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SC Rewind: 30 Years Ago

Published: November 16, 2019 9:14 am ET

Last Comment: November 20, 2019 11:45 am ET | 17 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In this week's edition of 'Rewind,' Robert Smith takes a look back to 1989. His piece covers quite a few statistics, highlights and few more tidbits from that year which was a mere 30 years ago.

In this week's edition of 'Rewind,' Robert Smith takes a look back to 1989. His piece covers quite a few statistics, highlights and few more tidbits from that year which was a mere 30 years ago. As per usual, a few old photos are included as well as a Trivia question.

Who were the leading drivers in 1989?

  • Herve Filion led North America with 814 winning drives in 4,076 starts. Second was Cat Manzi with 687 winning tallies and Walter Case Jr. third with 680 wins

  • Walter Case Jr. took the U.D.R.S. title in the 500+ starts category with .434 in 2,282 starts

  • Paul Barkley of Morrisburg, Ont. led the 100 - 299 starts category with .562 as he won 47 of his 110 starts

  • John Campbell led all drivers in money won as he earned $9,738,450. Seven Canadian-born drivers were on the top 10 money earners list

  • A total of 65 drivers across North America earned in excess of $1 million in purse money that year

  • A total of 69 drivers won 200 or more races in 1989

Seasoned Drivers - Listed below are a few "seasoned" drivers who showed they could still find the winner's circle despite the passing years. Age in brackets.

  • Delvin Miller (76) made 12 starts, recorded one win, one second and two thirds earning $42,766 for his efforts. This was his seventh decade in the sulky

  • Keith Waples (66) recorded a U.D.R.S. average of 1.000 based on four wins in four starts that season

  • Levi "Jiggs" McFadden (75) also recorded a 1.000 average based on one win in one drive

  • Dr. John Findley (65) recorded an average of .500 based on a standing of 14 starts, five wins, three seconds, one third

  • A. Stewart Ferguson (68) of Breadalbane, P.E.I. had an average of 1.000 based on a win in his one and only start with earnings of $125.00

  • Harold Story (70) from Argyle, N.Y. started in 302 races and was 51-45-30 earning $345,000

  • World-renowned fashion designer Oleg Cassini of New York City, at the age of 76, made a total of seven starts recording two second-place finishes with season's earning's of $3,065 (which he donated to charity). He designed clothing for such notable people as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as his day job but loved to drive horses as a diversion.

Top Performing Horses in 1989 (with earnings rounded to nearest $1,000)


  • 2YO - Royal Troubador - $541,000

  • 3YO - Peace Corps - $1,002,000

  • Older - Napoletano - $481,000


  • 2YO - In The Pocket - $792,000

  • 3YO - Goalie Jeff - $1,682,000

  • Older - Matts Scooter - $1,141,000

Who won some of the major stakes events of 1989? I have selected 10 of the top ones.

  • The Pepsi North America Cup was captured by Goalie Jeff (Steve Condren). Owned by Centre Ice Stable, and trained by Tom Artandi. Winner went off at 46-1 odds.

  • The Prix d'Ete went to Goalie Jeff (Lachance)

  • Little Brown Jug was won by Goalie Jeff (Lachance)

  • The Hambletonian ended in a dead heat between Park Avenue Joe (Ron Waples) and Probe (Wm. Fahy)

  • Meadowlands Pace won by Dexter Nukes (John Campbell) trained by his uncle George Gilmour

  • The Canadian Pacing Derby winner was Camtastic (Tom Harmer)

  • The Maple Leaf Trot winner was No Sex Please (Ron Waples Sr.) trained by Ron Jr.

  • The Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers at Greenwood won by Road Machine (Trevor Ritchie) trained by Blair Burgess

  • The Yonkers Trot won by Valley Victory (Wm. O'Donnell) with Steve Elliott as trainer

  • The Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Pace won by Town Pro (Doug Brown) trained by Stew Firlotte

O.S.S. Highlights and Leaders

Note - Be sure to look below for a trivia question related to this sub heading.

