Day At The Track


10:41 PM 22 Nov 2005 NZDT
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The Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association, at their annual awards banquet, inducted several individuals into the Association’s Hall of Fame, including, the horse Glad Rags, officials Wayne and Helen Gorrell, owner Bert Amos, and driver-trainers Tom Moore, Senior and Charles Peter.

The following biographies were furnished by the inductees, or their representatives:

Glad Rags, p, 6, 1:59f ($227,928) was a foal of 1960, by Greentree Adios and out of Jewell Rosecroft, who was owned by Sylvia Burnett of Swanton, Ohio and trained and driven by Ivan Sugg of Deshler, Ohio.

Glad Rags was difficult to break, but once she started to race, she proved to be iron-tough. Over a career which spanned six years, she made 173 starts, won 49 times and posted 23 seconds and 25 thirds, and accumulated lifetime earnings of $227,928.

Glad Rags raced at a time when purses were small and races for fillies and mares were rare. She raced against, and defeated, some of the best male pacers in the country. Perhaps her biggest win came as a 3-Year-Old in the Director of Agriculture Pace at the Ohio State Fair, in which she defeated Meadow Skipper in a season’s record time of 2:01.

In a recent poll, race secretaries from across the country were asked to list who they thought to be the best pacing mares of all time. Ken Marshall, the longtime director of racing at Hazel Park, included Glad Rags on that list.

In 1967, Glad Rags was sold to Norman Woolworth and she joined the broodmare band at Stoner Creek Stud. Ironically, her best foal was a trotter. Because Glad Rags had shown some ability to trot, having gone a training mile in 2:07 at Yonkers Raceway for Woolworth, she was bred to Nevele Pride, and that mating produced a colt, Zoot Suit, who won a heat of the Hambletonian and later became a leading trotting sire in Europe.

Glad Rags raced on the Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association circuit in 1962 and 1963 -- and was in a class by herself.

Helen Stamets and Wayne Gorrell met at the old A&P store in Fort Wayne, Ind.. She went on to work at the Lincoln National Bank as their first lady commercial teller. Wayne worked with his family in the Gorrell Hardware Store. They married in June, 1948. She was the youngest of six children and he was an only child. Wayne and Helen had no children. They lived in Wayne’s parents’ home in Hicksville after they married. By this time, Wayne’s father had passed away, leaving them to run the hardware store. Wayne and Helen worked in the store and Helen continued to run it after Wayne’s death in 1977.

Both Helen and Wayne were active in lodge activities, Helen in Eastern Star and Order of the White Shrine, and Wayne in the Masons. Both were interested in horse racing and worked as secretaries to the Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association for over 30 years. They thoroughly enjoyed their work, though they hardly called it work. Attesting to their ardent interest is a large collection of old racing magazines, racing schedules, and pictures.

In addition to serving as secretaries to the Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association, Wayne and Helen also served as Clerks of Course for the Defiance County Fair. Wayne was Clerk of Course from 1957 through 1977, and Helen performed that task from 1978 through 1991.

Bert Amos was born in Portage Township, Wood County (Ohio), in 1897, and owned, trained, and raced horses for 68 years. His favourite horses were trotters, which he drove himself. His son, Bert Amos Junior drove the pacers.

When he was a youngster, Bert liked to race the neighbors on the dirt roads to see who had the fastest steed. At age eleven, Bert made his first start in a matinee at Wayne, Ohio. As the winner of the race, he received fifty percent of the gate receipts -- a grand total of $1.75.

Some of Bert’s first horses were Hatspur Hal, Hattie K, and Steven A Douglas. At age 15, Bert began racing at the Ohio fairs. He tied two horses behind a buggy and traveled from fair to fair.

In the 1930s and 40s, Bert raced at the fairs, and the North Randall and Fort Miami Raceways. He campaigned, among others, Jay Brook, a 2:03 2-Year-Old pacer, Coffee (2:03), Lady Wayne, a 2:07 2-Year-Old trotter, Rockadale McElwyn (2:05), and Ben Audry (2:06).

In 1935, the family moved from Portage, Ohio to Tontogany, Ohio. Bert trained at the Wood County Fairgrounds, and eventually built a track and barn on the farm. During the winters, Bert would train at the Ben White track in Orlando, Fla.

