by Bob Heyden
As strange as this may sound, never has a trotting Horse of the Year gone on to sire a Horse of the Year in the 72 years the award has been presented.
On the pacing side, it has happened seven times:
Bye Bye Byrd (1959 HOY) sired 1976 HOY Keystone Ore
Albatross (1971-1972 HOY) sired three straight HOYs — 1979-1980 Niatross and then 1981 winner Fan Hanover.
Abercrombie (1978 HOY) sired 1992 HOY Artsplace
Cam Fella (1982-1983 winner) sired 1991 winner Precious Bunny and 1994 winner Cams Card Shark.
Niatross (1979-1980 winner) sired 1985 winner Nihilator.
Precious Bunny won it in 1991 and a decade later sired Bunny Lake the 2001 filly who took down year-end honors.
Rocknroll Hanover was the dominant winner in 2005 and then his first crop had the champion, 2010 HOY Rock N Roll Heaven.
As for trotters, not once has it happened.
Here’s a look at the winners and their sire. For the first half dozen years, obviously there could not have been a sire who had already won the award and that would be significant since eight of the first 12 winners of the HOY were trotters.
1947 Victory Song sired by Volomite the 1929 Hambletonian runner-up.
1948 Rodney sired by Spencer Scott.
1950 Proximity was sired by Protector. Proximity raced from 1944-1950-which means that in her seventh and last season of competition, she was named HOY at age 8.
1951 Pronto Don was sired by Donald Truax.
1954 Stenographer was sired by Bill Gallon
1955-56 Scott Frost was the first back-to-back winner-and was sired by Hoot Mon, who was narrowly defeated 165-160 in year one of the HOY by Victory Song.
1958 Emilys Pride was sired by Stars Pride, who has the all-time record for trotting HOYs with five (1958, 1967-68-69 and 1975)
1962 Su Mac Lad was sired by Potomac Lad. Su Mac Lad raced from 1956-1965-and in his seventh year on the track in 1962, he was honored as HOY.
1963 Speedy Scot was sired by Speedster.
1967-68-69 Nevele Pride was sired by Stars Pride, who amazingly had eight Hambletonian winners as a stud, the all-time record
1970 Fresh Yankee was sired by Hickory Pride.
1974 Delmonica Hanover was a daughter of Speedy Count
1975 Savoir was the last Stars Pride to be named HOY, amazingly 17 years from the first (Emilys Pride in 1958)
1977 Green Speed a son of Speedy Rodney.
1984 Fancy Crown was a daughter of the trotting stallion that produced the most in progeny earnings: Speedy Crown. Because of his dominance as a stallion, people often mistakenly think Speedy Crown was a HOY. He was fourth in 1971, his Hambletonian-winning season, behind Albatross (141 votes), Steady Star (34 votes), Fresh Yankee with 8 and Speedy Crown with 4.
1987-88 Mack Lobell was the last male trotter to go back to back in the HOY balloting, he a son of Mystic Park, one of the pre-Hambletonian favorites in 1982 but who made a break on Hambletonian Day.
1995 C R Kay Suzie was a homebred daughter of Royal Troubador.
1996 Continentalvictory is the only son or daughter of Valley Victory to be so named. He would have been a HOY contender in 1989 but a virus stopped his season and career at 7-for-7.
1997 Malabar Man was a son of $500,000 yearling Supergill. He did make over $600G lifetime, but was never a HOY contender.
1998-1999 Moni Maker was the last horse on either gait to be a repeat winner. She a daughter of Speedy Crown, who passed away during her reign. Moni Maker was HOY for the first time in 1998-125-90 over Muscles Yankee, who later would sire the first unblemished HOY Muscle Hill in 2009.
2006 Glidemaster a son of the retired Yankee Glide. Glidemaster won the Triple Crown and HOY, the last time John Campbell was the regular driver on a HOY.
2007 Donato Hanover was a son of Andover Hall from his first crop.
2009 Muscle Hill dominated as the first undefeated (12-12) TROTTER ever to be so named. (Bee A Magician (17-17) to join in 2013). Sire Muscles Yankee, who became the second HOY runner-up to be a HOY sire, sired the Hambletonian winner three straight years (2008-2010).
2011 San Pail was a son of San Pellegrino. Pellegrino raced in the Self Possessed crop, and appeared in the 1998 Colonial world record 1:53.2 freshman Breeders Crown mark by C R Commando.
2012 Chapter Seven is a son of the third of four HOY runner-ups who have sired a HOY (Windsongs Legacy). In 2004, Windsongs Legacy won the Triple Crown and was edged out by Rainbow Blue for HOY 119-98. Chapter Seven’s son Gimpanzee, should he go on to be HOY in 2020, would be the first ever son of a HOY to do so
2013 Bee A Magician is a daughter of Kadabra, the fourth and final HOY runner-up (second to Real Desire 93 votes to 44) to be a sire of a HOY
2017 Hannelore Hanover is the last trotter honored as HOY. She is a daughter of Swan For All.
In summation, 24 different trotting sires for HOY, 20-of-73 HOYs were male trotters, 12 female trotters, 27 different trotters were named HOY.