Us Harness Racing

Thomas Gahagan through Guy McKinney

THOMAS GAHAGAN 1960 [1876-1959]

Brother of 1959 Immortal William, Tom Gahagan was born on a farm near Hudson, MI in 1876. After his schooling, he moved to Detroit to work on the Detroit Times. Later on, he wrote for the Chicago Horseman, Western Horseman, Horseman and Fair World, and Hoof Beats. Gahagan covered the Grand Circuit for fifty years, missing only one meeting. His feature articles on the sport were syndicated on many sport pages throughout the country. At times he also acted as an official at various tracks on the Grand Circuit. He retired in 1950 to Detroit, where he died at the age of eighty-three, in 1959.

 

WILLIAM GAHAGAN 1959 [1885-1946]

Brother of 1960 Immortal Thomas, "Will" was born April 12, 1885 on a farm near Hudson, MI. He went to Detroit as a young man to work for the Detroit Times. Later he worked for the turf Journals, Western Horseman, Horseman & Fair World and Horse Review. He moved to Goshen, NY in 1927 to become Registrar of the reorganized Trotting Register. He was editor of Hoof Beats, the USTA's monthly magazine, member of The Hambletonian Society, the Grand Circuit and The Trotting Horse Club of America. He died in Goshen in 1946.

 

Clinton G. Galbraith 1989

 

 

CLARENCE F. GAINES 1985 [1897-1985]

A highly successful manufacturer of pet foods, he became a harness horse enthusiast in 1943. Gaines established the renowned Gainesway Farm, where he bred two Hambletonian winners in a row: Kerry Way (1966) and Speedy Streak (1967). A prime mover in the establishment of Vernon Downs track in upstate New York, he also contributed a number of innovations to the sport, most significantly the plastic sulky wheel disc which greatly improved racing safety. He was a member of many prominent racing organizations, including The Trotting Horse Club of America, The Lexington Trots Breeders' Association and The Hambletonian Society. A trustee of The Trotting Horse Museum/Hall of Fame of the Trotter, he was inducted into The Living Hall of Fame in 1980. He died in 1985.

 

 

GLEN G. GARNSEY 1985 [1933-1985]

Born in 1933 in Clayton, NY, Glen Garnsey followed in the footsteps of his father Garland, a very successful trainer and driver at upstate New York tracks. Young Garnsey opened a public stable in 1963 and reached the 100-win level that same year. A few years later he Joined famed Castleton Farm as a private trainer and became its head trainer in 1969. In 1977 he reopened his public stable in spectacular fashion by training and driving Abercrombie to 1978 Horse of the Year honors. Three years later he repeated with Fan Hanover. In 1983 Glen Garnsey was inducted into The Living Hall of Fame, having won more than 2,000 races, with purse earnings in excess of $11 million. He died in an automobile accident in September, 1985.

 

 

WALTER S. GARRISON 1976 [1864-1937]

Walter Garrison was one of the prominent horsemen in the east in the first third of the twentieth century. Among the champions he trained and drove were Berry The Great, Peter Stevens and Gordon Dillon. He drove for several stables during his long career, including the William B. Eckert Stable and the stable of T. L. Gustin. Garrison's death in 1937 was a result of one of the worst accidents in harness racing history. The accident at the Lewiston, PA Fair killed not only Walter Garrison, but driver George Satterfield as well and brought serious injury to Miles S. Fox.

 

EDWARD F. GEERS 1958 [1851-1924]

"Pop" Geers was born on a farm near Lebanon, TN in 1851. At the age of twenty he won his first race with Little Dave to wagon in 3:04, and four years later opened his own stable at Major Brown's Swell Stock Farm in Springhill, TN. His first star was Mattie Hunter, 2:12, who, in July 1879, gave "Pop" his first world record. Brown Hal, 2:12 and Hal Pointer brought Geers to the forefront in 1889 and he continued in 1890 with Hal Pointer to set a mark of 2:09. He raced Robert J. to his time of 2:01 in 1894. When the bike wheel was introduced, "Pop" was one of the pioneers to use it and to prove it. He drove many champions during the remainder of his career.
"The Silent Man" died as a result of a racing accident at Wheeling, WV, on September 3, 1924, which, ironically, had been proclaimed Geers' Day" at the West Virginia State Fair.

