Billy Haughton and his first Hambletonian winner Christopher T

Hollywood’s Hits: The Book on Billy

July 15, 2016

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Thirty years ago today, Billy Haughton died. In recognition of the anniversary of his death, here’s the book on a legend:
• Born 11/2/23 Gloversville, NY.
• Lived in Oyster Bay Cove, NY.
• Home base for many years was Roosevelt Raceway.
• First win came in 1942 with Hollyrood Arrow.
• Inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1968.
• His first Hambletonian victory came six years after he was inducted into the Hall (1974 Christopher T). It was the first of four driving and another training (Speed Bowl 1982)
• Campaigned a Triple Crown winner in 1968 (Rum Customer).
• For eight straight years (1952-1959) he led the nation in earnings (nobody has ever topped this — Tim Tetrick at seven was the next best (2007-2013)).
• Twelve times overall he led the nation in earnings (Only John Campbell (16) has topped that figure).
• Trained the fastest male and female ever — Handle With Care 1:54.4 (1974) and she did it in California versus the boys and 1:49.3 for Nihilator in 1985, the first ever sub-1:50 race winner.
• Only two trainers ever can make the following statement: Two Meadowlands Pace wins; two (or more) Hambletonians; two Horses Of The Year; one Triple Crown winner — Billy Haughton and Blair Burgess.
• Drove one million-dollar race winner McKinzie Almahurst (1981 Wilson — $1,760,000)
• Drove 4,910 winners who earned $40,160,336, which was fifth all-time at the moment of his passing.
• Two sons won Triple Crown races, both setting the “youngest ever” record: Peter Haughton with Quick Pay in the 1976 Kentucky Futurity is the youngest driver to ever win a Triple Crown event (22) and Tommy Haughton at 23 is the youngest driver to ever win a heat of the Hambletonian — 1980 Final Score. Tommy Haughton, 25, is the youngest driver to ever win the final of the Hambletonian 1982 Speed Bowl.
• In 1984, $2,161,000 Woodrow Wilson won by Haughton’s Nihilator in 1:52.4, is still the richest race ever contested.
• Is the first driver ever to win the Hambletonian one year and the Meadowlands Pace the next — 1977 Green Speed and 1978 Falcon Almahurst.

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