Hollywood’s Hits: August 30 is a big day in Hambletonian history
by Bob Heyden
The first Hambletonian was held on Aug. 30, 1926 with Guy McKinney winning the race that carried a purse of $73,45.32. The $925 yearling buy overcame an injury early in his career. He was winless at 2, but undefeated at 3 going into the Hambletonian where he paid off as the 3-2 favorite. It cost $960 to start in the very first Hambletonian, which was $35 more than his yearling tag. His 1926 earnings of $68,742 was a record that stood for 23 years.
Aug. 30, 1961
Harlan Dean won and Jimmy Arthur drove. Arthur was the second Delvin Miller assistant to win the Hambletonian and both made the Hall Of Fame — Harry Harvey in 1953 with Helicopter was the first and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2001. Arthur was inducted five years later.
Harlan Dean was a $5,500 yearling that set a 3-year-old world record of 1:58.2.
Aug. 30, 1967
Speedy Streak was the winner four years after his full-brother, Speedy Scot, won the Hambletonian. Speedy Streak was a $113,000 yearling and, at that point, the highest-priced yearling to win the Hambletonian.
Speedy Streak gave Del Cameron his third Hambletonian and second as a catch driver. It was also back-to-back Hambletonian victories for trainer Frank Ervin, who won with Kerry Way in 1966. Clarence and John Gaines also went back to back as owners.
Aug. 30, 1972
Super Bowl set a 1:56.2 world record while winning the Hambletonian with the fewest number of entrants since 1932 (seven).
Super Bowl won 38 of 51 career starts and only had a lone break at age 2 in all those tries.
He and Speedy Crown (1971) won back-to-back Hambletonians — and then were the dominant stallions for the next two decades.
Aug. 30, 1974
Christopher T was the first of five Hambletonian by Billy Haughton as a trainer and four as a driver.
Haughton drove in his first Hambletonian in 1949 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968, six years before he won his first Hambletonian.
Timothy T (1970) and Christopher T were the fourth set of siblings to each win the Hambletonian.
Aug. 30, 1975
Bonefish won for a then-record purse of $232,192 at the first pari-mutuel Hambletonian held at DuQuoin and was the first winner of a four-heat Hambletonian that failed to win the first two heats.
Bonefish and Yankee Bambino were a nose apart in the fourth heat and neither raced again.
Bonefish was a son of 1968 Triple Crown winner Nevele Pride.