 

GENE ABBE p, 2:00 1978 [1944-1978]

Sired by Bert Abbe out of Rose Marie, Gene Abbe was foaled in 1944. A natural free-legged pacer, he retired to stud alter a successful race career. He had over 1,000 sons and daughters whose winnings totaled over $22 million. Among his famous offspring are Stephan Smith, Sly Attorney and Big Towner. Gene Abbe died and was buried at Blue Chip Farm, Wallidli, NY in 1978, where he had stood for many years.

 

GEORGE WILKES t, 2:22 1955 [1856-1882]

George Wilkes, foaled in Orange County, NY In 18569 was owned by Judge Thomas Felter of Greenwood Lake. The son of Hambletonian and Dolly Spanker, he showed speed as a three-year-old and was sold for $4,000 to W. L. Simmons. He proved to be the third fastest trotter of his day and in twelve years of racing his best mark was 2:22. He performed under saddle, to wagon and sulky, and finished in the money every start. He was one of four of Hambletonian's sons who established sire lines that lead to nearly all trotters and pacers racing in America today.
George Wilkes died in Ashgrove, KY in May 1882.

 

ELBRIDGE T. GERRY, SR. 1999 [1908-1999]

Elbridge Thomas Gerry was born on November 22, 1908. He was the great-great-grandson of Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, governor of Massachusetts and later Vice President of the United States, under President James Madison. He was the son of Robert L. Gerry and Cornelia Harriman, daughter of E. H. Harriman, founder of the Union Pacific Railroad. A graduate of Harvard, class of 1931, he joined Brown Brothers Harriman & Company, a private bank, in 1936, becoming a general partner in 1956.
Prior to his association with harness racing, Ebby Gerry was an accomplished polo player, eventually achieving a rank of nine goals. He was elected to the Polo Hall of Fame in the late 1980's. Through this accolade, he achieved the distinction of becoming a double hall of famer, having been elected to the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame in 1975.
With uncle, E. Roland Harriman, Ebby Gerry bred and raised many champions at their Arden Homestead Stable. During World War II their colt, Titan Hanover, won the 1945 Hambletonian Stake. At the time Gerry was a major in the Army Air Corps, serving overseas. Although the rest of his family had been associated with Thoroughbreds, Ebby Gerry decided to work with Standardbreds. It took just one amateur drive for him to be hooked on the sport and through the years Arden Homestead Stable, under Harriman and Gerry's leadership, produced such champions as Titan Hanover, Florican, Tassel Hanover, Florlis, Flirth, Matastar and Sharpshooter.
Mr. Gerry was an active member of the harness racing industry for close to half a century. He was involved in many of the sport's organizations, holding positions that included treasurer of the U.S. Trotting Association, president and director of the Standardbred Owners Association, vice president and owner of the Orange County Driving Park Association, and director of the Hambletonian Society. He also held the office of vice president and director of the Saratoga Harness Racing Association. Adding to these accomplishments, he served as the first chairman of the New York State Harness Racing Commission, formed after pari-mutuel betting was legalized in 1940.
He was a founder and trustee since 1949, and past president (1976 through 1992) of The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame (formerly known as the Trotting Horse Museum, Home of the Hall of Fame of the Trotter), Goshen, NY.
Mr. Gerry passed away on Friday, February 26, 1999 in Delhi, NY.

 

 

Elbridge T. Gerry Jr. 1994

 

A. E. (Ted) Gibbons* 1980
ALBERT E. "TED" GIBBONS 1985 [1901-1985]

The first race secretary at Yonkers Raceway in New York, Ted Gibbons held that position from 1950 through 1972. He was race secretary and general manager at Foxboro, race secretary at The Red Mile and at Rockingham Park, and president of the State Racing Commission in Maine. One of his major accomplishments, while at Yonkers, was the establishment of The United Nations Trot. Horses from "Down Under" and other U.N. countries participated in the event. Ted Gibbons died on March 8.1985 at age 84.

 

 

WALTER S. GIBBONS 1979 [1899-1975]

Walter Gibbons was born in Bridgeton, Nova Scotia in 1899. His horseman father, Wesley F. Gibbons, soon moved the family to Reading, MA, where Walter drove his first mile at eight and at fourteen was driving and training professionally.
After a successful career as a trainer-driver, he became a dominant figure in officiating and racetrack management. At various times he served as Maine State Steward, race secretary at Roosevelt Raceway, general manager for the Tattersalls Horse Sales and general manager of The Red Mile at Lexington, KY. He died in 1975 in Portland, ME.

