Great things come in threes

Great things come in threes

February 16, 2020

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by Bob Heyden

Two dozen memorable trios in our sport’s history:

1. Trainer Gene Riegle sending out this incomparable trio: in 1990 2-year-old Artsplace, in 1991 2-year-old Western Hanover and in 1992 2-year-old Life Sign. All won the Governor’s Cup and went on to fabulous careers.

2. Only three drivers in the last 50 years have led in both wins and earnings in the same season — Herve Filion seven times and once each for Jack Moiseyev (1991) and Tim Tetrick (2007).

3. Remember the 2016 free-for-all class? Does it get any better than Freaky Feet Pete, Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki? (The 1-2-3 finishers in the Ben Franklin in early July). Two of the three were voted Horse of the Year.

4. Jimmy Takter’s 2014 Hambletonian trio of favorite Father Patrick and the second and third favorites, who finished 1-2, Trixton and Nuncio.

5. Tim Tetrick’s three seasons of $18 million, the only three in the sport’s history — 2007 $18,350,047; 2008 $19,752,066; 2012 $18,529,676.

6. Billy O’Donnell’s fabulous trio of stars in 1984-1985 —1984 HOY Fancy Crown, 1985 HOY Nihilator and Hambletonian winner Prakas. No driver since has had the HOY back to back with two different horses — a trotter and a pacer.

7. Steve Elliott’s 1988 season of three divisional winners — 2YOCT Valley Victory, 2YOCP Totally Ruthless and 3YOFP Sweet Reflection.

8. Bob McIntosh winning three divisional titles in 1998, all pacers— 2YOCP Island Fantasy, 2YOFP Mattaroni and 3YOCP Artiscape.

9. In 2015, three geldings for the first time ever were the first three to reach $1 million that season — Wiggle It Jiggleit, Wakizashi Hanover and Pinkman.

10. Muscles Yankee siring three straight Hambletonian winners in 2008 Deweycheatumnhowe, 2009 Muscle Hill and 2010 Muscle Massive.

11. San Pail taking three straight Maple Leaf Trots — 2009-2010-2011.

12. Mack Lobell winning three straight Breeders Crowns in 1986, 1987 and 1988. It is the only time this has happened with the same driver for a trotter (John Campbell). NOTE: Bill Fahy did it on the pacing side with Jennas Beach Boy.

13. Rambling Willie taking the Older Pacing Title in 1975-1977.

14. Bill Robinson sending out a different single-season double millionaire three times in a four-year span — 1991 Precious Bunny ($2,217,222); 1993 Presidential Ball ($2,222,166) and 1994 Cams Card Shark ($2, 264,714).

15. Three Breeders Crowns non-consecutively for Grades Singing (1986-1987-1989), the first to win three times but not in a row.

16. Jennas Beach Boy winning the Breeders Crown in 1994-1995-1996. He still the only pacer to win the Breeders Crown three straight years.

17. Three Triple Crowns for Stanley Dancer —1968 Nevele Pride, 1970 Most Happy Fella and 1972 Super Bowl. He is the only trainer to do this three times.

18. Foiled Again three straight years as the Older Pacer of the Year in 2011-2012-2013.

19. Eternal Camnation three straight Older Pacing Mare titles in 2001-2002-2003.

20. Jimmy Takter the last trainer to take a Triple Crown race — the Yonkers Trot — three straight years — 2009 Judge Joe, 2010 On The Tab, 2011 Leader Of The Gang.

21. The 2017 HOY ballot had ladies in the top three spots — Hannelore Hanover over Ariana G and Manchego. It is the only time that females occupied the entire board of win place and show for year-end honors.

22. Three times a lady. It sure was in 1987-1988-1989 when Scenic Regal was voted Older Mare Trotter three straight times, and then Peace Corps did the exact same thing in 1990-1991-1992.

23. Three checks for Marcus Melander in the 2019 Hambletonian final — Greenshoe 2nd Gimpanzee 3rd and Green Manalishi 5th.

24. Three Hambletonians in a four-year stretch for John Campbell in 1987 Mack Lobell, 1988 Armbro Goal and 1990 Harmonious. To this day, no driver has won the Hambletonian back to back since.

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