by Bob Heyden
It’s doubtful we will see 30-plus starts from a Horse of the Year again considering it hasn’t happened in 29 years.
In 1989, Matts Scooter went 30 23-3-1 and knocked down the HOY title. (Foiled Again has never been the Horse of the Year, but he did make 40 starts as a 4-year-old.).
Before Matts Scooter it had been done seven other times:
In 1952, Good Time was 33 23-4-2.
In 1954, Stenographer was 32 23-2-1 (She is the only filly on this list).
In 1970, Fresh Yankee was 31 20-11-0 (She is the only mare on this list).
In 1976, Keystone Ore was 33 22-9-1 (The last of Stanley Dancer’s seven HOY trophies).
In 1978, Abercrombie was 33 22-6-3 (Eight of those starts came in August 8 6-2-0)
In 1982, Cam Fella was 33 28-2-0. (The only horse on this list twice).
In 1983, Cam Fella was 36-30-4-2 (Started out 2-for-8, but won his last 28 starts).
Thirty years ago
Kevin Lare, then 18, was winning invitationals in New York and New Jersey for his dad, Big John Lare — one of them in 1:54.4 with Friendly Face. Not many teens were out there battling with the likes of Go Get Lost and Mack Lobell.
Speaking of Mack Lobell, 1988 marked his second straight HOY season and he still is the last male to do this back to back. Moni Maker, the last female, did so in 1998-1999.
The year 1988 was also when Niatross’ 1:49.1 time trial was finally lowered. Matts Scooter went 1:48.2 with Mike Lachance driving for Harry Poulton eight years after Niatross set his mark.
Miss Easy, Artsplace and Precious Bunny all were foaled in 1988. It was also the year that a couple of youngsters from the first crop of Hambletonian favorite Baltic Speed stepped onto the track as freshmen — Peace Corps and Valley Victory.
The book on Foiled Again
• Thirteen straight years of racing
• Eleven straight years (current) of 20 or more starts
• Forty starts at four and 30 starts at 13 are his two high water marks
• Five double-digit win seasons
• Three straight million-dollar seasons
• Six straight $700,000 seasons
• Five straight seasons with a 1:48 or 1:48 and change mark
• 2011 Pacer Of The Year
• 2013 Breeders Crown winner at Pocono (1:49.2)
• Made more money each year from 2 through 7
The two ladies who have sent out Horses Of The Year — Nancy Johansson and Linda Toscano — are celebrating birthdays — Johansson’s birthday was on Saturday and Toscano’s is on Tuesday.
Next to 10,000
Peter Wrenn recently joined the 10,000-win club. Next up is Brian Sears who is approximately 60 away.