by Bob Heyden
Did you know…
1. That the sire of the speedy pacing mare Inittowinafortune is Cams Fortune, himself a full-brother to Camluck, born in 1991?
2. That the first Hambletonian Chuck Sylvester entered was in 1982 with Diamond Exchange, which was the same year Billy Haughton won his last Hambletonian? Haughton teamed up with son Tommy to win with Speed Bowl. The following year, John Campbell debuted in the Hambletonian and won his first heat with Joe De Vie the same year Stanley Dancer won his last Hambletonian (Dancer drove Duenna to victory).
3. That the first ever Down Under horse to win in sub-1:50 was Smart Son N (Aug. 10, 1996 in 1:49.3) with Jimmy Morrill, Jr. at the lines?
4. That the Goldsmith Maid in 1976 was an open for all trotters, and in 1977 was for three-year-old trotting fillies only and then re-appeared at Garden State Park in 1990 for the freshman trotting ladies?
5. That Bill O’Donnell drove Hambletonian winners Mack Lobell (first eight starts at two) and Alf Palema (second through sixth start at two) and Park Avenue Joe (the week before the Hambletonian, finishing second in the Dancer)?
6. That Cam Fella did not win in either of the two richest races he ever competed in? The $300,000 Los Alamitos test of April 23, 1982 saw him impeded and finish eighth-placed-seventh, while the $221,350 Slutsky Memorial at Monticello on Aug. 8, 1983 (Formerly the Monticello OTB Classic) he was second to Bo Scots Blue Chip by over nine lengths?
7. That Bunny Lake is the only Horse of the Year to supplement to — and win — the Breeders Crown ($45,000) the same year she was named HOY (2001)?
8. That Ron Pierce won a single million-dollar race in his 30s — the 1993 Hambletonian with American Winner — another one while in his 40s — the 1997 Meadowlands Pace with Dream Away — but nine million-dollar events while in his 50s (2006 North America Cup with Total Truth — age 50; 2007 Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic with Donato Hanover —age 51; 2008 Meadowlands Pace with Art Official — age 52; 2009 North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace with Well Said — age 53; 2010 Metro with Simply Business and the 2010 Hambletonian with Muscle Massive — age 54 and the 2011 Meadowlands Pace with Roll With Joe — age 55)?
9. That 16 different drivers have won a total of 29 million-dollar races while in their 50s?
10. That the three richest colt seasons for a three-year-old trotter who was not in the Hambletonian were: $1,215,996 by Kadabra in 2002, $1,208,236 from Majestic Son in 2006 and S Js Caviar’s $1,198,490 of 2001? Crazy Wow also topped the million-dollar mark a couple of years back at age three. He was not Hambletonian eligible, either
11. That Brian Sears was chosen for Pinkman in 2015 in the Hambletonian final and won it, but chose off Creamy Mimi for the 2008 Hambletonian Oaks final for Lantern Kronos (Andy Miller won it with Creamy Mimi)?
12. That 2017 marks the 20th anniversary for Marvin Katz of his winning the Meadowlands Pace in 1997 with Dream Away?
13. That David Miller has an incredible streak going of at least one 1:47 FLAT win (or faster) in each of the past 4 seasons: 2013 Pet Rock 1:47; 2014 Shebestingin 1:47; 2015 State Treasurer 1:47 and 2016 Always B Miki 1:46.
14. That in the 1988 Meadowlands Pace final, in a 12-horse field, the winner, Matts Scooter, had the third worst winning percentage career going into that final? Ringaleevio one-for-26; Threefold five-for-21 and Matts Scooter five-for-18. Matts Scooter was 23-for-30 the following year as the Horse of the Year.
15. Sportswriter is the rare horse to bank over $1.5 million without making 15 career starts?
He earned $1,566,460 in 14 starts. His last ever try a 1:48.4 effort in the 2010 Meadowlands Pace final was good only for seventh. He averaged $111,890 per start.