by Bob Heyden
Super Bowl was a foal of 1969, the same year the big championship game in which the Jets defeated the Colts was first called the Super Bowl.
The previous two years, both Green Bay victories, it was officially called the “American Football Conference versus the National Football Conference Championship Game.”
Lamar Hunt is credited for using the term Super Bowl for the first time that caught on. His family owns the Kansas City Chiefs today.
Super Bowl the trotter was a $20,000 yearling for Mrs. Stanley Dancer (Rachel) of New Egypt NJ and Rose Hill Breeding Farm of New Hope, PA.
He was a son of Stars Pride, who in 1969 had his third straight Triple Crown winner sired by Lindys Pride (joining Ayres, 1964 and Nevele Pride, 1968). Super Bowl in 1972 would make it four in a row for Stars Pride.
In 1971, Super Bowl got a Horse of the Year vote and was eighth overall in the balloting. He easily defeated Songcan and Delmonica Hanover for 2-year-old honors. In those days, the fillies and colts were together (they were separated in 1978).
In 1972, Super Bowl set a new earnings record of $436,258 for any trotter of any age bettering the 1968 standard by Nevele Pride of $427,440. Nevele Pride was also racing in the Stanley Dancer barn, and the year he won his third straight HOY title in 1969 was the year Super Bowl was introduced to the world.
In 1972, Super Bowl again was getting votes for HOY. This time he was second best to Albatross 136-48. He won the 3YOCT over Songcan 190-1, and was voted Trotter of the Year 163-17 over Speedy Crown. He and Speedy Crown would both go to stud in 1973 and at the end of a quarter century were the top two trotting stallions in earnings all time.
In 1973, stablemates Albatross and Super Bowl both headed to Hanover Shoe Farms after a couple of years together on the racetrack. It was an unmatched legacy of two superstars carrying over to nearly three decades together and had a huge impact on the sport.
Super Bowl as a sire
Super Bowl sired…
… Supergill, the sport’s first $500,000 yearling. Supergill then sired Malabar Man (26-31), the 1997 Hambletonian winner and HOY.
… Napoletano ($2,174,171) who was the upsetter of Mack Lobell in the 1987 Kentucky Futurity denying Mack the Triple Crown.
… 1992 Hambletonian favorite Armbro Keepsake, a two-time Breeders Crown winner (1991 and 1994). She was fourth in that year’s Hambletonian, but the first female to be favored in a Meadowlands Hambletonian. Muscle Hill has done it twice since — with Mission Brief (second in 2014) and Ramona Hill (the 2020 winner).
… Royal Troubador, the 1990 Yonkers Trot winner who then sired from his first crop 1995 HOY and Hambletonian favorite C R Kay Suzie.
In 1972, Delmonica Hanover was second in the Hambletonian to Super Bowl. As a broodmare, her son Park Avenue Joe was part of the dead heat in 1989 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. Super Bowl sired the other half of that dead heat — Probe.
In 1984, a most unusual event occurred on Hambletonian Day when Delvin G Hanover won an elim with a record return of $126.20, then was favored in the raceoff (second) won by Historic Freight. The sire of Delvin G Hanover? You guessed it — Super Bowl.
Nineteen Breeders Crown starters have had the first name of Super. Super Flora and Supergrit won. (although Supergrit is a grandson of Super Bowl).
Fifteen Hambletonian starters had Super to start their name, but Super Bowl was the lone winner.
Jefs Spice is the richest offspring by Super Bowl at $2,311,271.
Four of the first eight Breeders Crowns for the young ladies on the trot were won by daughters of Super Bowl: 1985 Jefs Spice; 1986 Super Flora; 1990 Jean Bi and 1991 Armbro Keepsake.
The very first open trot in Breeders Crown history (1985) went to Sandy Bowl, a son of Super Bowl.
Super Bowl sired six Hambletonian winners, notably Giant Victory in 1991. That was the Whitney Houston National Anthem Super Bowl year. Super Bowl was 22 years old that year.
Super Bowl’s last Hambletonian impact year was 1997, when at age 28 he sired the runner-up Take Chances (Kentucky Futurity winner) and the elim-winning Bowlin For Dollars. His grandson Malabar Man won it that year.
Super Bowl trivia
Which horse won the last Hambletonian not valued at $1 million? In 1982, Speed Bowl a son of Super Bowl won the $875,000 final. It was Tommy Haughton’s lone Hambletonian. He was 25 that year and he still holds the record as the youngest driver to ever win the Hambletonian.
Super Bowl was 28 in 1997 when he sired a Breeders Crown winner — Catch As Catch Can.
More odd notes
Speedy Crown won the 1971 Hambletonian and Super Bowl the 1972 edition. Neither was voted HOY. Yet, both times, the runner-up was — although later on. Savoir, the runner-up in 1971 was the 1975 HOY. Delmonica Hanover, the runner-up in 1972, was voted the year’s best at age 5 in 1974.
Del Miller drove Delmonica Hanover in the Hambletonian. Interestingly, Miller won the 1950 Hambletonian with Lusty Song, also a filly, with Super Bowl’s sire Stars Pride second.
Stars Pride had an amazing eight Hambletonian winners in a 12-year span culminating in 1972.
Super Bowl’s legacy
Super Bowl died in October, 1999 at age 30.
When he died, there was, not yet, another trotting Triple Crown winner after himself. It wasn’t until 2004 that there was another trotting Triple Crown winner — Windsongs Legacy.