The history of the pacing earnings record.
by Bob Heyden
September 1 will mark the 10th anniversary of the day Foiled Again became the richest pacer in history.
By winning the 2012 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk that night, Foiled Again surpassed Gallo Blue Chip as the top pacer in history.
Foiled Again went on to become the richest standardbred of all time, retiring with earnings of $7,635,588.
Prior to Foiled Again’s CPD victory, Gallo Blue Chip had held the pacing money title for 11 years, originally taking it over in 2001 and ending his career with earnings of $4,260,957 in a career that spanned from 1999 to 2005.
Foiled Again is now closing in on another record. He’s currently chasing down the record 16 years that Nihilator held the money title from 1985-2001 with career earnings of $3,225,653 (Somebeachsomewhere fell $4,000 shy in 2008).
With no other pacer within shouting distance of the record, it looks like Foiled Again will take Nihilator’s crown in 2028, the year he turns 24.
Let’s take a look at the progression in the last 70 years of the all-time leading money-winning pacer:
In 1952, Good Time was number one with two Horse of the Year trophies. He held the earnings title for six years until 1958. Good Time retired with earnings of $318,792.
In 1958, Adios Harry took over and held it for a season at $345,433. He held the speed record, too, with a 1:55 mile lowering Billy Direct’s mark from 1938.
In 1959, Belle Acton put the ladies on the board for Team Haughton with $353,063 to claim the top spot upon retirement. She held it for a year.
In 1960, Bye Bye Byrd erupted past $500,000 with a total of $554,257 racing from 1957-1961. He held it approximately two years.
In 1962, Henry T Adios went past $700,000 ($702,698 to exact). He held it for the better part of three seasons until Bret Hanover reset yet another record.
In 1966, Bret Hanover wound up at $922,616 on the strength of a spectacular 62-for-68 career.
In 1968, Cardigan Bay gave Stanley Dancer his second all-time pacing leader when the horse hit seven figures and was then paraded on the Ed Sullivan show for a national audience.
In 1971, three years after “CARDY” got it done, Rum Customer just edged by with earnings of $1,001,548.
In 1972, Albatross was the first to better $1 million combined in consecutive seasons (1971-1972) and wound up at $1,201,470 — a mark that would hold until near the end of the decade.
In 1978, Rambling Willie took over passing Albatross, but then a son of Albatross would eclipse $2 million first.
In 1980, Niatross was the first to win a million-dollar race and was the first to $2 million lifetime ( $2,019,213).
In 1983, Rambling Willie re-took the lead in the fall of 1983, only to have Cam Fella on Dec. 10 wind up his career with some $3,000 more.
In 1983, Cam Fella ended his career at $2,041,367.
In 1985, On The Road Again briefly moved into the #1 slot in the fall as a 4-year-old ($2,819,102).
In November of 1985, Nihilator concluded his brilliant career with a victory in the Breeders Crown at Garden State Park and became history’s first $3 million winner ($3,225,653).
In 2001, Gallo Blue Chip backed up a $2 million season with a $1 million campaign at 4 to move into #1 all-time. Only Wiggle It Jiggleit has done the same (among pacers; 2015-2016).
As mentioned, it 2012 Foiled Again surpassed Gallo and went on to earnings of $7,635,588. And that where we are.
ETERNAL CAMNATION — 18 YEARS LATER
Eternal Camnation is still tops on the female pacer earnings list with $3,748,574. Anndrovette made a good run at it with a career of $3,544,930 and finished about $204,000 away.
Interestingly, Eternal Camnation (racing from 1999-2004) was sold at the same yearling sale as Gallo Blue Chip — 1998 Standardbred Horse Sales Company auction in Harrisburg, PA — as All American Coin. It was $35,000 for her, $32,000 for him. Think anyone was thinking then that these two would reign for over a decade and would be the richest male and female pacer in the sport’s history?
ADDING IT UP
Overall… 17 horses on the pacing side have eclipsed $3 million and four have topped $4 million.
I think Boulder Creek (he raced from 2002-2010) gets the award for the quietest member of this club. He earned $3,425,857 and had a career slate of 173 42-31-22. Those 173 starts are the closest of anyone to Foiled Again’s 331 tries.
Mach It So appears to be the only one on the bubble. He is still racing in 2022 with $2,945,902 earned.
EFFORT, PERSISTENCE, STUBBORNNESS
Pick one. They all seem to apply to a 14-year old (career 440 64-76-67, $382,808) who very likely holds the world record — or is at least very close — to the most consecutive starts made without lowering his lifetime mark.
On April 30, he made his 441st career try at Pocono Downs in a $20-$25,000 claiming handicap. His career mark is 1:52.4, set at age 2 at Balmoral Park in the Orange And Blue in his seventh career start. So that means he has gone 433 STARTS in a row without taking that down a notch.
His name, you ask?