No Pan Intended, the last of the ten Pacing Triple Crown winners, is headed off to Ireland to continue his breeding career. His North American stint in that capacity has been unremarkable. Let’s hope the fifteen-year-old son of Pacific Fella finds the Emerald Isle more to his liking. That got me to thinking about the fact that most of the nine complete Triple Crown winners have come up short in the harness racing breeding shed. No Pan Intended, who won the Triple Crown in 2003, drew 201 mares the following year, resulting in 133 registered foals, but demand dwindled to the point where he only attracted 11 mares in 2014. All told he averaged 30 foals per year for his career in NA. The nine-year-old slugger Alexie Mattosie is his only millionaire. He won the Presidential and the William Haughton in 2011, but has done it the hard way for the most part. Lennon Blue Chip, from his first crop, is about $50,000 from being a millionaire, but aside from a couple of OSS Gold legs it’s been a long slog. Nebupanezzar, from crop number two, did win the Governor’s Cup, along with a couple of Gold legs, and he also ended his career about $50,000 short of a million. No Pan Intended’s performance as a broodmare sire has been negligible. The Cambest colt Blissful Hall won the Triple Crown four years earlier. He sired a half dozen crops here before being sent to Australia. Camelot Hall, from his first crop, won the Metro and Nassagaweya, and the following year Shanghai Phil, the sire of Duc Dorleans, won the Bluegrass, ISS and Champlain. And Armbro Dancer and Marnie Hall met with some success against the older mares. Nat A Virgin, Play It Again Sam and Witch Dali are a few of his broodmare credits. Western Dreamer, an incomplete son of Western Hanover, won the Triple Crown two years earlier, in 1999. We have to go back fourteen years to 1983 for the next winner, Meadow Skipper’s richest offspring, the Canadian hall of famer, Ralph Hanover. There are plenty of examples of stallions who don’t come close to reproducing themselves at stud, but Ralph certainly stands out in that group. He bred 200 mares in each of his first two seasons, producing 126 and 104 foals, respectively, but he was down to five by 1996, when he finished his career in Ontario. He produced handsome individuals like himself, but most of them were simply too slow. Some believed that Ralph beat up on a weak group, but the checkmarks were all in place for a successful breeding career. It just didn’t happen. The great Niatross preceded Ralph. He won three years earlier, in 1980, then retired as the fastest and richest pacer ever. His first crop of 148 contained the great Nihilator, who won 35 of 38 starts and earned a world record $3.2 million; Pace and Messenger winner, Pershing Square; and two and three-year-old division champ Semalu D’Amour. And crop number two, which numbered 200, contained his second consecutive freshman champ, Barberry Spur, as well as Smartest Remark, Caressable and Masquerade. Niatross was subsequently moved to New York, where the bottom fell out of his siring career. Whether the move was a contributing factor to the drop off is up for debate. He started out at $35,000, but was standing for $2,000 in New Jersey by 1999. His broodmare credits include, Electric Slide, Bonnie And Clyde, Stand Forever and Gothic Dream. We go back a decade for the next Triple Crown winner, and we finally hit the jackpot with Most Happy Fella, one of the greatest sires to ever roam the earth. He died tragically at 17 and only left us 13 crops, but he dazzled us with his accomplishments. His first crop contained Silk Stockings and Tarport Hap; Oil Burner, the sire of No Nukes and grandsire of Western Hanover, was in his second; Happy Motoring, who gave us OTRA, came along in 1976, and the great Cam Fella three years later. And Most Happy Fella’s daughters gave us Laughs, Armbro Emerson, Ramblin Storm, Mystical Maddy, Topnotcher, Nobleland Sam, Sweet Reflection and Armbro Dallas. The Poplar Byrd colt Rum Customer won two years earlier. After a handful of failed crops in NA, he was shipped to New Zealand. Two years earlier, in 1966, Romeo Hanover won the Triple Crown. The hall of famer won his division three times and lost only once at three. The fact that his richest performer was the dual gaited Speedy Romeo says it all. He stood at Pine Hollow Stud, the same farm where Niatross saw his siring career go to pieces 17 years later. Romeo’s prowess on the track did not translate to his progeny. His daughter Last Wish was the second dam of Precious Bunny. That’s about it. He was