Famous fours in harness history
Let’s look at some famous four-year periods in harness racing history:
In the four straight years from 1984-1987, Mike Lachance led the nation in wins, a feat he never accomplished before or since.
In that same four-year span, John Campbell won the Sweetheart four consecutive times — the first two were worth $1 million. The first, with Armbro Dazzler in 1984, came in at 12-1, the highest win price of any of Campbell’s million-dollar race wins. He followed that up with Sweetheart wins by Follow My Star (1985), Nadia Lobell (1986) and So Cozy (1987).
Yet, the Campbell stat that may never be topped is his four straight North America Cup wins in the 1990s (nor is it likely someone will top the six NA Cup wins he earned in that decade).
Going back to Lachance, he has won the Hambletonian four times in his career:
1994 with Victory Dream for trainer Ron Gurfein 1996 with Continentalvictory for Gurfein 1999 with Self Possessed, also for Gurfein 2003 with Amigo Hall for Blair Burgess
Jimmy Takter has won the Hambletonian four times with four different drivers:
1997 — Malabar Man with noted amateur Mal Burroughs 2010 — Muscle Massive with Ron Pierce 2014 — Trixton with Takter himself in the bike 2015 — Pinkman with Brian Sears
Iron horse Foiled Again, at age four, had his busiest season ever. He made 40 starts, had a record of 13-8-2 and earned $337,139.
Real Desire at Four
Real Desire at age four in 2002 was the Horse of the Year and last year he was elected to the U.S. Hall of Fame.
Chapter Seven at four in 2012 was also the Horse of the Year and last year had talented youngster Walner from his first crop.
Four is tops
The record for wins for any of the 70 winners of “Horse of the Year” is from a four-year-old named Cam Fella (in 1983). He went 30-for-36 that year and the starts are also an all-time high for any Horse Of The Year.
Four-year-old year for the ages
Wiggle It Jiggleit comes off back-to-back seasons of leading all horses in earnings — trotters or pacers. He is the first horse since Albatross in 1971-1972 to do this. He comes off a four-year-old season for the ages. It was so good, in fact, that he and Horse of the Year Always B Miki became the first HOYs to go 1-2 in the balloting who raced against each other.
Four was the age of two undefeated Horses Of The Year — 1986 Forrest Skipper and 1992 Artsplace.
Triple Crown four
Four is also the current age of Marion Marauder, the 2016 trotting Triple Crown winner. His return to the races is the first time a trotting Triple Crown winner has returned to race at four since Lindys Pride in 1970.