Day At The Track

Hall of Famer Bob Farrington dies at age 85

03:26 AM 15 Oct 2014 NZDT
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Bob Farrington and Rambling Willie, harness racing
Bob Farrington and Rambling Willie
USTA Photo
Rambling Willie & Bob Farrington

One of harness racing's first super-star trainer-drivers, especially in the Chicago circuit, Robert “Bob” Farrington, passed away Monday afternoon from an apparent heart attack. He was 85.

He was a six-time national driving champion, taking the title in 1961 and 1962 and again from 1964 through 1967.

Born in Richwood, Ohio on July 15, 1929, the Farrington won 36 driving titles with 30 of them coming on Chicago area tracks, including 6 at both Sportsman's Park and Washington Park.

Elected to the Harness Racing Museum Hall of Fame in 1979, Farrington was the first driver ever to win 200 races in a season (1961), first to win 300 races in a season (1964), first to win 300 races twice, and first to win 300 races three times.

During a 1963 program at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey Farrington drove six times and won all six races. Farrington retired from driving with 3,163 victories in 1992 and went on to be a high profile trainer.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s Bob drove and trained one of the sport’s most popular harness horse of all time, the fabled pacer Rambling Willie, written about as "The Horse That God Loved" in a novel by Donald P. Evans and Philip S. Pikelny. Rambling Wilie toured North America, racing and signing his book with his unique hoof mark.

More details will be announced per service arrangements.

By Steve Wolf, for

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