relocated to Australia in 1978. Bret Hanover was the second Triple Crown winner, and like all the rest, with the exception of MHF, the three-time Horse of the Year failed to match his excellence on the track with his performance as a stallion. He experienced plenty of success, especially early on, and he was a prolific sire, but that great son eluded him. Strike Out, a division winner at two and three, was probably his most accomplished son, but fertility issues kept him from carrying on the line. Storm Damage, who fought the good fight against Niatross and Tyler B, was another. The Adios line running through Bret endures through world champion Warm Breeze’s grandson McArdle. The Meadow Skipper line helped do him in on the one hand, but it also allowed him to flourish as a broodmare sire. Among his credits: Fan Hanover, Nihilator, Cam Fella, Barberry Spur, Town Pro, Jaguar Spur, Ball And Chain, Three Diamonds, Miss Easy, Naughty But Nice, Delinquent Account, Armbro Feather and Sonsam. And the first Triple Crown winner was Adios Butler, the greatest pacer of his era, who paced a world record 1:54.3 in a time trial as a four-year-old. He was voted Horse of the Year at three and four. His level of success as a sire was very modest. Realization winner Adios Waverly, Honest Story and El Patron were three of his best. And his daughters were inconsequential as broodmares. Does the fact that the Pacing Triple Crown has for all but Blissful Hall and No Pan Intended taken place on three half mile tracks help explain the lack of production in the breeding realm? After all, the trotters get two of three on big tracks. Regardless, some of the better stallions simply didn’t win the Triple Crown. Cam Fella won the Cane and Messenger, as a supplemental entry in both, but he wasn’t staked to the Jug. Western Hanover won the Cane and Messenger but was a nose short against Fake Left in the Jug. Artsplace was parked the mile and finished ninth in the Messenger. He didn’t race in the other two legs. Albatross won the Cane and Messenger, but was beaten by Nansemond in the Jug. Abercrombie won the Messenger, finished eighth in the Jug and won his Cane elimination. I guess it all comes back to that. by Joe FitzGerald for Harnesslink Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.
Winbak Farm sadly announces the passing of Champion racemare, Armbro Feather, p, 2, 2:03.3h; 3, 1:53.4; 1:51.3 ($1,454,927). Born in 1984, Armbro Feather helped her dam, Brets Velvet, gain O'Brien Broodmare of the Year honors. Before her, Brets Velvet had produced six foals of racing age, only four had raced and the best, Velvet Dream, had made over $100,000. Her sire, Most Happy Fella, had already passed away by the time Armbro Feather was born. He had produced top pacing mares Silk Stockings and Tarport Hap in his first crop, but Armbro Feather born in his last crop (12 years later) would earn more than both of them combined. She would also win 56 of her 90 starts. A challenge to break, she refused to turn the right away of the track to go to the gate (a trait she never lost until the day she retired). She preferred no fuss and to be left alone. A horse with a mind of her own, Armbro Feather finished in the money 91% of her starts. At 3, she was the OJC Winner for her division. She won the Jugette (in straight heats), the Shady Daisy Stake and the Reynolds Memorial. She was also the New York Sire Stakes champion. At 4, she won the USHWA Dan Patch Award for Older Pacing Mares. She won the Breeders Crown prep, 2 Clare Series Legs & Final, Hanover Stake, and Roses Are Red Stake. She was second in the Breeders Crown and Milton Stake. She set her lifetime mark of 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands when she won the fillies & mares open. As an aged racehorse, she won the Breeders Crown, Clare Stake Final, Milton Stake leg and Final and Roses Are Red Final. When she retired from racing, Armbro Feather joined the Armstrong Brother broodmare ranks. While a broodmare at Armstrong Brothers, Armbro Feather produced 11 foals, none of which came close to their mother's earnings. Her best foal for the Armstrong Brothers was Us And Them, p, 1:51.4 ($265,036). In 2003, Armbro Feather sold at the Harrisburg Sale as part of the Armstrong Brothers pacing mares dispersal. She was bought by Winbak Farm for $22,000. She would have 3 foals at Winbak Farm, one that Armstrong Brothers bred and two that Winbak Farm bred including her richest earning foal, Get Jazzed, p, 1:53.2f ($323,631). Her other foal bred by Winbak Farm, named Clearly Foxy, is now a broodmare at the farm. Her last years have been spent enjoying a well-deserved retirement with Winbak's band of retired mares. by Elizabeth Cheesman, for Winbak Farm
