Record setting time in harness racing

by Bob Heyden

Trainer Brett Pelling is, fittingly, the man behind Confederate’s 1:46.1 world record, the new all-time mark for 3-year-olds. Let’s take a look at some of Pelling’s previous speed records:

In June of 1998, Armbro Romance became the first female to post a sub-1:50 mile with a 1:49.4 performance.

In the 1999 Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup, The Panderosa was the first horse anywhere to win two million-dollar races with sub-1:50 miles — 1:49.3 and 1:49.4.

In 2004, Rocknroll Hanover the first 2-year-old to post a sub-1:50 mile. He did so while winning the Metro in 1:49.4. It was a preview of the 2005 HOY season to come.

In 2020, Papi Rob Hanover posted a 1:47.1 mile on the 5/8ths at The Meadows in his Adios elimination. But that was it for him due to injury. The time was 10 lengths faster than the following week’s final (1:49.1).

Three straight years, Pelling has sent out the fastest Red Mile horse — Allywag Hanover in 2021 (1:46.4), Allywag Hanover again in 2022 (1:46) and now Confederate (1:46.1).

Meanwhile, Tim Tetrick is the only driver to post a sub-1:47 mile with both a male (Confederate and He’s Watching (1:46.4)) and a female (Shartin N (1:46.4)).


Saturday’s cards at both Scioto Downs and Yonkers broke records. Scioto offered over $3.7 million, the most ever for a single card in Ohio history.

Meanwhile, the $3.3 million Yonkers offered for its Yonkers International card was a record for the Hilltop Oval. The lowest purse on the card was $225,000.

And, on Sept. 17, Kentucky’s Red Mile will have $3.4 million on the line with eight $400,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes finals.

Finally, the Little Brown Jug is expected to carry a purse of $1 million.


The following are the second-place finishers in the six richest races ever contested. Does anyone ever hear their names mentioned anywhere?

1.Praised Dignity (second to Nihilator in the 1984 Woodrow Wilson that went for $2.16 million. Praised Dignity never raced after age 2.

2. Armbro Wolf was second, by a neck, in the $2,011,000 1980 Wilson won by Land Grant. It was Shelly Goudreau’s closest to winning any of the six million-dollar races he appeared in. Armbro Wolf had limited impact after the big Wilson payday.

3. Ticket To Ride in 1982 was second to Fortune Teller for a healthy $1,957,500 in the Wilson. Team Haughton entrymate Big Band Sound was third. None were significant players in the 1983 Ralph Hanover Triple Crown season.

4. Lon Todd Hanover was a scant nose back of McKinzie Almahurst in the 1981 Wilson that went for $1,760,000. It stood as the richest driving win of Billy Haughton’s amazing career. This was the closest Lon Todds’ driver John Simpson, Jr. came to seven-figure glory.

5. Trutone Lobell was second a nose to Carls Bird in 1983 with $1.7 million on the line. Jeff Lohmeyer trained Trutone Lobell, who was not done at all, but hardly was a standout.

6. Ali Khan, from the first crop of 1982 Older Pacer Of The Year Genghis Khan was second in the 1986 Wilson behind Cullin Hanover for a purse of $1,561,500. Jim King, Jr. drove Ali Kahn. This was the last pacing event at The Meadowlands that went for more than $1.5 million. Ali Khan wasn’t exactly anonymous after, but his shining moment forever would/will remain his runner-up in the sixth richest race ever held.