July 2012 Archives
 
The following items are listed below as they appeared on this website during the month of July 2012 . To view each item, simply scroll down the page and it will appear in the order shown .

1. - Arndon and Delvin Miller
2. - On The Road Again Syndicated
3. - Hanover Raceway Oldies Night 
4. - Grattan Bars Ad
5. - Wilcos Comet Wins Governor Generals Cup
6. - O.S.S Statistics From 1984
7. - Old Woodbine Recollections - 1958
8. - First Maple Leaf Trot - 1950
9. - Dresden Opens Under The Lights 1966
10. -Adios Butler Wins Pace of The Century

July 4, 2012
July 5,1982 - Arndon Trots To New Record at Blue Bonnets To Celebrate Driver's Birthday

Photo - Arndon and driver Delvin Miller

A crowd of 8,883 fans came out mainly to see if the trotting sensation Arndon could continue his unbeaten streak and saw him do just that .A large field of 10 starters including a 4 horse entry faced the starter ,all with the hope of ending Arndon's winning ways at 9 straight   .Purse for the event billed as "The Montreal Trot" for 3 year olds was $143,000 . It was not to be and driver Delvin Miller who was celebrating his 69th birthday made sure of that .Miller of Meadowlands Pa. who also owns and trains the trotting phenomenon, headed straight to the front from 6th position and made every post a winning one .They cut out fractions of 29.1;58.1;1:27.4; crossing the wire in 1:57.2 and in so doing set a new World,Canadian and Track record .Ironically the previous Track mark belonged to Speed In Action another Miller pupil . Finishing second was Speed Bowl for Tommy Haughton while Incredible Nevele (Glen Garnsey) a part of the entry got up for third place money .The large crowd pushed  $ 984,170 through the mutuel windows on this Sunday afternoon, many collecting on a $3.50 win ticket on 3-5 Arndon  .Arndon's season's winnings now total just over $207,000 .

The picture of Arndon that accompanies this post was given to me personally by Delvin Miller . Delvin was an incredible man who despite his lofty accomplishments and extremely busy schedule,always took time to be in touch with people who he knew were eager to learn about the sport's past ,and its rich history .We corresponded for many years and I was fortunate to visit him a number of times at his winter quarters in Florida . We lost this great man in 1996 .


July 5, 2012
On The Road Again Syndication Announced - July 1985

It has recently been announced that the great pacer On The Road Again 1:52.2 has been syndicated and will begin his first year in the stud at Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill N.Y. .His service fee has been set at $ 15,000 for the 1986 season .The terms of the syndication state that 40 shares have been established at a value of $200,000 each, thus making the paper value of the offering $8 million .

It further states that the share price is payable over 5 years with interest at 8 percent .Each share entitles the owner to breed three mares per season .Observers feel this is a very reasonable price given that Nihilator recently sold at $400,000 per share and Dragons Lair at $300,000 .

A few of the top service fees for top stallions at the current time are as follows :

Albatross               - $ 75,000
B G's Bunny           - $15,000
Big Towner            - $20,000
Cam Fella             - $25,000
Falcon Almahurst - $15,000
Nero                        - $30,000
Ralph Hanover       - $15,000
Sonsam                  - $40,000
Nihilator                  - To be announced
Dragons Lair          - To be announced

As an interesting side note, there have been some fairly serious discussions about a possible match race between OTRA and Nihilator which if it occurs would be at The Meadowlands on August 10th .


Hanover Raceway Oldies Night - 1971

July 6, 2012
Photo - From left Elmer Fritz , Hugh McLean,Jacob Giesel (seated in the high wheeler) and Frank Carnahan .On the track at Hanover Raceway .(Photo by Hingley Studio)

Back in the summer of 1971, a special evening was held at Hanover Raceway to honour a few veteran horsemen and their families for their pioneering work in establishing harness racing in the Hanover area .It was a time for visiting,reminiscing,story telling and picture taking .Even a vintage high wheeled cart much like the forerunner to the modern day sulky was brought out for the festivities .

Four area horsemen appeared on the track and were thrilled to be a part of the evening's activities put together by Hanover Raceway officials .These individuals are among those who  witnessed in their lifetime a rapid rise in the popularity of  harness racing and a change in status to a year round sport and business .

Many descendants of these gentlemen are still very much involved in harness racing in a major way,not only locally but across the country .


Grattan Bars Ad -1941

July 9, 2012
The following ad appeared in the Strathroy Dominion Day Race Program on July 1,1941
 
In Service - Grattan Bars

Enrollment No. 1712 ** First Class

Sire of 33 with Records of 2:10 or Better

Service Fee - $10.00 at time of Service $15.00 for Standing Foal

Good accommodation for mares on grass with spring water - $4.00 Per Month

Contact - Fred Thrower Owner
Strathroy Ont.
 
 

July 18, 2012

Old Woodbine - July 1958 Recollections

The Old Woodbine summer meeting is now in its fourth week .The racing has been excellent with ample horses on the grounds to fill nearly all classes . This year marks the 5th season that harness racing has been staged at this downtown Toronto location which started when Thorncliffe Park closed its doors in 1953 .