Story Book has yet to write his last chapter, but his most recent one is a harness racing success story. Yesterday he notched his 8th consecutive win, the win skein started on November 17 at Monticello Raceway. The beginning of story starts with Cinderella, the dam of Story Book, Cinderella, who was a gritty mare in her own right taking a lifetime mark at 6 of 1:52:2, retiring with earning in excess of $250,000, her second dam was the top notch Most Happy Fella filly of yesteryear Toy Poodle. “She was a Blue Blood in Michigan” said Stalbaum in the paddock after the race. Larry owned and trained Cinderella, throughout her career he was so impressed with her that he figured he would give her a shot and breed her to a NY eligible American Ideal. “Story Book raced his first lifetime start at Monticello as a 2 year old, we were offered good money for him and we sold him at the end of his 2 year old year” said Larry Stalbaum after the muddy win. “I saw where he was racing in Buffalo and was not racing to well, so I figured I would take a chance with him” said Larry. Stalbaum’s afternoon got a little better, when he also won the following race with Where’s Waldo in the non-winners class. Monticello Raceways post time for the Monday thru Thursday schedule remains at 12:25pm for the month of February. Monticello Raceway’s new Pick 5 wager are races 3 – 7. By Shawn F. Wiles
The bottom line on stallion ads is to drum up business, of course, but what qualities and accomplishments a given farm highlights or ignores in these ads is always of interest. What they choose to say and not say tells the tale. Norman Woolworth and David Johnston’s Stoner Creek Stud always embraced the understated approach. In 1971 ads for Meadow Skipper, they simply noted that Most Happy Fella, from his first crop, had been voted Pacer of the Year while two-year-old Albatross had won his division. Skipper stood for $5,000 at that time. Eight years later, when it was obvious that he was the King and he was standing for $30,000, they simply printed “The Ultimate Sire” over Meadow Skipper’s name. A similar approach was taken by JEFs Standardbred Country Club when they stood grandson Cam Fella in New Jersey for $25,000 16 years later. “The Pacing Machine” said it all. A more hyperbolic approach was taken by Team Finder/Guida with Niatross. In a 1987 ad the former was described in bold type as “The most prolific pacing stallion in the world today.” Prolific in this case describes numbers of 2:00 and 1:53 or faster performers from the first three crops of the great pacer. The ad goes on to state that “Niatross is the superior stallion of all time.” He was standing for $40,000. Unfortunately, like too many from that line, he started off good but fell off sharply after the first few crops. Nihilator, Semalu Damour, Pershing Square, Smartest Remark, Barberry Spur and Caressable all came early, but pretty soon the well went dry. Barberry Spur stood at Stoner Creek for $10,000. Ouch! By 1990 Niatross was standing for $7,500 in New Jersey; four years later his fee had dropped to $5,000; five years later he was dead. The superior stallion of all time? I don’t think so. The Finder/Guida syndicate also marketed the Albatross stallion Merger as “the fastest two-year-old pacer in history.” True enough, but another dud. Nihilator, who was syndicated for more than $19 million, was also hyped beyond the realm of possibility. He started out serving a large book of mares at Almahurst for $40,000 a pop and proved to be a disaster. Ted Gewertz was quoted as saying the worst mistake he ever made was breeding to Nihilator. His fee dropped to $35,000, then $25,000. He only sired five full crops before passing prematurely. Bret Hanover was better than any pacer that preceded him. For that reason his first crop sons, none of whom were worth a damn as stallions, were marketed very aggressively. Almahurst advertised High Ideal anywhere and everywhere as the “greatest son of Bret Hanover.” At that point that wasn’t saying much and High Ideal, despite all the support, proved to be a mistake. Flying Bret was another from that first crop who was touted in the pages of every magazine but never amounted to anything. Golden Money Maker was also a failed stallion—in this case by Tar Heel—who was a darling of those selling ad space. Green Speed, who won the 1977 Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot, was touted by Pine