Author Topic: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s  (Read 58812 times)

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DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« on: March 08, 2011, 10:12:43 PM »
Joseph F. Lighthill.
From a well known Ohio racing family, Joe was born April 22, 1928 in Deshler, Ohio and was known to drive in races with four of the eight starters being Lighthills.
Drove his first race as a 14 year old at Kenton, Ohio, and won his first with "Peter L. Scott" also in 42.
Won his first pari-mutual race in 1945 at Fort Miami Raceway.
Joseph drove 3 year old "Miss Star Chief" to 13 consecutive wins, and 26 of 28.
He always considered "Lumber Dream" the fastest Horse he's ever driven.
Leading dash winner for Ohio in 1956.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 10:16:41 PM by PLOP »

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950S & 1960S
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 10:13:24 PM »
Joseph C. O'brien.
Second man to score more then 2,000 wins since the formation of the USTA in 1939.
Joe drove his 1st race in 1930 at the age of 13.
In 1947 he topped the USTA standings with 128 wins, but 44 were in the Maritime Provinces, so his National ranking that year was 7th.
Joe served with the Canadian Infantry during WW11.
Known as the "Ice Man", Joe won many major races including the Little Brown Jug in 57 & 58, The Harriman Trot and, The Sheppard in 67.
Now, can you name the Horses in those races ??

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950S & 1960S
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 10:14:12 PM »
Delmer M. Insko.
He drove his 1st race at Albert Lee, Minnesota on July 4th 1946 just a few days before his 15th birthday.
National dash winning champion in 1960, and runner up in 62, 64, 66, and 67.
Piloted "Speedy Rodney" to a word Champion mark on a half mile track in 1966, at 1:58 3/5.
Del recalls Henry T. Adios, Merrie Gesture, Josedale, and Go Lucky as some of his earlier charges with high regard.
Was 50 short of the 2,000 win mark at the end of 1967 and passed it early in 68 when he became the 6th driver to score 2,000 wins since the formation of the USTA.
His trademark was a wooden match in his mouth while driving in the races.


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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950S & 1960S
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 10:14:47 PM »
Norman "Chris" Boring was born in Indianapoils, Ind on June 17th, 1941.
After graduating from High School in 1959, He joined his Dad on a full time basis.
Drove his 1st race in 1958 at the hometown Adrian, Michigan fair.
His only win in his first year of driving was with "Knight Stick" in a matinee race.
Boring "came of age" in the sport with the great "True Dane", with him, he had set a World record, and earned more the $100,000 in a season.
He won many major races including The American Classic in 1966, and teh Nation Pace Derby in 1967, both with True Dane.



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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950S & 1960S
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 10:15:22 PM »
T. Wayne (Curly) Smart spent over 50 years in the Harness Industry!!
Born August 29th 1904 in Ostrander, Ohio he had many great Horses.
Curly often stated that he won more Stakes than He could ever remember, some were the first edition of the Little Brown Jug with Ensign Hanover in 1946, The $75,000 American Classic with Gold Worthy at Hollywood Park in 1946, and the $50,000 Nassau Invitational at Roosevelt Raceway TWICE with Scottish Pence in 1950, & 51.
Other great Horses Curly had were Senator Abbe, Poplar Byrd, Milestone, Smart Money, Tuxedo Hanover, and Meadow Rice.
Meadow Rice carried Curly to his 2nd Jug winner in 1952.
Among his fellow drivers, Curly is known as "canny, resourceful, and bold"

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 10:17:41 PM »
Alan Myer.
Born in Bridgeville Delaware on June 9, 1926, needed no introduction to Harness Fans as his three well known racing brothers preceded him into the Sport.
His driving record included a great number of National rankings.
Alan first appeared on the National list in 1947, when 60 winning drives ranked him 25th in the Nation.
On the track, he was known as a good horsemen, who suited his pattern of driving to the Horse.
Major wins was the Orange County Cup in 1960 with Chipman's Heel, & The Reading Fut in 61 with Oh You Kid.