 

Wesley F. "Bo" Gill 1995*

 

William D. "Buddy" Gilmour 1989/

 

 

Jack Ginetti

 

IRVING W. GLEASSON 1959 [1862-1952]

Born in Ogdensburg, PA in 1862, "Irv," became interested in trotters as a young man. After racing and buying stock for many years, he finally owned the champion Peter Manning, 1:56, Hal Pointer, 2:04, Nate Hanover, 1:59, Vansandt, 2:00 and other Grand Circuit horses. "Irv" was known for his philanthropies and good sportsmanship, doing much to further the sport and keep it alive. He was one of the best-liked horsemen of his day. He died at the age of eighty-nine in 1952.

 

WILLIAM H. GOCHER 1979 [1864-1937]

Born in Richmond, Canada in 1864, he came to the United States as a young man. He first came into prominence as the editor of the American Sportsman, a Cleveland based turf Journal. His writings in the Sportsman were widely read and probably led to his being named Secretary of the National Trotting Association. He guided this organization through forty turbulent years and was instrumental in formulating its policies. He was prominent in the Grand Circuit organization, handled sales of notable horses and was the author of books such as TALES OF THE TURF, RACEALONG, TROTALONG and PACEALONG. Gocher died in 1937 in Hartford, CT.

 

JOHN A. GOLDSMITH 1959 [1858-1895]

Born in 1858 at Walnut Grove Farm, Washingtonville, NY, John was a son of Alden Goldsmith, one of the most prominent horsemen at that time. He and brother James campaigned their father's horses, the get of Electioneer and Hambletonian, throughout the east and then moved in 1882 to California where John raced for Monroe Salisbury. After the death of his brother in 1891, he returned to Walnut Grove Farm. He died in Washingtonville in 1895 at the early age of thirty-seven.

 

GOLDSMITH MAID t, 2:14 1953 [1857-1885]

Goldsmith Maid" was by Abdallah 15 out of Old Ab, foaled in 1857 on the farm of John B. Decker of Deckertown, NJ. She ran unbroken until she was eight years old and was sold to Alden Goldsmith of Washingtonville, NY, for $650. Goldsmith raced her for the first time in 1865 at Goshen; she won easily in 2:36 and 2:37. A syndicate, including famed driver Budd Doble, paid $20,000 for her. In 1869 she was sold to H. N. Smith, a partner of Jay Gould, for $37,000. Still in the expert hands of Doble, the two made history. It was an amazing thirteen-year career. She won 350 heats and 95 of 123 races. Her estimated earnings of $364,200 were a record until the 1940's.
Goldsmith Maid died in 1885 at Smith's Fashion Farm in Trenton, NJ, where a large monument still stands in her memory.

 

Joseph H. Goldstein 1992

 

GOOD TIME p, 1:574/5 1978 [1946-1977]

A bay son of Hal Dale and the Volomite mare, On Time, he stood barely fourteen hands high. Owned by William H. Cane, he took practically every prize available as a three-year-old and was Just as potent as a free-for-aller and after that, at stud. As a three-year-old, Good Time was voted 1949 Horse of the Year, and again in 1952 as a six-year-old! When he retired from racing in 1952, he was the richest Standardbred ever up to that time, with earnings of $318,793. His fastest offspring were Columbia George, 1:56, Best of All, 1:56 2/5 and Fast Clip, 1:563/5. He was the sire of eighty-three 2:00-minute performers at the time of his death at Castleton Farms in 1977.

 

SHELDON "SHELLY" GOUDREAU 1984 [1948-1982]

A native of Chatham, Ontario, he was one of the sport's most gifted drivers. In his all too brief career, he recorded 2,250 wins and earnings of more than $12.8 million. In 1974 he finished second in the number of wins. Among his major victories was The American Pacing Classic with Genghis Khan, The Monticello Classic and The Oliver Wendell Holmes with Freedom Fella and a quartet of top stakes races with Artie's Dream. Goudreau also drove Tender Loving Care to a world record 1:52.4 for fillies. He died in 1982 at age 34 as a result of a race accident at Hollywood Park.

 

 

HUGH A. GRANT, SR. 1994 [1911-1979]

One of the sport's most prominent owners of his time, Hugh Grant owned both Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds but was fond of saying. My best investment in horses is Del Miller". He and Hall of Fame driver Miller bred and raced some of the best Standardbreds in the land. Among Grant's great harness horses were Tarport Hap, Countess Adios, Adios Betty, Meadow Chuck, Thorpe Hanover, O'Brien Hanover and one of the foremost sires of all time, Meadow Skipper. Grant twice won Harness and Thoroughbred stakes on the same day. In 1959 his filly Airman's Guide won the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico and that evening Countess Adios, another filly, won the Messenger Stake at Roosevelt. He died August 1, 1979, at age 67.

