Us Harness Racing

Frank Walker through Ted Zornow

FRANK WALKER 1979 [1854-1934]

A native of Indianapolis, IN, he was the "dean of harness race starters" in the days when starts were done by voice command. At the height of his career, he lived in New York. It was Frank Walker who "gave the word" at the first Hambletonian, held in Syracuse in 1926 and won by Guy McKinney While other starters used megaphones, he relied on his vocal power, saying, "when I have to use one of those tin horns I'll quit starting horses." The automatic starting gate, introduced a few years after his death, would have relieved him of having to make that choice! Walker died December 20, 1934 at age 80.

JOHN WALLACE 1968 [1822-1903]

John Wallace was born in Alleghany County, PA in 1822. He was raised on a farm and his vocation was to have been that of a farmer. At the age of twenty-three, he married and moved to Muscatine, IA, where he was employed by the State Board of Agriculture. As its Secretary, he became interested in compiling a Stud Book for the trotting horse. In 1871 the first volume of his Trotting Register appeared. He worked and fought for the Standard, which was finally established in 1879.
After the Standard was set, he began publishing Wallace's Year Book and his last years were devoted to writing THE HORSE OF AMERICA. The USTA Year Book and Register evolved from Wallace's earlier works. He died in 1903.

Keith Waples 1986 [1923-]

Keith Waples drove in his first race at Canadian fairs as a 12-year-old.
He's been at it ever since, and with remarkable success. Grey Ghost, at Sundredge, provided his first win, and his win total is 2,718, although the exact number will forever remain buried in the columns of countless papers in those areas where he drove during his early career.
Canadian fans at Blue Bonnets, Greenwood, Garden City, Mohawk, DDufferin, Richelieu, Thorncliffe and Woodbine have seen him capture leading driver honors on many occasions. Fair racing fans boast of watching him sweep entire cards on occasion.
Highlights of his career include winning the Roosevelt International Trot in 1962 with Tie Silk, the American-National at Sportsman's Park with Choir Boy, and setting the Richelieu Park pacing record of 1:59.3 with Mighty Dudley in 1959, for his first two-minute trip, the first 2:00 mile ever in Canada. Blaze Pick, Zip Tar, Rob Ron Robbie and Rob Ron Tarios have been standouts for Waples. In 1972 he captured the Little Brown Jug, Adios Pace and Prix d'Ete with Strike Out. In 1973 he won several major three-year-old pacing stakes with temperamental Rob Ron Ritzar.
Despite training a large stable and competing on both sides of the border in many seasons, Keith found time to star with several amateur hockey clubs for ten years. Training for the stable is done at Victoria Harbour, where he operates his own establishment, which includes a half-mile track.
Keith topped Canadian dash winners in 1967 and 1968 and also led Canada in earnings in 1967 and 1969. In 1973 his purse winnings reached $3,524,021. (Source; 1974 USTA Leading Drivers and Horses Handbook.)

Ronald Waples 1993 [1944- ]