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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 09:57:50 PM »
Alfred T. Day.
Born February 13, 1939 in Danville N. H..
New England's leading race driver for many years.
His Dad, a top N.E. trainer-driver let 10 year old "Bucky" drive Rex Volo in a dash on the ice at Beaver Pond, in Derry N.H.
He won his first official race in 1946, at the Cornish Fair, in the fast time of 2:20, with "D.V.W."
In 1948 his career was nearly bought to an abrupt end, as a result of an accident at Old Orchard Beach Raceway, he nearly drowned. A violent storm hit the Raceway during the running of a race. The grandstand floor collapsed taking the lighting system with it. His mount went down, throwing him into a deep puddle, breaking his shoulder, and leaving him helpless to raise his head. A patrol judge, during a lightning flash spotted him, waded out and held his head out of the water for nearly half and hour until help could arrive.
Career highlights include: Driving his 500th win at Bay State Raceway in 1964, being voted N.E. driver of the year in 62, leading N.E. winner in 54, 57, 62, and 63.
Bucky was leading driver at Bay State in 51, 52, 53, Rockingham in 58, Hinsdale in 63, and Gorham in 57.
 

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 09:58:38 PM »
Thanks to John1417 for all of these driver profiles.  tmbz1

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 08:56:09 AM »
Edward G. Cobb.
Born in Whitesville, New York on March 1, 1920.
Ed left Dairy farming in 1936 for a life in Harness Racing.
He won his first race in 1938 at the Carrollton, Ohio Fair, with the mare "Blossom Time"
Although far from unknown prior to Adios Butler days, Ed Cobb became a harness racing household name with the development of the former World Pacing Champion.
Career highlights include seasons leading driver at 7 major raceways.
He rates "Jerry The First" as the gamest Horse he ever handled, and of course "Adios Butler" the fastest.
Raced a mile in 1967 with "Honest Story" in 1:55 2/5 at the Red Mile.

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 09:43:11 PM »
John "Tic" Wilcutts
Born in Magnolia, Delaware on November 23, 1919, Tic has been described by his fellow Horsemen as "One of the top drivers in the Country -- resourceful, adaptable, excellant post man, and has the ability to drive any horse"
John get's his nickname from his size, which was small enough to lead the owner of Man O'War, on three occasions to suggest that Tic leave school for a career as a Jockey.
After graduating from Cesar Rodney High School in Wyoming, Delaware, Tic joined the service, where He saw more then 2 years of South Pacific Action with the Army A.A.A., attaining S/Sgt stripes.
Harness racing began as a hobby with Him when he bought a $700 discard, and eventually began training and driving himself.
After his first win at Rosecroft in 1951, he purchased "True Peggy" which he raced with enough sucess to attract outside owners.
His first 100 win season was in 1961.
Leading driver at Baltimore in 56, 57, 60, 61, Laurel in 58, 59, Rockinghan in 61, and Liberty Bell in 63. 
 

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Sanders Russell, Born April 26, 1900, in Stevenson, Alabama.
His career dates back to 1915, when as a 16 year old He drove in his first race, at South Pittsford, Tenn. That same year, He got his first win, a very fast 2:15 trip with "Frederick C." at Griffin, Ga.
The Public Stable He operated, was in the Russell Family for over 75 years, and was headquartered at the same Farm In Stevenson.
Prior to "getting into the business", Sanders graduated Jackson County High School, and attended Alabama Poly (Auburn).
In his later years, He was best known for his work with "A. C.'s Viking" with which He won the 1962 Hambletonian.
He recalled that in 1944, He won 11 consecutive stakes events on a midwest tour.
Sanders won the Acorn in 1963 with A. C.' s Jennie, The Hambo mentioned above, The Hanover Hempt in 61 with A. C.'s Viking, and the Quaker City in 66 with Fresh Yankee.
He considered Junior Council, Gratis Hanover, and Fresh Yankee, and of course A. C.'s Viking as some of his best Horses.
 
