Timeline: Highlights from every decade in the last 100 years

by Bob Heyden


Hanovers Bertha, the 1930 champ, is the second filly to win the Hambletonian… Babe Ruth attends the Kentucky Derby…. The Depression is now underway… Sonny Antonacci is born, would be voted into the Hall Of Fame in 1999.


FIVE Hall Of Famers born — Jim Doherty, Herve Filion, John Cashman, Jr., Chuck Sylvester and Ron Gurfein.


Proximity is the first female to be named Horse of the Year… Lusty Song takes the Hambletonian for Del Miller… Mike Lachance, Cat Manzi and Jim Simpson born.


Adios Butler is named HOY and the following year he would repeat becoming the first to win it twice over the age of 3 both times (4 & 5)… Jimmy Takter and Per Eriksson both born in Sweden… Countess Adios takes both the Cane Pace and the Messenger, the LAST female to win either stake.


A $900 yearling takes the HOY title — Fresh Yankee at age 7. She would retire as the first $1 million earner bred in North America (bred by Charlie Keller)… Timothy T wins the Hambletonian completing the first father/son combo to do so— John Simpson, Sr. and Jr… The first sophomore crop of Meadow Skipper yields Triple Crown winner Most Happy Fella.


Niatross rewrites the record books, including winning the first ever million-dollar race… Peter Haughton is lost in an auto accident. Later that year his prized trotting colt Burgomeister went on to win the Hambletonian with brother Tommy second with Final Score.


John Campbell becomes the first driver to win the Hambletonian three times in a four years stretch taking the 1990 edition with Harmonious… Artsplace wins as a 2YO in world record time 1:51.1 on the 5/8ths at Pompano… Del Miller drives in a race for a record eighth decade… Beach Towel becomes the first ever $2 million single season earner…Two Triple Crown winners pass away in 1990 — Speedy Scot on June 15 and Ayres on Jan. 30.


Gallo Blue Chip surges past $2.4 million for a new single season record… Bettors Delight wraps up freshman honors with a victory in the Breeders Crown… Western Ideal becomes the first division winner to take EVERY one of his victories in 1:50 or faster… Goalfish takes the Yonkers Trot giving Jacqueline Ingrassia the one and only Triple Crown race win to a female driver… Moni Maker winds up her spectacular career with an under saddle record for Julie Krone and Jimmy Takter at the Red Mile.


Rock N Roll Heaven is the easy choice for HOY, just like his sire was Rocknroll Hanover five years earlier… Muscle Massive wins the Hambletonian 13 years after Jimmy Takter first won it with Malabar Man in 1997… Put On A Show sets the all-time pacing filly earnings record at $1,893,475.

Who said there’s no baseball?

We’ve got a team of 33 Hambletonian starters through the years all with some kind of name baseball fans would like (alphabetically):

Action Factor 1987 8th
Americas Promise 9th in elim 2001
A Perfect Yankee 4th 2013 final
Approved Action 5th in elim 2000
Bon Sport 9th in 1985 elim
Brilliant Yankee 1978 OUT
Bronx 1926 YEAR ONE 12th and 10th
Brooklyn Hill 8th in 2016 elim
Center Field 9th 2003 elim
Dedicated Yankee 1992 7th in elim
Diamond Goal 7th elim 2001
Game Of Skill 4th elim 2002 (Rated #1 On Sam McKees Road To The Hambletonian that day for Schnittker)
Giant Hit 1995 THIRD
Giant Victory 1991 WINNER
Home Free 1955 11th
Little League 1982 87th elim
Legend Hanover 1979 WINNER
Mets Hall 2018 SECOND
Muscle Diamond 2015 7th elim
Muscles Yankee 1998 WINNER
Nevele Diamond 1974 SECOND
New York Yank 2005 9th elim
Opening Night 2011 THIRD
Play Action 6th 1983 in elim
Smokin Yankee 1981 5th and 8th
Star Perfect 1960 14th in elim
Strong Yankee 2005 4th final
Sutton THIRD 2016
Ways To Win 1975 last
Worth Seein 8th 9th 1962 (granddam of Peace Corps)
Yankee Glide 1997 last
Yankee King 1959 9th 8th
Yankee Peak 9th in 1983 elim