A member of Canada's Hall Of Fame and the Living Hall of Fame at Goshen, Ron Waples is one of the most talented drivers in the history of harness racing. He is among the top ten of all time in both wins and earnings with his total of 6,136 victories ranking him tenth and $62,265,618 in earnings placing him fifth.
Waples was born in Toronto, but he grew up in a small town. He left high school before graduating to groom for his cousin, Keith Waples, a legend in Canadian harness racing. Waples went out on his own in 1971, and one of his first horses, a $12,500 purchase named Caroldon's Knight, went on to win $200,000 for Waples.
Two years later, Waples co-owned and drove Ralph Hanover, the last horse to win the Pacing Triple Crown. The three-year-old Meadow Skipper colt added victories in the $1,251,000 Meadowlands Pace, the Queen City Pace, the Adios, the Prix d'Ete, and the Tattersalls Pace. His 1983 earnings of $1,711,990 was, at the time, a single season's record.
Waples has been one of the top drivers in Breeders Crown history, with nine trophies to his credit, while ranking third behind John Campbell and Bill O'Donnell in earnings. 1986 was his biggest year, as he posted victories in three Crown events. His first win of the series came with Super Flora at Canterbury Downs when they won in track record time of 1:59.2. The finale of the 1986 Breeders Crown was held on November 14 at Garden State Park, and that's where he picked up the other two Breeders Crown trophies. Glow Softly and Waples captured the three-year-old filly pace in 1:56.2, and Sugarcane Hanover was victorious for Waples, stopping the clock in 1:57.1.
Waples' most memorable Breeders Crown win came in 1990 with No Sex Please. The victory in the $221,458 event came in world record time of 1:55, still the fastest mile ever by a gelding trotter on a five-eighths mile track. It was one of two world records for No Sex Please in 1990, the other being an identical 1:55 score in a $47,500 division of the Speedy Scot at Lexington's Red Mile, the quickest time by an aged gelding on a mile track. Those victories were among the 18 the five-year-old gelding enjoyed in 1990 as he trotted to divisional Horse of the Year honors. Trained by Waples' son, Ron, Jr., No Sex Please banked over $560,000 that year. The elder Waples also drove No Sex Please to wins in his elimination and the $175,950 final of the Maple Leaf Trot, as well as in a $43,800 division of the Jazzman Trot, No Sex Please continued his outstanding career as a seven-year-old in 1992. He won 11 of 24 starts and banked $451,370, taking his lifetime earnings over the $1.8 million mark. No Sex Please won another Breeders Crown title that year, taking the $368,100 event for Aged Trotting Horses in 1:56.4 at Mohawk Raceway. He also scored in 1:57 in the $100,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Greenwood Raceway and was second to Furman in the $250,000 Nat Ray at The Meadowlands. For his season's efforts, No Sex Please earned another divisional title as 1992's Aged Trotting Horse of the Year in the USTA/USHWA balloting.
Last year Waples was called upon to drive the three-year-old pacing filly Electrical Express on several occasions. The Storm Damage sophomore won 11 times in 25 starts last year, with earnings of $318,633. Waples piloted her to triumphs in a $92,638 Simcoe Stakes division and a $61,000 Tarport Hap split. They also finished third in the $406,000 Mistletoe Shalee Final. Other top horses for Waples over the years are Witsend's Wizard (1984 Kentucky Pacing Derby winner); Armbro Dallas (upset winner over Nihilator in the $770,000 Pilgrim Final at Garden State Park); Sugarcane Hanover (1986 Kentucky Futurity champion and 1987 Aged Trotting Horse of the Year); Huggie Hanover (winner of more than $310,000 in 1988); Park Avenue Joe (dead heat winner with Probe in the 1989 Hambletonian, one of the most controversial outcomes in harness racing history); Sportsmaster (1991 winner in the $889,000 Woodrow Wilson Final); Fake Left (who spoiled Western Hanover's bid for the Pacing Triple Crown with a Little Brown Jug victory in 1992); Village Jiffy ($300,000 Breeders Crown 2CP champion in 1992); Presidential Ball (victor in the $1 million North America Cup Final in 1993); Armbro Mackintosh (winner of $415,222 in 1993); and Efishnc (richest freshman filly pacer of 1994 with earnings of $503,789).(Source: 1996 USTA Harness Handbook.)

KAY R. WARD 1990 [1897-1988]

A founding member of the USTA and one of its long-time executives, Kay Ward died November 7, 1988 in Bloomington, IL at the age of 91. He served on the USTA board of directors from 1950 to 1982, representing District 5 (Illinois). He was also the USTA treasurer for twenty-four years. Ward helped organize the Illinois Trotting and Pacing Colt Association in 1937, and was a member of that state's harness racing hall of fame.

Western Hanover

BENJAMIN WHITE 1958 [1873-1958]

"Ben" White was born near Whitevale, Ontario, Canada, in 1873. He drove his first race at the age of fifteen and at the age of twenty-one took up the sport as his career. He learned his trade from the master, Pop Geers, at Village Farm, East Aurora, NY. He remained there until the farm closed in 1905 and then began training for the Knox family of that city. His first Kentucky Futurity entry was The Abbe, later to become a top sire. In 1915 Ben became Pastime Stable's head trainer, with his headliners being Lee Axworthy and Volga.
After a few seasons at Pastime, White opened a public stable and with the association of one of his leading patrons, W. N. Reynolds, he had a brilliant harness career, during which he won four Hambletonian's, seven Kentucky Futurities, six Matron Stakes and four Review Futurities. It would be impossible to name ail the famous horses bred, trained and raced by Ben White, but Hambletonian winner and 1973 Immortal Rosalind will probably be best remembered. He died in Orlando, FL in 1958.

