by Bob Heyden
The Kentucky Futurity, which began in 1893, is the oldest of the sport’s Triple Crown races. The others started as follows:
1955 Cane Pace
1955 Yonkers Trot
In 1893, seven colts and four fillies tangled in the inaugural Futurity. There was no Preakness held that year and the Belmont had just five competitors and the Kentucky Derby had just 6.
The Kentucky Futurity was not held from 1942-1945 making this year the 125th edition.
From 1893-1920, you had to win three times to be declared the Futurity winner.
Father Patrick has won the last two editions of the Futurity from his first two crops — Greenshoe and Amigo Volo.
Only three drivers in history have won each of the Trotting Triple Crown races at least three times each: Mike Lachance, John Campbell and Brian Sears.
Lachance has three Yonkers Trots and four each in the Hambletonian and Futurity.
Sears has four Yonkers Trots and three each in the Hambletonian and Futurity
Campbell has three Yonkers Trots and six each in the Hambletonian and Futurity.
Team Pinske won both the Kentucky Futurity with Amigo Volo and the Filly Futurity with Love A Good Story in 2020. Carter Pinske tried to put it into words, “It as unlike any other day I ever had or ever will have again. Quite honestly, after Story won, I was a little bummed because I told (my wife) MaKenna, There’s no way we are winning both these races.’ It was a very surreal and humbling day. Capped off by the crazy outpouring of support and congrats from so many people afterwards. I’ll never forget that day.”
This is the final Triple Crown race of 2021. Just who are some of the biggest names never to win a Triple Crown race?
Presidential Ball 1993
Chapter Seven 2011
Father Patrick 2014
Rocknroll Hanover 2005
Real Desire 2001
Gallo Blue Chip 2000
Staying Together 1992
Forrest Skipper 1985
Bye Bye Byrd 1958
Always B Miki 2014
Remembering the 2005 Kentucky Futurity
Strong Yankee won it in a two-horse raceoff that went in 1:51.2 to produce a three-heat world record.
Vivid Photo and Strong Yankee won the elims, Classic Photo was third in both heats and Sir Perseverance at 10-and 150-1 was second on both.
Trond Smedshammer won the 2004 Triple Crown with Windsongs Legacy and the 2005 Yonkers Trot and Futurity with Strong Yankee to capture five of the six Trotting Triple Crown events in consecutive years.
The Gold Dust Twins
That nickname used to refer to Stanley Dancer and Billy Haughton and then to Campbell and Bill O’Donnell. Triple Crown racing is certainly a big part of how they got their nickname. In the decade of the 1970s, 60 Triple Crown events were held — 30 on the pace and 30 on the trot — and 27-of-60 races went to someone named either Dancer or Haughton.
In the 1980s, again 60 Triple Crown events were held and 20-of-60 went to someone named either Campbell or O’Donnell.
The race began in 1971 and Horse of the Year Albatross won in 1:54.4 twice for a new world race record.
“Keystone” combinations clicked in three of the first six editions:
1973 Keystone Smartie (Joe O’Brien)
1974 Keystone Presto (Peter Haughton)
1976 Keystone Ore (Stanley Dancer)
This year marks Brett Pelling’s 30th anniversary of winning his first Tattersalls in 1991 with Stoneridge Scooter.
Last year saw a colt and filly each win their Tattersalls divisions, just like their sires did:
Party Girl Hill 2020, Captaintreacherous 2013
Tall Dark Stranger 2020, Bettors Delight 2001
There was a dead heat in 1987 with Laag-Jaguar Spur.
The 1983 Tattersalls was the first year the purse reached six figures.
A quarter century went by before the race was held in divisions — 1995 Nicks Fantasy and Stand Forever.
Twelve of 50 times the Jug winner has doubled up in the Tattersalls.
Always B Miki and J K End Of An Era shared the 2014 spotlight on Tattersalls Day.
Seventeen of the 20 drivers to win the Tattersalls from 1971-1990 made the Hall of Fame.
Ten of the 50 winners of the Tattersalls were voted Horse of the Year.
This Saturday is five years to the day of Always B Miki’s 1:46 world race record mile.
The winners from 2012-2014 have all distinguished themselves quite well off the track, as well:
2012 Sweet Lou
2013 Captaintreacherous and Sunfire Blue Chip
2014 Always B Miki and J K End Of An Era
The prime time players in the greatest ever Meadowlands Pace — Somebeachsomewhere and Art Official — each won their 2008 Tattersalls divisions.
Full brothers won it— Western Terror in 2004 and If I Can Dream in 2009.
Western Ideal’s first crop took center stage in 2005 when both Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal stole the Tattersalls show.
No Pan Intended won the Tattersalls in 2003 and the Triple Crown and Breeders Crown.
Test Of Faith impressed last week. Her sire, 22-year-old Art Major, won the 2002 Tattersalls.
The richest edition came in 2010 when Rocknroll Heaven won for a purse of $604,000.
Joe Holloway won the Tattersalls in 1985 with Tylers Mark and again in 2014 with Always B Miki. Thirty-five years after his first Tattersalls win, will Holloway win this year with Perfect Sting?
Niatross, in 1979, raced his last four freshman starts at the Red Mile — and his last six races at age 2 in Kentucky, but he did not race in Kentucky in 1980 at 3, excepting, of course, his time trial.