Hollow Stud (Finder again) as a horse “Considered by many to be the greatest trotter to ever look through a bridle.” Trainer/driver Bill Haughton is quoted as saying Green Speed was “the greatest trotter I have ever seen.” The son of Speedy Rodney was standing for $5,000, a veritable bargain for the greatest ever. He sired one good horse, the filly Duenna, who won the Hambletonian for Stanley Dancer. Not quite the greatest ever? Later on Haughton was quoted in an ad for Burgomeister as saying, “he could have been the best trotter around.” But he wasn’t and he failed as a stallion. Pine Hollow also screamed that Sonsam’s world record 1:53.2 mile in the Meadowlands Pace was “the greatest performance ever.” Like his paternal brothers, he was good at the beginning but hit the wall early. Lana Lobell’s Alan Leavitt, a novelist in his spare time, favored long essays that emphasized his personal experience choosing stallions and matching them up with mares. In some cases a full page ad never mentioned the farm’s stallions. In one he proudly proclaimed experience to be superior to a computer program when it comes to assigning mares to stallions. After reading five paragraphs on Icarus Lobell you thought he was talking about Meadow Skipper. Although in the case of Speedy Crown, who was a game changer, ads full of numbers did appear. Fair Winds Farm also took the long-winded approach to advertising stallions like McKinzie Almahurst. Sometimes it’s best to avoid focusing on the stallion being advertised. A case in point is the advertising put forth on behalf of Deweycheatumnhowe. Walnut Hall had a full page ad in a recent edition of Horseman And Fair World with Master Of Law in bold print and a picture of that one winning the Centaur. Dewey, who has bounced from Kentucky to Ontario to New York, is mentioned once in the small print. Ads for track stars that are struggling as stallions, like Art Official, Shark Gesture and Mister Big, are long on racing accomplishments by the stallion and short on details about his progeny. There is a time limit on that: at some point it gets a little weird. Breeding can be a point of emphasis. Shirley’s Beau, the best son of the Hoot Mon stallion Overcall, was advertised as one that “could be the outcross stallion needed in harness breeding.” He wasn’t. Keystone Ore was touted as the “greatest son of Bye Bye Byrd.” He did sire It’s Fritz, one of those fastest that never won anything types. Speaking of pure speed, one obscure stallion was touted as the only son of Steady Star standing in Illinois. Still one too many. Unraced Cobra Almahurst, a $385,000 yearling, was produced by “The Magic of Meadow Skipper.” “He was meant to be a great one and everyone knew it.” All this for $1,000 in Illinois. Lime Time was marketed on the basis of his 95% conception rate. They were slow as can be, but they were a sure bet to pop out. Sundance Skipper, the sire of Carl’s Bird, was “the overnight sensation.” Not exactly. Ideal Society was “The only 2-year-old to beat all multimillion dollar syndicated 2-year-olds in 1981.” Say what? Lew Williams’ speedball Whata Baron did much of his best work in New Jersey and he was widely advertised when he entered the stallion ranks. He may have executed seven sub-1:55 winning miles in less than three months, but he was no sire. The Armstrong Brothers boldly stated and underlined that Armbro Omaha’s “First Crop Defies Comparison.” Even by OSS standards in the late 1970’s that was kind of strong. The son of Airliner was better on the track than he was in the shed. Good ads can give a stallion a boost, but when looked back at from a distance they may raise an eyebrow or two. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
It’s beginning to look like Ake Svanstedt’s trotter Sebastian is so superior to the competition that he’s racing only against the clock. There was a time when time was privileged over purse money in the pursuit of assessing a stallion or mare’s suitability for the breeding ranks, but those days are long gone. Bob Marks never had much use for them, although he says he did “use them occasionally to get marks on horses that could never accomplish much in actual races.” Flip through the latest edition of the Breeder’s Book and you’ll find a couple of pacers with time trial marks—Jereme’s Jet and 26-year-old Cambest—and the Indiana stallion Jailhouse Jesse on the diagonal side. How sweet it would be to see Sebastian take to the track during the Red Mile meet with a pair of t-breds or pacers behind him and a jacked-up crowd cheering him home. He’d surely rid us of