Harness Racing Hall of Fame US_PQ

Us Harness Racing

Ed Pallidino through Proximity

Ed Palladino 2001


SEPTER "Sep" F. PALIN 1958 [1878-1952]

"Sep" Palin was born in 1878 in Indiana. He graduated from farming into training horses. He first raced over the smaller tracks of Indiana, but his abilities soon attracted patrons who encouraged him to race in neighboring states. While his accomplishments with the champion Greyhound, 1:55 brought him International fame, he also proved himself as a developer of speed. He went to train for E. J. Baker and won The Hambletonian with Hoot Mon and Greyhound, The Kentucky Futurity with Victory Song, as well as many Grand Circuit stakes throughout his career. For years he led the list of drivers of two-minute horses. He died in 1952 while attending the Lexington Trots.


WALTER PALMER 1978 [1865-1932]

Known as the Poet Laureate, Walter Palmer was born in Prarie Center, IL in 1865. As a young man he was active in harness racing as a trainer, driver and handler on the then very prominent Illinois Valley Circuit. He wrote a great deal of poetry about the sport, including a book entitled HEART THROBS & HOOF BEATS. He also became a regular contributor to Horse Review. Many of the great horsemen and horses of his day - Pop Geers, Charles Dean, Hal Pointer, to mention a few - were subjects for his sentimental verses. He died in 1932.


HUGH M. "DOC" PARSHALL 1958 [1898-1950]

Born in 1898 in Hillsboro, OH, Parshall was raised with horses. He attended high school and graduated from the Indiana Veterinary College. He started a public stable of trotting horses and in 1920 had his first 2:10 performer, Fondabel, a mare he took with him to veterinary school. In due time he developed such top stars as Chief Counsel, 1:57, Spintell, 1:58, Mc I Win, 1:59, plus many others. "Doc" won The Hambletonian with Lord Jim in 1934 and again in 1939 with Peter Astra. He drove thirteen 2:00 horses during his career. Hugh Parshall died in Urbana, OH in 1950.



Active in the sport as a hobby for several years prior to going into it as a profession, John Patterson, Sr. drove his first race at Rome, Ga. in 1940, a year after he had graduated from Dalton High. After graduation from High School where he had earned letters in baseball, John became a grading contractor. When the decision was made to go into harness racing full time, he chose Sanders Russell as a tutor.
With the late Byron Kuth he developed such top horses as Merrie Annabelle, Merrie Duke, Merrie Gesture and Right Time among others. Later, for Leonard Buck's Allwood stable, Lord Gordon, Overtrick and Overcall stood out. Overtrick gave him Little Brown Jug and Messenger victories. Fans still remember duels between Overtrick and Meadow Skipper.
John's skill at developing youngsters doesn't stop with four-footed ones. His son John Jr. became his top assistant during his latter years with Allwood, and has developed into a fine reinsman and trainer in his own right. In 1973 John developed the N.Y. Sires winner Lullwater Song and FFA trotter Speedy Rick.


Peace Corps


PETER MANNING t, 1:56 1955 [1916-1943]

Peter Manning was foaled in 1916, sired by Azoff out of Glendora G., and bred by William M. Wright of Libertyville, IL. He did not race until three years old when, at Lexington, he took a record of 2:06. He was bought by Thomas Murphy for Irving W. Gleasson for $21,000. As a four-year-old he won consistently and in 1921 lowered the record of trotting to 1:57 at Lexington. In the next season, at the age of six, he broke his own record and went in 1:56 at Lexington on October 4, 1922. In 1926 he was sold to Hanover Shoe Farm and trotted many exhibition miles. He was then retired and died at the farm on February 28, 2023 at age twenty-seven.


PETER SCOTT t, 2:05 1981 [1909-1939]

Son of Peter The Great and Jenny Scott and foaled in 1909, he was sire of three 2:00 performers from the mare Roya McKinney, those being Rose Scott, Scotland and Highland Scott. Peter Scott was the first to win over $50,000 in stakes and purses in a single season. Sold for $30,000 in 1915 to 1994 Immortal Henry W. Oliver, he swept the Grand Circuit Stakes that season for trainer/driver Tom Murphy, losing but one out of eighteen starts. First placed at stud at the Walnut Hall Farm, he eventually stood at the Poplar Hill Farm, which Oliver had purchased. He died in 1939 standing at Elmcrest Farm in Lebanon, OH.


