Where have I seen this before?

by Bob Heyden

Bear with me for what I think is a startling comparison and, well, an inevitable one.

The circumstances involve different breeds — standardbred and thoroughbred — a couple of decades apart.

John Campbell is in the role of Pat Day, Dave Miller in that of Jerry Bailey and Tim Tetrick mirror-imaging John Velasquez.

Back in 2005 Pat Day retired at $297,934,732 No. 1 all time at age 52.

Back in 2007 — January to be specific — Jerry Bailey retired at 47 a touch shy of No. 1 with $296,113,529.

John Velasquez was lurking in the background a decade or a decade and a half younger.

Back in 2017 John Campbell retired at $299,892,145, No. 1 all-time age 62.

Dave Miller today is at $276,169,928, No. 2 all-time at 58.

Tim Tetrick is a decade and a half or more younger than the top group, No. 3 at $262,450,449.

Can Miller, turning 59 in December, keep up the good fight? His recent history suggests it is indeed possible. So far in 2023 he’s ranked No. 8 for the year at $5,165,349.

In 2022, he was No. 5 with $9,846,800.

In 2021, he was No. 4 with $10,708,134.

In 2020, he was No. 4 with $8,382,862.

In 2019, he was No. 5 with $9,174,254.

When, and if Dave Miller can narrow the gap and be right there in the mix for No. 1, it will be historic. Keep in mind that Campbell has led all drivers since July 1987, and has had at least a $25 million lead since October 1993 when it was $115 million for Campbell and $80 million for Herve Filion, until now.

If we do get there, how long will it be until Tetrick zooms by a la Velasquez who did just that and has never looked back well past $450 million currently.

Note: Yannick Gingras is No. 4 all-time at $222 million with 21,000 less drives than Dave Miller. The $200-million door will be shut for some time for drivers. Dave Palone, at $157,527,736, is next on the active list.


That song by Seals and Crofts was my high school graduation theme.

But in standardbred racing, the following top 18 list reveals none are likely to ever happen again.

1. Tim Tetrick’s seven divisional winners in 2012. Five out of the seven completely dominated the balloting.

• Market Share — 3YOCT with 140. Nobody else got over three

• Check Me Out — 3YOFT with 128. Maven received 12 votes.

• Chapter Seven — Older Male Trotter with 140.

• Captaintreacherous — 2YOCP with 144.

• Heston Blue Chip — 3YOCP with 68 over Michael’s Power (50).

• American Jewel — 3YOFP with 141 over Romantic Moment (3).

• Anndrovette — Older Mare Pacer with 72 over Put On A Show (41).

The closest anyone has come? Dexter Dunn with five.

2. The $2,161,000 Woodrow Wilson in 1984. It was the richest ever race.

3. Nevele Pride on the cover of Sports Illustrated in August 1968.

4. In a race worth over $250,000, the same sire getting every check.

The $334,500 Beacon Course (now the Stanley Dancer Memorial) in 1996. Lindy Lane, Continentalvictory, Act Of Grace, Mr Vic and Pietro Pan were all sons or daughters of Valley Victory.

5. A 2-year-old trotting colt named Horse of the Year (HOY) with 29 starts. In 1967, Nevele Pride won 26 of 29.

6. Same driver, same day, world records with a trotter and a pacer both later named Horse of the Year at two different tracks. Bill O’Donnell on 8/16/84 with Fancy Crown during the day at Springfield in the Review (1:53.4), then to The Meadowlands with Nihilator in a 1:52.4 world record for 2-year-olds. Fancy Crown was HOY in 1984 and Nihilator was HOY in 1985.

7. Fillies across the wire 1-2 in the Hambletonian final. Forty years ago it was Duenna over Winky’s Gill.

8. Tim Tetrick in 2008 with $19.8 million, an incredible single season for a driver.

9. On March 8, 2003, Stephane Bouchard recorded 11 straight winning pari-mutuel drives at two different racetracks. Three at Freehold and then eight at Yonkers.

10. A free-for-aller winning 28 consecutive starts. Cam Fella ended his career 40 years ago this December doing just that. Traditionally the toughest division to come close to running the table.

11. A teenager driving in the Hambletonian? Somebody tell Butch Paisley his record from 1958 driving for dad at age 18 is indeed safe.

12. Winning a race as a driver in eight decades? Del Miller from the 1920s through the 1990s. Incredible.

13. Winning a Triple Crown race back-to-back at a racetrack whose name is in the title of the race, but the race is held elsewhere. Trond Smedshammer won the Yonkers Trot twice — Windsong’s Legacy (2004) and Strong Yankee (2005) — but the race was held at Freehold then at Hawthorne due to construction in NY.

14. A track hosting a million-dollar race on back-to-back race days. Forty years ago, this month, it happened for the first and only time. Duenna won the Hambletonian on Saturday at The Meadowlands before Carls Bird won the Woodrow Wilson on Monday night.

15. A driver debuting on Hambletonian Day with two first time drives who wins both, paying over $100 with both. Todd McCarthy won with Kobes Gigi and Cool Papa Bell in 2022.

16. On Father’s Day in 1991 13-year-old Oregon and 7-year-old Zealot finished 1-2 at The Meadowlands. Did I mention that they were father and son?

17. Antonio Chiaravalle, at the Lexington sale in 1991, bought three yearlings in less than an hour. They were Lotta Soul, Riyadh and Presidential Ball; a $1 million winner, a $2 million winner and a $3 million winner. They were the only three he bought.

18. In the 2014 Hambletonian, a huge favorite bumps the gate (I think) and goes offstride at the start of the race. His stablemates, Trixton and Nuncio, finish 1-2 for the Takter stable.