the 1:50 burden as well as Enough Said and his Colonial Downs asterisk. Fifty years ago just about every premium stallion and mare was measured against the clock at some point. Rodney, Fancy Crown, Most Happy Fella, Scotland, Yankee Lass, Bullet Hanover, Bye Bye Byrd, Dancer Hanover, Cheer Honey, Dayan, Hickory Pride, Elma, Isle Of Wight, Steady Beau and Sampson Direct all carry time trial marks. Some drivers specialized in handling the time trialing horses, while others were good with the prompters. When Adios Butler knocked two ticks off Billy Direct’s 22-year-old mark, which was set the day before Greyhound’s at The Red Mile on October 4, 1960, owner Paige West drove the 4-year-old while Del Miller and trainer/driver Eddie Cobb drove the t-bred prompters. When the 4-year-old Cash Hall went after Pine Chip’s 1:54 world record at Delaware in 2006, John Campbell drove the son of Self Possessed while Dave Palone chased after him with the Real Artist mare, Valentine. Cash Hall annihilated the mark with a 1:51.1 mile. On the trotting side, Greyhound’s TT1:55 ¼ mark, set on September 29, 1938 for Sep Palin, held fast for 31 years, until Nevele Pride dropped it to TT1:54.4 for Stanley Dancer at Indianapolis on Sunday August 31, 1969. Twelve thousand enthusiastic fans were in attendance that day. Coincidentally enough, a longstanding pacing mark of 1:55 was also set at that same Lexington meet in 1938: Billy Direct time trialed free-legged in 1:55 for Vic Fleming on September 28, 1938. That mark remained untouched during the 1940s. Frank Ervin put a 1:57.1 mark on 5-year-old Adios in a time trial when he was offered $500 to break the track record, and four years later another great progenitor, Gene Abbe, time trialed in 2:00.3, also at age five. But it took a race mark of 1:55 from Adios Harry in the American Pacing Derby at Vernon Downs on July 16, 1955, with the owner’s son Luther Lyons in the bike, to match Billy Direct’s mark. Adios Butler undercut the 1:55 standard five years later in the time trial referenced above. That 1:55 barrier was finally shattered. The great Speedy Crown didn’t break any records when he time trialed in 2:01.2 as a freshman in 1970, but after winning just four of eight starts and earning a paltry $2,000, he did prove that good things were on the way. Actually the first significant time trial for trotters in the 1970s came from Arnie Almahurst, a crazy fast son of Speedy Scot, who pretty much won every start he didn’t break stride in. He had little in common with his paternal brother, Speedy Crown, who never broke stride—not ever. Arnie time trialed in 1:57.2 at The Red Mile for Joe O’Brien and became the sixth fastest trotter behind Super Bowl, Nevele Pride, Ayres, Speedy Scot and Speedy Crown. Nine years later his 3-year-old son Arndon trotted the fastest mile ever by a trotter when he hit the wire in TT1:54 for Del Miller at The Red Mile. And twelve years after that Arndon’s 4-year-old son Pine Chip became the world record holder when he time trialed in 1:51 for John Campbell at Lexington. Arndon and his dad both retired as the fastest ever. Another important trotting time trial in the ‘70s was ABC Freight’s TT1:57.1 as a 2-year-old for Joe O’Brien at Hollywood Park in 1976. The sire of Garland Lobell topped Nevele Pride’s 1:58.2 freshman mark and became the fastest 2-year-old trotter ever. ABC set his lifetime mark of 1:56.3 the following year in a time trial. The market for blockbuster trotting time trials pretty much dried up after that, although Cash Hall did crush the half-mile mark with that 1:51.1 mile for John Campbell at Delaware in 2006 that was referenced above. The time trials involving Standardbred trotters under saddle has been less prevalent, nonetheless, it has played a prominent role due to the horses and people involved. In 1940 Greyhound ended his racing career under saddle at Lexington. Frances Dodge rode him to a world record of 2:01 ¾. That mark stood for 54-years, until Preferential and Brooke Nickells broke it in 1994 with a 1:58.2 mile. And six years later the mighty Moni Maker, like Greyhound, ended her career under saddle at The Red Mile. Jockey Julie Krone, with Jimmy Takter and Wally Hennessey following with prompters, trotted in an incredible 1:54.1. In the pacing camp it was up to Bret Hanover to continue the assault on the longstanding 1:55 standard that his paternal brother, Adios Butler, had begun. In early September of 1966, 4-year-old Bret, who was within a few months of being retired, time trialed in 1:54 at Vernon Downs for Frank Ervin with a single prompter