Day At The Track

Looking back to Kentucky and Nickells

08:50 PM 19 Jul 2013 NZST
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Kentucky's driver-trainer Bruce Nickells
Kentucky's driver-trainer Bruce Nickells

The year was 1971 when, shown in the photo below, driver-trainer Bruce Nickells was all smiles in the Maywood Park winner’s circle after guiding his star pacer Kentucky 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 pushed Albatross to 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.

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