  • Bill Gale won the Lampman Cup as winningest driver in the O.S.S. He handled 88 starters and ended the season with a record of 24-19-17 good for $485,706. His drives for trainer Bob McIntosh such as Mystery Fund, Bridal Fund and Cohen Gettum helped to pad his lead

  • The Johnston Cup for the top trainer was not yet in existence

  • The top trainers in money earnings were Bud Fritz with $563,460, followed by Bob McIntosh, Doug McIntosh, Jean Poulin and Robert Walker

  • The fastest mile in OSS history was set at Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia when Mystery Fund paced in 1:53.2. That record setting performance was accomplished on Friday the 13 th of October. Bad luck? Yes, for the other horses in the race

  • In late July Armbro Herman (John Kopas) recorded an astounding mile in 1:54.4 at Kingston erasing Mystery Skipper's then record of 1:55 which later fell to Mystery Fund

  • The top money-winning horse for the year in OSS competition was A Worthy Lad, a two-year-old trotting colt who won all 17 of his season's starts as part of the power-laden Bud Fritz stable that also included Apaches Fame

  • Seven of the eight division leaders earned over $100,000 in OSS competition that season

Two outstanding O.S.S. performers from the stable of Bud Fritz, Walkerton, Ont.

All-Time Records Established up to December 31, 1989 (Based on U.S.T.A. stats)

Fastest pacing miles ever (Top 6)

  • 1:48.2 - Matts Scooter (Michel Lachance)

  • 1:49.1 - Niatross (Clint Galbraith)

  • 1:49.2 - Jaguar Spur (Dick Stillings)

  • 1:49.3 - Call For Rain (Clint Galbraith)

  • 1:49.3 - Camtastic (Michel Lachance)

  • 1:49.3 - Nihilator (Bill O'Donnell)

Fastest trotting miles ever (Top 5)

  • 1:52.1 - Mack Lobell (John Campbell)

  • 1:52.4 - Peace Corps (John Campbell)

  • 1:53 - Express Ride (Berndt Lindstedt)

  • 1:53.2 - Napoletano (Bill O'Donnell)

  • 1:53.2 - Prakas (Bill O'Donnell)

It is interesting to note that despite the passage of 51 years (1938 - 1989) several records set by Greyhound were still listed in the record books, still unbeaten after half a century. His mile in 1:55 1/4 continued to stand as the record for an aged trotting gelding.

Greyhound in an exhibition appearance with Doc Flannery

Trivia and other interesting tidbits from 30 years ago

  • Matts Scooter won 23 of 30 starts and earned $1,140,000 but that was second in the dashes won category for aged pacing performers. Newport Skipper, owned by John J. Thompson of Sherwood, P.E.I., won 29 heats in 74 trips behind the gate to win that category. His season's earnings were slightly lower at $10,940.

  • Bill O'Donnell of Springhill, N.S. recorded his 4,000th career victory in early 1989

  • Brandywine Raceway, which opened in 1953, closed its doors forever removing a once great racetrack from the map

  • Al Nicholls of Woodville, Ont. reached his 1500th career win at Barrie Raceway

  • Run The Table was standing his second year at Killean Acres. His fee: $5,000

  • During 1989 a total of 96 drivers with the surname Smith were licensed by the C.T.A. or U.S.T.A. and credited with at least one drive that season. Leading the way in all categories was a gentleman named David Smith who listed out of Willowdale, Ont. He logged a total of 605 starts and had 91 wins, 75 seconds and 66 third place finishes. His earnings of $850,761 far surpassed all others from the Smith clan. BTW - None of them were related to me

  • Jade Prince was humanely destroyed at Charlotte Ranch, the Maritime farm of Alfred Moeller. He had been suffering from a severe arthritic condition and was experiencing a noticeable weight loss as the result of not eating.

Quote For The Week: "While many marriages are made in heaven, the details invariably have to be worked out here on earth."

Trivia Question - With the Ontario Sires Stakes now in existence for 45 years does anyone know if any person has been a participant in some capacity during every year dating back to 1974? I don't know if there is anyone, but I would venture a guess on a couple of possibilities. I think it could be an interesting topic; let's hear what you have to say.

Who Is It?

1 - Can you put a name on these two lads who were both in the news 30 years ago? (Courtesy of Northeast Harness News)

2 - Who do we have here? Also news makers back in 1989 and can you name them? (Courtesy of Northeast Harness News)

3 - Can you identify the above driver? This might be a difficult one and I'll admit it was somewhat by design.

The best of luck and stay tuned for the correct answers during the upcoming week.