 

Hugh A. (Andy) Grant Jr.,1991

 

GRATTAN BARS p, 1:59 1976 [1923-1941]

A Canadian horse, by Grattan Royal-Polly Bars, foaled in 1923, Grattan Bars broke many records in 1928 and became a sensation in the U.S. by winning three $25,000 events in thirteen days. His quick rise ended almost as quickly as it began. At the age of five he was retired to stud and shipped back to Canada. He died in 1941 at the age of eighteen.

 

 

PERCY GRAY 1978 [1891-1977]

A lifelong breeder and owner of harness horses, from the 1940's to the 1970's, Percy Gray and his brother Jere, of Swansea, MA operated a successful stable. In 1947 and 1948 the Gray Stables, with trainer-driver Franklin Safford, practically swept the Juvenile pacing events on the Grand Circuit with Knight Dream, a world champion both years. Other out-standing horses owned by the Grays included Knight Time, Parson's Bret and Glory. Percy Gray was a trustee of The Hall of Fame of the Trotter. He died June 21, 1977 at age 86 in Fall River, MA.

 

Curt Greene* 2001

 

GREYHOUND t, T1:55 1965 [1932-1965]

Greyhound was a foal of 1932 by Guy Abbey-Elizabeth. He was purchased from the Almahurst Farm for $900 at an Indianapolis sale as a yearling by Sep Palin for E. J. Baker. As a two-year-old he lost three races and as a three-year-old lost but two heats, but no races. For the remainder of his career he lost only one race, that as a four-year-old. His career from 1934-1940 is as follows: he won 71 heats out of 82, and established no less than 14 world records. They included the 1:55 in 1938 and the 2:01 he set in 1940 under saddle during his final official appearance, at Lexington, KY. Greyhound died in Maple Park, IL on February 4, 1965.

 

GUY ABBEY t, 2:06 1957 [1925-1957]

Born at Calumet Farms, Lexington, KY, Guy Abbey was sired by Guy Axworthy out of Abbacy. After being developed by Dick McMahon, he won The Review Futurity in 1928 driven by Vic Fleming and although being very lame, came In second in The Hambletonian Stake, He took his record of 2:06 at Goshen that same year. He was taken out of racing at the end of the 1928 season and placed In stud at Calumet, but few mares were bred to him, as he was young and untried. However, among the few was a beautiful gray named Elizabeth and their mating produced Greyhound in 1932, later the world-champion trotter, 1:55. In 1933, Guy Abbey was sold to Henry Knight for $1,400. A year later Walnut Hall purchased him for $20,000. Calumet Evelyn is another Guy Abbey offspring, as were 27 trotters and 22 pacers who reached the 2:05 list. He died at Walnut Hall Farm April 24, 1957.

 

GUY AXWORTHY t, 2:08 1953 [1902-1933]

A son of Axworthy and Lillian Wilkes, Guy Axworthy was foaled in 1902 and owned by John Shults, Brooklyn, NY. He never showed anything as a racehorse, but obtained a breeder's record of 2:08 at the age of four when driven by T. W. Murphy. He was retired to stud in 1908, and was sold to William Bradley, at whose farm he was in service until 1911. Here he sired Lee Axworthy, 1:58. At the age of twelve he was sent to Jacob Rupert's Hudson River Stock Farm. In 1916 he went to Walnut Hall Farm, Kentucky. He was famous as a 2:00 sire and by the late 1920's he was deemed invaluable. Guy Axworthy died in 1933 and from his last crop came Lord Jim, Hambletonian winner of 1934.

 

GUY McKINNEY t, 1:58 1988 [1923-1944]

The son of Guy Axworthy and Queenly McKinney was foaled in 1923 in Lexington, KY and purchased by Henry B. Rca of Pittsburgh for $950. He was first trained by Townsend Ackerman at Goshen, NY. Taken over by Nat Ray for his three-year-old campaign, Guy McKinney blossomed into the nation's top trotter in 1926, winning the inaugural Hambletonian Stake at Syracuse in addition to The Kentucky Futurity, The International Stallion, Matron and Horse Review Stakes. His purse winnings that year set a new record at $114,731.
After this remarkable season, he was consigned to the Old Glory Sale, and Hanover Shoe purchased Guy McKinney for $12,000. In 1927 Tom Berry drove him to his mark of 1:58 at Phoenix, setting a world record for 4-year-olds. He was then retired to stud at Hanover Shoe Farm, where he died in 1944.