chasing him. Five weeks later in Lexington Ervin put the TT1:53.3 mark on the big guy that would serve as his lifetime mark. Dancer preferred to put race marks on Albatross so there are no flashy time trials on Super Bird’s resume. He did become the fastest ever in a race when he won both heats of the Tattersalls Pace at The Red Mile in 1:54.4, topping Adios Harry’s race mark, which Bret had matched. He also won in 1:55.3 at Delaware, matching Adios Butler’s time trial mark and eclipsing Bret’s 1:57 half-mile track race mark. Steady Star, a free-legged son of Steady Beau, who was a year older than Albatross, cornered the time trial market in that era. At three he circled The Red Mile in 1:54 for Joe O’Brien and the following year, on October 1, 1971, he time trialed in a head turning 1:52. Later on, in 1976, 4-year-old Nero time trialed in 1:55.1 and the following year Warm Breeze was race timed in 1:53.1 at Golden Bear in Sacramento. Two years later Meadow Skipper’s son Falcon Almahurst became the fastest 3-year-old pacer ever with a 1:52.2 time trial at Lexington for Bill Haughton. Only Steady Star had gone faster. Then came the game changer: 3-year-old Niatross’s TT1:49.1 at The Red Mile on Oct 1, 1980. It was the sport’s first sub-1:50 mile and, while it parallels Adios Butler’s breach of the 1:50 point, it was so much more. The closest thing to it was Steady Star going 1:52, but the sleek son of Steady Beau didn’t win a single open stakes race during his career—not so for Niatross. His son Nihilator was later positioned to outdo dad in a time trial at Springfield but the weather didn’t cooperate and he was unable to lower his 1:49.3 race mark in a time trial at DuQuoin. Matt’s Scooter went after the 1:49.1 mark at The Red Mile in 1988 and knocked four ticks off of it. His 1:48.2 time trial for Mike Lachance established a new world record. Matt’s Scooter beat Niatross’s mark but 5-year-old Cambest blew it out of the water with his 1:46.1 time trial at Springfield. The problem was that he wasn’t tested afterwards and not long after that his 1:52.1 win in the Senior Jug was disqualified due to elevated bicarbonate levels. Cambest was slated to stand at Hanover Shoe Farms but in light of the controversial final chapter of his career they passed. So stick Jimmy Takter and Bernie Noren behind a couple of fast pacers and let’s see if Ake can wheel Sebastian around The Red Mile in a time that will cause the crowd to gasp the way they did for Steady Star’s 1:52 mile and Niatross’s 1:49.1. Speed has always sold in this game; time to pump it up via the time trial. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
All Speed Hanover 3, 1:49.4 ($819,712), one of Cam's Card Shark's most outstanding juvenile performers and winner of the USA 2YO Breeders Crown in 2009, is to do stud duty at Graham and Janine Taylor's Stonegate Farm at Nathalia, 45 kilometres north of Shepparton, Australia. He is at present doing quarantine in Kentucky and is expected to arrive in Australia in mid-August. His service fee for his first season will be $2,500 including GST with discounts for multiple mares and generous breeding packages. All Speed Hanover was unquestionably one of the best two-year-olds of his crop. From seven starts at that age he posted five wins and a placing, amassing $486,950 in stakes. Undoubtedly the highlight of his freshman campaign was his success in the $700,000 Breeders Crown at Woodbine, in which he edged out 2YO of the Year Sportswriter after a titanic stretch duel in 1:52. All Speed Hanover also won a $139,800 division of the Bluegrass Stake and a $119,350 division of the International Stallion Stake, both in 1:50.6 at Lexington's mile track. He took his record of 1:49.4 at three years, winning an elimination of the North America Cup at Mohawk, while he also captured a heat of the New Jersey Classic before finishing a nose second in the $500,000 Final in 1:49.2. All Speed Hanover added over $160,000 to his bankroll as an aged performer, retiring with $819,712 in career earnings and being race-timed in sub 1:50 on nine occasions. Noel Daley, who trained All Speed Hanover most of his career, said: "At this stage he's the most exciting young pacer I've trained. He had versatility and a great gait. I will certainly be breeding to him 'Down Under'". Meanwhile, Luke McCarthy, who drove on several occasions when based in America, said: "He's the most gifted two-year-old I have driven." An upstanding bay, All Speed Hanover has the breeding background to compliment his obvious racetrack ability. Cam's Card Shark, champion