when he time trialed in 1:52 at Lexington for Joe O’Brien. The fractions were 28.2 54.3 and 1:23. The Steady Beau stallion had established a new mark of 1:54 for three-year-olds the previous year at the Red Mile.

July 12, 2006: Dave Palone won number 11,000 at Pocono.

Oct 2, 1958: Merrie Annabelle, the fastest two-year-old trotting filly ever, and the winner of eight in a row on the Grand Circuit, fell on her way to the track and suffered a fractured vertebra. Her owners, the Kuths of Chesterfield, Ohio, had recently refused an offer of $100,000 for her.

June 26, 1977: Warm Breeze won in a world record 1:53.1 for Dick Farrington at Golden Bear in Sacramento.

Aug 29, 1955: LB Sheppard announced that he had purchased Adios for 500K.

Dec 3, 1972: Albatross was retired at Dover Downs as John Simpson Sr took him on a final parade jog.

Oct 2, 1958: Emily’s Pride won the Kentucky Futurity for Flick Nipe, setting a world record of 1:59.2 for three-year-old fillies in the second heat.

July 4, 1986: Falcon Seelster won in 1:51.3 at The Meadows—fastest race mile ever on a 5/8 track.

Sept 28, 1973: Rob Ron Ritzer became the fastest Canadian bred pacer of all-time when he won in 1:57 for Keith Waples at the Red Mile.

Dec 1983: Most Happy Fella died at 17.

Sept 2, 1989: Peace Corps won in a world record 1:52.4 at DuQuoin.

May 15, 1984: Dave Dolezal took over as president, CEO and editor-in-chief of Harness Horse/Hub Rail.

Nov 15, 1980: Niatross won a leg of the Classic at Hollywood Park in 1:52.1—fastest race mile ever.

July 2, 1975: Silk Stockings established a track record, regardless of sex or gait, at Goshen as she won in 1:58. The previous record holder was her daddy.

May 23, 1968: Bill Haughton declared Romulus Hanover to be the greatest horse he had ever driven.

Oct 2, 1979: The 21 voting members of the Hambletonion Society decided the race would be moved to the Meadowlands beginning in 1981.

Sept 29, 1978: Falcon Almahurst TT in 1:52.2 for Bill Haughton at the Red Mile, making him the fastest 3-year-old ever. The only faster mile was Steady Star’s TT, which he completed as a 4-year-old.

Oct 4, 1968: On a cold and windy day Nevele Pride took the Triple Crown with a straight heat victory in the Kentucky Futurity.

Aug 22, 1964: 46,614 watched Speedy Scot win the Roosevelt International.

June 17, 1995: She’s A Great Lady sets a world record 1:51.2 over a half at Maywood.

Oct 7, 1966; Tarport Lib became the fastest filly ever in a competitive race when she won in 1:56.2 for Howard Beissinger at the Red Mile. The record had held since Her Ladyship set it in 1938.

Oct 15, 1966: Bret Hanover overcame a stiff head wind and set a track record of 1:59 at Blue Bonnets, hence breaking Dan Patch’s record for the most two-minute miles (30), which had stood for fifty-seven years.

June 20, 1992: Artsplace won a leg of the Driscoll at the Meadowlands in a world record 1:49.2.

Oct 1, 2005: American Ideal went the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old pacer in the first split of the Bluegrass—1:47.3—for Mark MacDonald.

Aug 7, 2004: Rainbow Blue suffered her only loss at three when she has a problem at the start of the Mistletoe Shalee.

Oct 22, 1972: Fresh Yankee, Harness Horse of the Year in 1970, was retired from racing. The winner of 89 of 191 starts and almost $1.3 million entered the broodmare ranks under the supervision of the Armstrong Brothers ABC Farm in Brampton, Ontario.

July 7, 1978: Grand Circuit racing ended at Historic Track in Goshen.

Aug 24, 1903: Lou Dillon became the first two minute trotter—Readville, Ma.

Oct 29, 1966: Adios Vic beat Bret Hanover for the fourth time when he won the $20,000 Preview Pace at Hollywood Park for Jim Dennis. The margin of victory was two and a half lengths and the time was a relatively slow 1:59.3. More than 23,000 fans bet a record 1.7 million.

Aug 18, 1985: Liberty Bell Racetrack closed its doors.

Dec 5, 1950: Proximity was the first mare to be named Horse of the Year by the Trotting Horse Club of America.

Oct 29, 1966: Romeo Hanover joined Bret Hanover and Adios Butler as winners of the Triple Crown when he won the $170,000 Messenger Stakes at Roosevelt Raceway. The temperature was a chilly 46 degrees and the wind was gusting to 45 MPH.

July 5, 1980: Niatross went over the rail at Saratoga, leaving the spoils to Trenton Time and Bill Haughton.

Aug 5, 2006. Holborn Hanover went the fastest race mile ever in the sport—1:46.4—in the USPC.

Sept 23, 1960: Duke Rodney won the first edition of the Westbury Futurity for Eddy Wheeler and paid $98.90.

Oct 30, 1973: Starlark Hanover, the amazing two-year-old Hickory Smoke filly, beat the boys from the thirteen post in the $52,000 Harriman Trot at Yonkers Raceway. Management, fearing a minus pool, made it a non-betting contest. It was Starlark’s twenty-first win in twenty-two starts. The $7,000 yearling, who preferred pacing to trotting, trounced the field by five and a half lengths for trainer-driver David Wade.

Aug 21, 1987: Mack Lobell trotted the fastest mile ever in a heat of the Review Futurity at Springfield, Ill—1:52.1.

Sept 27, 1963: Three-year-old Speedy Scot trotted the fastest mile ever in a race—1:56.4—at the Lexington Trots, in a prep for the Kentucky Futurity. Ralph Baldwin drove the Castleton colt who led throughout, hitting the quarter in 25.4. Stars Pride held the old record of 1:57.1, which he set at DuQuoin

Aug 31, 1969: Less than a month before Nevele Pride would win his last race, he broke Greyhound’s almost 32-year-old mile mark at Indianapolis, setting a new world record of 1:54.4 before 12,000 on a warm Sunday afternoon. :27.3 :55.4 1:25.1.

Sep 13, 1963: More than 24,000 fans applauded Meadow Skipper’s track record tying performance in the Cane Pace as he beat the favored Overtrick in 1:58.4, from the seven post for sixty-nine-year-old Earle Avery, paying $5.70.

Aug 5, 1988: In the first major race without a hub rail, Mack Lobell won the Breeders Crown Open in 1:56.

Oct 2, 2007: Snow White became the first 2-year-old trotter to go a sub-1:53 mile—1:52.4—in a split of the ISS at the Red Mile for John Campbell.

Sept 14, 1968: A crowd of 11,000 fans watched Cardigan Bay become the first standardbred millionaire as he won a $15,000 pace at Freehold Raceway in 2:01 over Robin Dundee in his last competitive start.
Joe FitzGerald

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