November 20, 2019 - 11:45 amThanks for your participation

Thanks for your participation on this week's pictures and trivia question and the positive comments. Picture answers were all correctly answered by some responders. They are as follows:
1 - Walter Case Jr. left and Herve Filion, both driving champs during 1989 2 - From left Rod Allen, Mae Jean Allen (wife of Carl, mother of Rod) and Carl Allen. Their Royal Trubador was an outstanding colt performer in 1989. 3 - The very stylish Oleg Cassini at Freehold Raceway 
O.S.S. Trivia - As announced at the outset I don't know if there is anyone that has been involved in all 45 years. All those mentioned are certainly very long term participants. My own personal guesses would have been Bud Fritz, Carman or Doug Hie and perhaps Paul Walker (but is he old enough?) Hope is never a good strategy but I was hoping someone might come forward with an answer. In any event it has been a great journey. Thanks to Mark McLennan for reminding me of the lengthy time of participation in the sulky by Dr. John Findley.

November 17, 2019 - 9:44 pmFor the trivia question, i

Craig Barss SAID...

For the trivia question, i think Doug Hie has participated in one way or another every year.

November 17, 2019 - 7:55 amHave to go along with Bill

Gord Brown SAID...

Have to go along with Bill Megens, Snegam Flight was early. As was Paula's Peanut and Paula Wellwood

November 16, 2019 - 4:43 pmWalter Case, Herve Fillion #2

Gord Brown SAID...

Walter Case, Herve Fillion #2 Rod,Mae Jean and Carl Allen #3 Take a stab Dave Downey.

November 16, 2019 - 3:26 pmRobert, I'm disappointed. You

Rick Karper SAID...


I'm disappointed. You didn't even mention the Quebec Sires Stakes. They were booming in 1989.

November 16, 2019 - 2:28 pm#1: Walter Case & Herve

#1: Walter Case & Herve Filion
#2: Rod, May Jean & Carl Allen
#3: Oleg Cassini

November 16, 2019 - 2:07 pmJack Darling would likely be

norm Files SAID...

Jack Darling would likely be the best bet of participating in every year of the OSS

1)Walter Case and Herve Filion
2)Carl Allen and son Marty
3)..I got nothing

November 16, 2019 - 2:01 pmTrivia question Doug Brown

Joe Wright SAID...

Trivia question Doug Brown drove a colt in the 3 year old Sire Stakes for me.

November 16, 2019 - 12:44 pmRobert, William Megens, is

William Megens, is one who I think has participated in all the OSS years.
Enjoy your column and look forward to it wmeach week Lori

November 16, 2019 - 12:43 pmno. 1 Walter Case Jr.

Bert Clish SAID...

no. 1 Walter Case Jr. Herve Filion No.2 Rod Allen Mrs. C. Allen And Carl Allen. Thanks for the stories and the pictures. Regards, Bert Clish

November 16, 2019 - 12:41 pmRobert, William Megens, I

William Megens, I think would have participated in OSS program from the beginning including this year.
Keep up the good work, always look forward to your column Lori

November 16, 2019 - 12:23 pmWalter case and Herve

Walter case and Herve filion
Mr and mrs carl allen and son rod allen

November 16, 2019 - 12:10 pm1 Walter Case Herve Filion 2

Craig Barss SAID...

1 Walter Case Herve Filion
2 Rod Mae Jean and Carl Allen
3 Oleg Cassini

November 16, 2019 - 11:09 amTrivia Question-

David Darocy SAID...

Trivia Question- possibilities are Keith Waples, Dave Wall, Robert McIntosh, William Megens, William Robinson.

November 16, 2019 - 11:01 amI think I've got it! 1.

I think I've got it!
1. Walter Case and Herve Filion
2. The Allen Family - Rod, Mae Jean ? and Carl
3. Oleg Cassini

BTW - I think Dr. John Findley raced in 8 decades, 30's to 2000's

November 16, 2019 - 10:43 am# 1 John Chapman and Hervé

# 1 John Chapman and Hervé Filion

November 16, 2019 - 10:22 am1. Walter Case Jr. and Herve

David Darocy SAID...

1. Walter Case Jr. and Herve Filion.
2. Rod, Mae Jean and Carl Allen.
3. Oleg Cassini.

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