HENRY TEN EYCK WHITE 1979 [ - 1942]

One of the foremost turf writers of all time, Henry Ten Eyck White began his career in the high-wheel sulky days. He "ghost wrote" John Splan's book LIFE WITH THE TROTTERS. As a writer for the Chicago Tribune, he contributed a regular feature called Lakeside Musings", believed by some to be the first "column" in the history of the newspaper world. It later appeared in book form under that name. For years, his harness racing column in the "Trib" was a favorite with horsemen across the nation. He covered the Grand Circuit meetings extensively in his inimitable, rather pungent style.

Tom White 2004 [ ]

HARRY WHITNEY 1978 [1891-1973]

Born in Southampton, L. I., NY in 1891, he began driving trotters as a boy, since his father ran a livery stable and trained a few trotters on the side.
After Army service in World War I, he won his first race with Justin Brook at Riverhead, L. I. in 1919. He operated a public stable from 1923-1936, then went with Dunbar Bostwick as a private trainer, developing such great champions as Chris Spencer and Nibble Hanover. He also trained for William Cane and Aaron Williams, with Darnley an outstanding free-for-aller for the latter. He died in 1973 in Aiken, SC.

CHARLES W. WILLIAMS 1958 [1856-1936]

Born in 1856 in Chatham, NY, C. W. Williams' family moved to Iowa when he was a boy. He worked at many menial jobs and finally became a skilled telegraph operator. His love for horses drove him to purchase two broodmares for the grand sum of $200, to try his hand at breeding. In 1885 he sent the mares to Kentucky for service. The following year he was blessed with two colts, which he named Axtell and Allerton. In 1889 Axtell, as a three-year-old, became the world trotting stallion champion, with a mark of 2:12. Shortly thereafter he was sold to a syndicate for $105,000, the first horse to ever command such a price. With a portion of these proceeds Williams built the first kite-shaped track in the country and promoted racing in Iowa. Allerton became the first stallion to trot in 2:10 and he turned down an offer of $150,000 for him. Retiring from the horse business in 1908, for some years Williams traveled around the country as an evangelist. He died in 1936 in Aurora, IL.

WALTER WINANS 1981 [1852-1920]

Son of a wealthy American railroad builder, Walter Winans was born in 1852 near St. Petersburg, Russia. Educated there, he moved to England at age eighteen and shortly thereafter inherited much of his father's fortune. He became very active in the trotting sport, both as a breeder and driver and was instrumental in getting trotting meetings started at Parsloe's Park near London. He also bred trotters in Austria and participated in races there. An American citizen from birth, he didn't set foot in this country until he was 58. He died in the sulky in 1920 during a race at Parsloe Park, just as his horse was crossing the finish line.

FRANK L. WISWALL 1973 [1895-1972]

Born in 1895 in Colonie, NY, he drove his first harness race at the age of fourteen. He was an amateur driver, owned and trained a small racing stable, and bred trotters at his Runnymede Farm at Saratoga Springs until 1963. He practiced law in Albany for almost fifty years. In 1938 he drafted the by-laws and the first rule book of the USTA. Two years later he was appointed the first Secretary of the newly created New York State Harness Racing Commission. In 1945 he resigned to become president of Saratoga Harness Racing until 1963, when he became chairman of the board. He died in 1972 at his farm in Castine, ME.

FRANK WOODLAND 1979 [1889-1951]

Woodland was born in 1889 in the trotting-minded Ohio community of Washington Courthouse. He began his career at Southern Park in Youngstown, OH in 1914. During his lifelong association with the sport he was active, at various times, as owner, driver, writer for turf Journals, starter and announcer. But he made his mark as an innovative race secretary, who Introduced dash racing to Cleveland in the '20s and was a master at arranging early closing events during his long tenure at Saratoga Harness, a track he served from its opening season in 1941 to his death ten years later.

HIRAM WOODRUFF 1958 [1817-1867]

Woodruff was born in 1817 near Flemington, NJ. His father John was noted as a trainer of trotters. In 1831, at the age of thirteen, Hiram rode Topgallant by Messenger to many victories. His first race was ridden at Hunting Park, Philadelphia. At fourteen he was winning long distance races to saddle; his record was an eighteen-mile in-one-hour victory on Shaking Quaker. Hiram's long distance riding with the fine trotter Dutchman soon brought him fame by defeating the likes of Lady Suffolk, Ratfier and Awful. But his greatest rides were on Dexter, the champion trotter of that time. His book, THE TROTTING HORSE OF AMERICA (1868), was a best-seller of the day and is still used as an excellent reference. Hiram is considered the first representative figure of Standardbred training tradition. He died in 1867.