In 1948, Bert trained and drove Naomi’s Song, 2, 2:08, who held the season’s record for a 2-Year-Old trotting gelding. In 1952, he trained and drove Wayne Song, 2, 2:06, to 17 wins, earning the title of Ohio 2-Year-Old Trotter of the Year. In 1958, Bert had Broker’s Tip, 3, 2:02, who won the Illinois State Fair Stakes and was Illinois 3-Year-Old Trotter of the Year, and Elroy Clay, 2:02. In 1961, Bert had Fay Frost, 2, 2:10, a winner on the Ohio Circuit. In 1963, Bert had Masquerader’s Boy, 2:05, a champion at ages two and three on the Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association circuit. Bert bred, trained, and drove Frosty Tip, a winner of 14 races, including the Ohio State Trot, and was Ohio 2-Year Old Colt of the Year in 1964. In 1976, at the young age of 79, Bert raced Biggy Frost to a record of 2:05 on a half-mile track.

Bert’s racing career ended after a training accident when he was 80. He passed away in February, 1983, at age 86. His most avid fan was his wife, Nellie Amos. His family is Floriene Vollmar of Bowling Green, Ohio, Bert Amos Junior, of Brick Town, N.J., and Marjorie Kuder (deceased).

As a former farmer, oilfield worker, Wood County recorder, and car dealer, Bert was a dedicated horseman who enjoyed training and racing and earned every reward he had ever hoped for in his racing career. The fair circuit was a joy for him -- and winning was always his goal. One of Bert’s favourite sayings was “I know we’re the best, but I can’t prove it.”

Tom Moore Senior, in his own words said “my Grandfather, Otto Hess, got me started in the horse racing business. I trained my first horse in 1964. The horse that got me going in the business was Affair, who was circuit champion in 1967, and also won the Delaware Sweepstakes.

“I have been fortunate to have a lot of good owners who helped and supplied me with talented horses throughout the last forty years. There have been too many to mention, but I would like to express my gratitude to them for giving me the opportunity to make a living in the horse business over the past 40 years.

“I thought I would mention some of the standouts from my time in the sport: American Angel, a circuit champion; Lady Streaker, a circuit champion and Sire Stakes winner in the first year of Sire Stakes competition; Off By Himself, a State Fair winner and a Breeders’ Championship winner, in record time, for an Ohio-bred 3-year-old; Silver Bend, a circuit champion; Flirtin Crystal, a circuit champion and Sire Stakes winner; and Jay’s Delivery, Flirtin CC, Sunny Sailing -- all circuit champions; Mighty Fine, a circuit champion and Ohio Triple Crown winner; Honor Ray, a 2- and 3-Year-Old circuit champion, and heat winner at Delaware in national season’s record time; Magnificent Marv, a Sire Stakes Final winner; Active Princess, a circuit champion and Sire Stakes winner; Score N Baby, a circuit champion; Crate Dane, a circuit champion; Five Twenty One, a 2- and 3-Year-Old circuit champion; I’m Maxxed Out, a circuit champion; Katie Katie Katie, a circuit champion; He’s A Big Spender, a winner of an Ohio Breeders’ Consolation at Delaware; and Rose Run Fastball, circuit champion, State Fair winner, and a multiple track record holder.

“Other solid raceway performers include Sweet Pam, Tex McKenzie, and many others -- who may not have had as much ability, but I thought as much of them as the standouts.

“We always worked as a team and did our best for the horse, which was in the best interest of the owner. I would like to give a special thanks to my wife, Mary, and son Tom Junior, for their dedication and work ethic.

Charles Peter, also in his own words, said: “I was born in Defiance County, to Kermit and Pearl Peter. Dad bought his first horse when I was about 10. That’s when I started to get interested.

“I would follow him around to the fairs. As I got older, I helped him jog horses. At 18, I got my license to drive at the fairs.

“Then I was drafted into the Army for two years, after which I returned to horse racing. In 1971, I married my wife, Marsha. We have two children and eight grandchildren.

“Over the years, I’ve raced in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky, but mainly in Northwestern Ohio, where I plan to stay.

“I would like to thank my family and the good owners whose horses I have driven over the years.”

The list of former Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association Hall of Fame inductees includes the horses True Duane (2003) and Mighty Fine (2004); the owners Kenneth Grieser (2003) and John and Rose Konesky (2004); the trainer-drivers Kermit Peter (2003); Kenneth Lighthill (2003); Carl Fockler (2004); and Vernie Davis (2004).

--The Wayne and Helen Gorrell bio was provided by Donna Miller, and the Bert Amos bio was written by Audrey Gilliland

ourtesy Of The Northwest Ohio Colt Racing Association

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