PETER THE BREWER t, 2:02 1976 [1918-1941]

Foaled in 1918, he was by Peter The Great-Zombrewer. After four years of good racing, Peter The Brewer was purchased by Calumet Farm and later purchased by Hanover Shoe Farm when Calumet Farm was dispersed. He was considered tops as a sire with over 200 Standard performers to his credit. He died at Hanover Shoe Farm in 1941.


PETER THE GREAT t, 2:07 1953 [1895-1923]

This 1895 son of Pilot Medium and Santos was owned by D. D. Streeter, Kalamazoo, MI. He did not amount to much as a racehorse until he was three years old, having been sick and lame, but he won The Kentucky Futurity that year by twenty lengths. Three months later he was purchased by J. Malcolm Forbes for $15,000. He was raced again and was a sensation but unreliable, and as a result was an outcast. Peter The Great's first offspring, Sadie Mac, was unbeaten in 1903 thus making him famous as a sire. He was then owned by W. E. D. Stokes and stood at Patchen Wilkes Farm in Kentucky until 1906 (as published; correct date was February 11, 2023), when he was purchased for $50,000 by T. D. Taggart of Laurel Hall Farm, Indianapolis, IN. He sired 498 trotters and 163 pacers with Standard records. He died at Laurel Hall in 1923 at age 28.


PETER VOLO t, 2:02 1953 [1911-1936]

Peter Volo was by Peter The Great out of Nervolo Belle, foaled in 1911 on the G. L. Knight Farm, Nicholasville, KY. Patchen Wilkes Farm took him as a weanling and owned him throughout his racing career. He was a champion at the ages of one, two, three, and four years, winning every race he started except his match race in 1915 with Lee Axworthy, after which he was retired. Upon the failure of the Patchen Wilkes Farm he was purchased privately by Walnut Hall Farm and proved himself with good offspring such as Volomite, who became a leading sire. He died in 1936 at Walnut Hall Farm, Lexington, KY.


CHARLES W. PHELLIS 1958 [1875-1957]

Born in 1875 on a farm near Mechanicsburg, OH, the son of a successful importer of horses and cattle, C. W. Phellis owned his first horse at the age of eighteen and from then on became a trotting horse enthusiast.
After college and marriage in 1893, he began to build a racing stable. He never tired of racing and selling and buying good horses and with Fred Egan driving, he reached his goal and won The Hambletonian in 1940 with Spencer Scott. He was a winner twice after that with Miss Tilly in 1949 and Emily's Pride in 1958. Phellis was active in The Trotting Club, The Hambletonian Society and The Grand Circuit and was a founder of The Hall of Fame of the Trotter. He was 81 when he died in 1957.


STEPHEN C. PHILLIPS 1974 [1842-1934]

It was after serving as a soldier in the Civil War that Stephen C. Phillips began his career with the trotters. He went to Xenia, OH in 1867, and for the next 66 years devoted himself to his horses and their sport. Among his best mounts were Bobby Burns, prominent in 1892, and the pacing champion Sleepy Tom. World champion in 1879, Tom's achievements were all the more remarkable because he was completely blind. Phillips had to literally see for his horse and his voice became the horse's eyes, as he talked him through race after race. Phillips' last winning race was in 1932 at age 90 with Frederick McKinney, 2:03. He died in 1934 in Lebanon, OH.


STEPHEN G. PHILLIPS 1978 [1887-1973]

A nephew of 1974 Immortal Steven C. Phillips, Steve Phillips revolutionized the sport by introducing the first successful mobile starting gate. He became a starting judge in 1910 and served the Grand Circuit in this capacity for twenty-six years. He was the starter for the first Hambletonian in 1926 and his career spanned over 100 tracks across the country. Prior to his retirement in 1960 he started an average 1,900 races per year. He died in 1973 in Xenia, OH.