Norman O. Woolworth 1981 [1926-2003]

A world class sportsman and raconteur, Norman Woolworth was lured into Standardbred ownership by his brother.
Though their involvement began with a few raceway horses acquired near the family's Clearview Farm in Maine, Woolworth soon found himself smitten with the sport far beyond his original plans.
The family fortune came from a chain of popular five and dime stores across the country, but Woolworth was quick to upgrade his racing stock to blue chip quality. His purchase of Meadow Skipper in 1963 prompted his partnership with the late David Johnston in Stoner Creek Stud, which became one of the few to have produced both a Hambletonian and Kentucky Derby champion. Stoner Creek Hambletonian winners include Tagliabue and Giant Victory while Count Fleet won the Kentucky Derby. Stanley Dancer, who conditioned for his Clearview Stable such superstars as Pay Dirt, Egyptian Princess Porter House, Piggvar, Smokin Yankee, French Chef, Panty Raid and Hambletonian winner Duenna. Woolworth was inducted into harness racing's Hall of Fame in 1981. He was once an avid amateur driver and continues to race horses on both sides of the Atlantic. (Source: 1996 USTA Harness Handbook.)

WORTHY BOY t, 2:02½ 1971 [1940-1969]

Worthy Boy, a son of Volomite and Warwell Worthy, was owned by Henry Warwick. He was a prepotent sire, with more than sixty of his sons and daughters producing In excess of 400 racehorses. The world champion trotter Nevele Pride, 1:54 4/5 and Lindy's Pride, both winners of The Hambletonian Stake, are his grandsons by Stars Pride, 1:57 1/5. When he died at Castleton Farm in 1969, Worthy Boy was twenty-nine years old.

WILLIAM M. WRIGHT 1976 [1851-1931]

Born in 1851, William Wright was the master of Calumet Farm, first near Chicago and later at Lexington, KY, where he bred and owned such champions as Peter Manning and Calumet Butler. He aided his brother-in-law Harry Reno in establishing The Hambletonian Stakes and, as one of its major promoters, helped the race to develop a firm foundation. He was president of The Hambletonian Society for several years. A cousin of Wilbur and Orville Wright, he had made a fortune of over $60 million from several prosperous businesses, including the Calumet Baking Powder Co., and used that money to build his fine stable and breeding farm. He died in 1931 at Calumet Farm in Lexington.

Robert L. Zellner* 1987

ZOMBREWER t, 2:04¼ 1976 [1905-1941]/

Zombrewer was foaled in 1905, a daughter of Zombro and Mary Bales. An outstanding race mare until injured, she became a very good broodmare. Her son, Peter The Brewer, was an outstanding sire and her daughter Elizabeth was the dam of world champion Greyhound, 1:55¼. At the time of her death at Calumet Farm in 1941, she had eight 2:10 offspring

THEODORE J. "Ted" ZORNOW 2001 [1907-2001)

Ted Zornow came from a harness racing family living in Pittsford, New York. He was a graduate of the University of Rochester class of 1929, where he lettered in three sports. He owned such successful horses as Tar Boy, Kat Byrd, brother and sister Anthony Hanover and Adeline Hanover (whose sire was Dean Hanover), Kathena, Concho Hanover, Gardner Hanover, Maynard Hanover and Munger Hanover. Owner of Avon Farms, near Avon, NY, Zornow was a patron of both the Ben White and Levi Harner Stables. Mr. Zornow left an indelible mark on the sport of harness racing, as an owner, breeder and an industry executive. He was an activist for the sport, representing New York State on the United States Trotting Association's board of directors for 27 years. He served as president of the organization from 1970 to 1977. Zornow was also a president and a director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, a trustee of The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame since 1970, a director (1967-1991) of the Hambletonian Society, member of the Standardbred, Owners Association the Western New York Horsemen's Association and the Central New York Horsemen's Association. Together with George M. Levy, president of Roosevelt Raceway, and Dr. Harry Zweig, he was instrumental in helping to establish the successful New York Sire Stakes program. Mr. Zornow was president and owner of T.J. Zornow, Inc., and Pittsford Flour Mills, Inc., president of the New York State Grain and Bean Shippers Association, director of the National Bean Council and a trustee of Nazareth College. He also owned the Pittsford Farms Dairy. He was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and the National Grain Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Theodore J. Zornow, who was inducted into the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame in 1986, passed away on January 18, 2001, at his home in Rochester, NY. He was ninety-three.