sire in America, where he has sired winners of almost $133 million and has 58 in the 1:50 list, has also made an impact through his sons as sires in Australia and New Zealand. Not only is All Speed Hanover a youthful son of Cam's Card Shark - he was foaled in 2007 - but on his distaff side he can claim equal distinctions. Allamerican Cool (1:54.8), the Stakes-winning dam of All Speed Hanover, has a 100 percent record at stud with nine foals for nine winners including five in 1:55 and three $100,000 winners. They have amassed more than $1.3million in progeny earnings. Furthermore, Allamerican Cool ranks as a half-sister to one of the greatest racemares of all-time in Eternal Camnation 1:49.4, the winner of 47 races, a record $3,748,574 in stakes and a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame. Trilogy Lobell, the third dam of All Speed Hanover, was a half-sister to the Little Brown Jug winner and champion sire Life Sign 1:50.6 ($1.9million) and to the dam of leading sire American Ideal (1:47.8), their dam being Three Diamonds (1:53.2), the USA 2YO and 3YO Filly of the Year and a Hall of Fame immortal. All Speed Hanover is a Most Happy Fella line horse - that which produced Bettor's Delight - from one of the top maternal families in the world, and boasts six strong crosses of the blood of Meadow Skipper. He should prove an ideal outcross to mares boasting Abercrombie, Western Hanover and Direct Scooter blood. By Peter Wharton
South Australian pin up boy Come On Frank returned from a harness racing stint in Victoria to take the main event at Melton on Friday night. The horse with his own Facebook page sat one out and one back and proved too classy for main rival Mark Dennis. Come On Frank has now won twice in eight starts since returning from injury which saw him off the scene for some 14 months after finishing third to Smoken Up in the 2013 SA Cup. Friday nights race, trainer driver Darren Billinger eased the local hero off the gate after drawing the outside of the front and ended up in the one one behind Mark Dennis, who charged out of the gate but was caught outside former WA pacer Adda Paternal Suit who faced to finish last. A slow pace, which did not suite Come On Frank, but the son of Blissfull Hall in the end his lass prevailed and on the line pulled away from Mark Dennis to win by 3 meters with a further 6 meters to Livin It Lovin It back in third spot. Come on Frank was bred by Ian Goddard, who shares ownership in the gelding with Julie and Jodie Billinger, he was got by Blissfull Hall from Whatacorka, a SA bred mare by the Most Happy Fella horse What’s Next. Whatacorka, was a handy racemare by What’s Next, a world record holder for 1-1/2 miles from the Miss Duvall family, and who proved a champion sire of two and three-year-olds. Whatacorka, who won three races, was out of a top racemare in Uncork, who took a record of 1:59.9, won 18 races including the SA Sapling Stakes and $68,136 in stakes and became the dam of nine winners. Besides Whatacorka, Uncork is also the dam of Hes A Corka 1:57.4, a winner of 45 races including the Southern Cross 2YO and 3YO Finals, Breeders Plate and Italian Cup, Saved A Corka 1:59.1 (24 wins including the SA Oaks and Southern Cross 3YO), Maybe A Corka 1:57.1, Seel A Corka and Arm A Corka. Come On Frank looks set to dominate fast class races in South Australia in the coming months. By Gary Newton
Roland Beaulieu, best known for his 1970s stars Columbia George, Skipper Walt and Romalie Hanover, passed away Thursday, April 10, at his home in Orlando, Fla. At the age of 98. A native of Lewiston, Maine, with a large population of French Canadians, Beaulieu didn't learn English until his teenaged years and then employed himself by opening a bar and snack shop, although he was a teetotaler. In his mid 20s, when he developed health issues, a doctor advised him to get more fresh air and he started spending time with harness horses on the Maine fair circuit, and harness racing became his life's work. Early in his career he developed the stakes winner Eileen Eden and the raceway notables Regal Pick and Adam Eden. In 1969, training horses for Dr. George Smith of Byram, Conn., Beaulieu became a fixture on the Grand Circuit with the two-year-old pacing colt Columbia George. Beaulieu knew the colt had talent, but he also had a couple of bowed tendons. He made a special leg paint to treat the affliction and with the help of his wife, Blondie, the Good Time colt won 12 races as a two-year-old and set seasonal, track and world records. As a three-year-old Columbia George won the American-National, a Hanover-Hempt, a heat of the Adios, a heat of the Little Brown Jug, and a heat of the Tattersalls Pace, but his nemesis Most Happy Fella was a tough adversary. To read the rest of the story click here.