 
 

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 11:12:40 PM »
Theodore G. Taylor born on April 22, 1927 in Columbus, Ohio.
Ted Taylor has concentrated on Harness Racing since childhood, setting the example for him were his Grandfather, John Taylor who trained while in his 80's, and his Father.
Ted went from School into the Navy, serving from 1944-1948.
He earned Asiatic and Pacific Campaign ribbons, and was a gunners mate 3rd when discharged.
Following separation from the service, he started grooming on a full time basis in his Grandad's stable.
By 1951, He had acquired enough experience to be allowed to start in a race at the Plain City Fair. It was to be a year later, however, at Hillards with "Hope Bingen" in 2:17 for his first win.
Ted did most of his racing in Southern Michigan, although He spent some time at Pompano Park.
Won the Michigan Fut. in 1966 with Sonny Fortune in 2:14 2/5, and in 67 also with Sonny Fortune in 2:10, and with Lovergirlnik in 2:06.

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 09:46:00 PM »
Hugh A. Bell, born in Delaware, Ohio, on July 27, 1902.
Won his first race at the Delaware County Fair, Powell, Ohio with "Gypsy Girl"
We do not know how many races he won prior to the formation of the USTA in 1939, but can state for sure that he was one of the leaders in his time.
Major race wins include:
American National in 51 with Gander, and 52 with Thunderclap.
Bronx Fut. with Rapid Transit in 60
Goshen Cup in 51 with Gander
Hanover Hempt in 66 with Schatzie Byrd
Motor City Pace with Mr. Dean in 52
Leading driver at:
Detroit, 50
Toledo, 50
Roosevelt Raceway, 53, 59, 60
Yonkers, 54, 60, 61, 63

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 09:46:31 PM »
John F. Simpson Sr.
Born in Chester, North Carolina on December 26, 1919.
Served with the U.S. Army from 1942-1946, and holding a rank of 1st Lt.
John drove and won his first race at Myrtle Beach, S.C. in 1938 with "My Birthday" in the sparkling time of 2:10.
John has won nearly every major stake that the sport has including both the Hambletonian twice with Hickory Smoke in 57, and Ayers in 64, and the Little Brown Jug three times with Noble Adios in 56, Torpid in 57, and Bullet Hanover in 60.
In the 50's and 60's He drove almost 100 sub 2:00 miles, and set at least 15 Major World Records.
Leading driver at Roosevelt in 50, 52, Laurel in 57, and Vernon in 62.
John was also President and General manager od Hanover Shoe Farm for many years.
 

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 09:47:08 PM »
Glen G. Garnsey, born November 1, 1933 in Clayton, New York.
Talented Glen tested out farming, clerking in a store, and a tour as a deck hand before following his Dad, Garland into the sport on a full time basis.
His career was interrupted by a hitch with the U.S. Army from which he was discharged with Sergent's Stripes.
He drove his first race at Saratoga in 1950, and won his first that very same year with "Margaret Eblis" at the Cobbleskill Fair.
Glen had his first 100+ win year in 1963, including 99 wins at Vernon.
Glen and his Dad became the first Farther and Son combination to record 1,000 wins each.
His major race wins include the Bloomsburg fair in 1955, and The NYSS in 1963.

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Re: DRIVER BIOS FROM THE 1950s & 1960s
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2011, 09:47:55 PM »
Herve Filion, born February 1, 1940 in Angers, Quebec Canada.
Herve's first winning drive was as a 13 year, "as a passenger" behind "Guy Gratten" at Rigaud, Quebec in 1953.
Herve had 2,000+ wins by the end of the 60's with his first 200+ win season in 1966 followed up by 256 wins in 1967.
His first ever sub two minute mile was at Liberty Bell with "Scotch Key" in 1:59 2/5.
Some of his greatest races in the 60's were:
Fly Fly Byrd (beating Cardigan Bay)
Meadow Paige (beating Romulus Hanover)
All Aflame (beating Armbro Flight)
Herve likes to race off the pace, and once said "bulk of them race gamer that way"
Probally, the Greatest Harness Driver ever.

 

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