Ronald D. Pierce 2004 [ 1956- ]


Philip A. Pines 1990


POCAHONTAS p, 2:17 1990 [1847-1873]

As a filly, this chestnut sorrel with four white legs to knees and hocks, a white face and a large white spot on her belly, was described as "growthy, awkward, loose-Jointed, low-headed and clumsy". But she was also a natural pacer. Foaled in 1847 in Butler County, OH, she was sold as a two-year-old for $30. First used as a farm animal, she won her first race at the Queen City Course in Cincinnati, OH. After the race she was finally given a name: Pocahontas. On June 21, 1855, over the Union Course, L.I., NY, she beat Hero, in a match race to wagon and reduced the world pacing record to 2:17. Pocahontas was the grandam of the outstanding trotter Nelson and the world champion pacer Sleepy Tom.


POPLAR BYRD p, 1:593/5 1976 [1944-1975]

Owned by Rex and Ethel Larkin of Poplar Hill Farm, in Lexington, KY., Poplar Byrd was a top colt pacer and free-for-all star by Volomite-Ann Vonian. He was the sire of Bye Bye Byrd, 1:56.4 and Rum Customer, 1:56. They were among twenty pacers sired by Poplar Byrd with records of 2:00 or less. Poplar Byrd died at Marsh Stud in LeRoy, IL in 1975.


HARRY POWNALL 1979 [1902-1979]

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1902, he drove his first race at age 17 at the Mineola, L.I. Fairgrounds. He won at Goshen the next year and operated a public stable there, before becoming associated with Arden Homestead Stable of Goshen in 1937, first as assistant trainer to Billy Dickerson and then as head trainer in 1947. At Arden he developed some of the finest trotters, including Titan Hanover, whom he drove to a 2:00 world record for two-year-olds in 1944. He won The Hambletonian with Titan Hanover the following year. Other fine trotters developed by Pownall were Florican, Star's Pride, Matastar, Floris and Walter Spencer. He died in 1979 in Hawaii.



PRONTO DON t, 1:59.3 1995 [1945-1976]

A foal of 1945 by Donald Truax out of Miss Pronto, Pronto Don was bred by W.R. Hayes of Hayes Fair Acres Stable in DuQuoin, IL. He was voted the 1951 Harness Horse of the Year. When he retired in 1955, his earnings totaled $332,363a record for that time. During his nine seasons of racing, Pronto Don started in 204 races and won 97; he was first, second or third in 156 races. He is best known for totally dominating the Transylvania Stake at Lexington, winning it five times. Other major wins included the Golden West Trot, Roosevelt 2-year old Trot, and The Titan Free-For-All at Historic Track, Goshen, NY. Pronto Don, a gelding, was driven by some of harness racing's greats, including Sep Palin and Delvin Miller. Pronto Don died in 1976 at the age of 31 and is buried in the infield of the DuQuoin racetrack.
September 1972 Hoof Beats Cover
Once each year, as summer draws to a close in its warmest, loveliest days, America's greatest 3-year-old trotters converge on DuQuoin, Illinois, home for the last 15 years of harness racing's most prestigious race, the Hambletonian. There, on a beautiful mile track bathed in late summer sunshine, the classic of the sport unfolds. HOOF BEATS cover this month captures the scene, looking across the infield, where retired trotting champions Pronto Don and Darn Safe graze at ease, across the lagoon, to the action at the far turn, where a new champion is in the making. He has a race named after him


PROTECTOR t, 1:59 1962 [1928-1956]

A son of Peter Volo and Margaret Arion, Protector was truly a great racehorse. He swept The Horseman Futurity, Matron Stakes, Review Futurity and Kentucky Futurity as a three-year-old. His mark of 1:59 in The Kentucky Futurity of 1931 was a world record for three-year-old trotters in a race, a record which was still standing at the time of his death in November 1956. He was also very productive at the stud, siring nearly 200 record performers.


PROXIMITY t, 1:593/5 1975 [1942-1966]

Proximity was one of the greatest free-for-allers in trotting history, earning over a quarter-million dollars for Ralph and Gordon Verhurst of Rochester, NY. When she retired in 1950, the daughter of Protector-Agnes Worthy was the leading money-winning Standardbred, regardless of sex or gait. She died at Castleton Farm at the age of twenty-four in 1966, the dam of five in 2:10 or better.