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8. On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown. Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver. A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”. Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC. Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup. He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000. Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3. Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings. Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million. Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC. In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management. He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway. He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season. He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing. He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville. Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2. Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races. As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario. As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press. Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy. He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing. During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice. Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario, includin fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida. Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
After joint consultation Jim Simpson, President of Hanover Shoe Farms and majority owner Jeff Snyder have decided to retire Cam's Card Shark from active stallion duty at Hanover. "The horse has been good to everybody associated with him from the day he was foaled" Simpson said. "He has now reached the stage in life where it is both difficult and dangerous for him and those around him to mount the phantom mare or even to be collected using a live mare". Cam's Card Shark is a foal of 1991. As a two year old he was lightly campaigned under the guidance of trainer Micky McGivern. His wins at two included the Lou Babic Memorial and two New Jersey Sires Stakes. At 3, he was transferred to the Bill Robinson Stable. He was voted "Horse of the Year 1994". In addition he garnered both O'Brien and Nova awards for Horse of the Year. His wins at three include the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace, The North America Cup, the Art Rooney Memorial, the Adios, the Messenger, the New Jersey Classic and the Miller Memorial. He was syndicated at the end of 1994 and retired with two and three year old earnings of $2,498,204.. He entered the stallion ranks at Hanover's New Jersey Farm in 1995. His stallion accomplishments are many and varied He has sired ten millionaires including five who have earned in excess of two million dollars. He is credited with three Little Brown Jug winners and two winners of The Meadowlands Pace.His most renowned performers have been Shark Gesture, Bettors Delight, Four Starzzz Shark, Royalflush Hanover, Holborn Hanover, Roll With Joe, Village Jolt and Million Dollar Cam. Of special note is that his son Bettors Delight is the fifth great stallion from a paternal line that follows from Meadow Skipper, through Most Happy Fella, to Cam Fella, to Cams Card Shark and now Bettors Delight. This is a feat unprecedented in both Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeding. Its quite possible that the line will be extended through his grandson Betterthancheddar. Snyder said that Cams Card Shark will live out his remaining days "which I hope will be many" at Hanover Shoe Farms. From Hanover Shoe Farms
Rene Sheward is still buzzing from creating her own slice of Little Brown Jug harness racing history at the Delaware County Fairgrounds last Thursday (September 20). That's the day the Indiana native became the first woman in the 67-year history of the coveted Ohio race to become an associate judge.
Their rivalry preceded Affirmed and Alydar's by two years. Silk Stockings, linked forever to autistic children, and Tarport Hap, who had a tragic ending for a legendary horseman , were two of the greatest harness racing pacing mares of the last 40 years. They went head-to-head 20 times in the mid-'70s, and, frequently, their traveling battlefield was the New York Sire Stakes.