The year was 1971 when, shown in the photo below, driver-trainerwas all smiles in the Maywood Park winner’s circle after guiding his star pacer to a record-breaking mile of 1:58.4 in a second round division of the $120,000 Maywood Pacing Series.
Joining Nickells in the winner’s that Friday night was (left) Arthur Galt Jr., president of Maywood Park and (right) executive vice-president Sid Anton.
That same year Kentucky won an $20,800 elimination of the American National Maturity Pace at old Sportsman’s Park in 1:59.2 and then came back that same night to capture the $62,400 Final with Nickells in 2:00.3.
Kentucky will always be remembered by veteran Chicago circuit racing fans as the horse who pushedto his world record 1:54.2 mile a year later on the old five-eighths mile track when he finished second behind the horse that paced “the fastest harness race of all-time” on July 2, 1972.
Kentucky ended his racing career with $497,270 in purse earnings for his owners Quaker City Stable of Salem, Ohio.
By Mike Paradise
The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association.