Attendance has been exceptional and as shown in the accompanying picture, it has become a family venue as well .I have no idea who the people are in this vintage photo, but it certainly portrays an image consistent with this time period .These great old photographs tell a much better story than I can hope to ever tell ......

Twelve Year old Mare scores Maiden Victory 

On the afternoon of July 11, the first race of the day included some rather long "odds" and that does not include what may have lit up the tote board as I have no idea  what that the mutuel payoff of this race was . A rather young driver by the name of Peter Thibaudeau from Markdale Ont. was driving his parents not so young trotter Goldie Lee in a Class 28 Trot (for maidens) . In the short span of 2 minutes and 11.4 seconds the pair were headed for the Old Woodbine winner's circle .This victory marked the first lifetime win for the 12 year old Lee Harvester - Goldie Bars (by Grattan Bars) mare .At the end of the 1958 season, she had banked a total of $453 in 13 starts, perhaps proving that with time and patience almost anything can be accomplished .(Maybe there's a picture of this one ?)

A short list of the top horses competing here would include the following divided by gait :

Trotters - Ben Boy,Laddie Hanover, In Free,Selka Song,Amber Lad,Lord Dean,Rebel Al,Safety Man the Second,Mr. Baldridge ,Legal Express,Rosena Chips ,Bonnie Song .

Pacers - Hal's Bomb,Mr. Galvin,States Attorney,Josedale Minty Lou,Ezra Deen,Argyel Ray ,Argyel Sam,Billy Easter,Captain Wright,Governor G.,Howard Rosecroft,Widow Baldwin,Deborah Frost,Baldy Carter,Sharon's Counsel .

Also a list of competing drivers would include the following :(This a partial list)

Norm Bayne,Russ Beattie,Duncan Campbell,Cecil Coke,Don Corbett,Bernie Carleton,Keith Feagan,Max Featherstone,Dr. John Findley,Ken Galbraith,Bill Gardner,Bud Gilmour,Jacob Geisel Jr.,"Orangeville" Bill Harvey,"Ancaster" Bill Harvey,Bob Givens,Bill Hicks,Fred Hill,Jimmy Holmes,Wilbert Hopkins,Garnet Jackson,Ross Johnston,Gord Kingston,Omar Knight,Gord Kitchen,Gordon Lawrence,Jiggs McFadden,Ron McGee,Harold McKinley,Hugh McLean, Allan McManus,Neil McRann,Bob Sanford,Graydon Sheldon,Wm Smith,Bob Taylor,Lloyd Turvey,Wray Turvey,Harold Varcoe,Keith Waples,Murray Waples, Vern Waddell ,Allan Walker,Garnet Weatherup,Tom Yearly,Clarence Young .And many more

Racing at this time was over a 3/4 mile course employing the famous "chute" .

Dresden Under The Lights - 1966

July 25, 2012
July 23 and July 30,1966  - Two Drivers Dominate Racing at Dresden

Photo - Ellis Dell on the right accepts the Supertest trophy from Company officials after his colt High Lee Boy captured the 3 Year Old Supertest Stake at Tillsonburg on July 15,1953 defeating Barney Diplomat . Jiggs McFadden was the driver on this day but later Ellis took up the driving of  all of his own horses .(Authors Collection)

Saturday night racing has quickly become a popular pastime at the Dresden track and two local drivers have completely dominated the winner's circle on the first two consecutive nights .Ellis Dell of nearby Becher and Ross Johnston of Rutherford, have combined to win a total of 13 of the 18 races held the past two racing programs .On July 23rd Ellis Dell was a winner with Lorene Lee,Easy Sara,Gunner Creed and Aerial Nell .Ross Johnson had 2 wins ,scoring with Dresden Prince and Trefoil Heather . The following week Dell was back again with 5 more winner's circle visits .This time it was repeats with Easy Sara,Aerial Nell,Lorene Lee and also Sue K Harmony for Tom Keck as well as his own Aerial Doug . Johnston's victories came behind Trefoil Gin and Trefoil Heather again .Purses range from $200 to $300 at this time .

 Other winning drivers with just one apiece were Earl Hyatt,Elmer McLean,Lyle Bogart,Joe Booth and Arnold Armstrong .Racing at this popular spot dates way back but in most previous years it was confined to just one or two days per year ,most often on Labour Day weekend .It is now operating much more frequently under the floodlights .

Most of the Dell stable winners were homebred and sired by Aerial Gunner a horse that Ellis secured in Montreal as part of a rather large "swap" of horses a number of years previous to this . Ellis was known to trade horses and on this occasion he secured a well bred trotting sire who was a starter in the 1953 Hambeltonian which was won by Helicopter .Aerial Gunner, a son of Bombs Away was trotting bred and became a Free For All trotter ,but also had a pacing record .He was mated with a number of pacing bred mares and the results were quite successful .

Members of the Dell family continue to be involved in the sport and son Elwin still resides at the original Dell Farm located near Wallaceburg Ont.in the former community of Becher  .