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SC Rewind: Years Ago – 1970s

wellwood-200wins.jpg

Published: March 5, 2011 11:27 am ET

Last Comment: March 5, 2011 7:57 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

This week's Rewind recalls some highlights in the sport from the decade of the 1970's in the ongoing monthly feature "Years Ago".

1970 - Veteran Trotter Has A Rare Resume
July 1970- Queens Impel, a 14-year-old trotter currently in the Wes Coke Stable has quite a season in progress but he also has achieved the rather rare distinction of appearing in races during three decades, a true oddity. The chestnut son of Spencer Tell started his racing days in 1958, appearing in three races as a two-year-old in Ohio for owners Green and Cahill of Lewisburg. His first season's earnings totaled $20. He raced throughout the 1960's taking his lifetime best of 2:06.1 in 1961 as a five-year-old during a nine-win season. Now in his third decade of competition, he is still trotting and winning races for owner Rheal Simard of Ottawa, Ont. To date he has made 15 starts in the 1970 season and has returned to have his picture taken in the winner's circle 11 times while banking almost $4,500. A winner of just over $31,000 lifetime, he is now racing for a claiming price tag of $3,200. His early days were all on the U.S. side until around 1965 when he moved to the Quebec circuit for several years. This will be his final year at the races unless he returns to the fall fairs. Wayne Hussey is the Coke Stable second trainer.

1971- Wellwood Notches 200th Season Win
October 19, 1971 - Sanction, a four-year-old Overtrick stallion won the 6th race at Garden City tonight providing driver Wm. Wellwood with his 200th victory of the 1971 season. He becomes the first driver to reach that plateau in Canada this season, with two Canadian born drivers accomplishing it in the U.S., they being Bud Gilmour and Herve Filion. Wellwood, now 31 years old, is coming off back to back seasons as Driver of the Year on the OJC Circuit. He has a large public stable and also owns or shares ownership on a number of his stable members. He began driving 12 years ago in 1959 and drove in his first race at Buffalo Raceway winning in his initial try. Will's first win of the season came way back on January 4th at Greenwood when he was home first with Trader Lass a top conditioned trotting mare owned by A.J. Finlayson of Paris, Ont.

1972 - Grand Circuit Stake named after Toronto horse
The three-year-old filly pace contested each year during Grand Circuit week carries the name "The Constance Scott Pacing Series". This name was chosen to honour a great mare of the past who was owned, trained and often driven by a Toronto native, the late Richard "Dick" Scott. For a number of seasons between 1948 and 1953, she campaigned on both sides of the border with distinction. From 152 career starts she won 33 races, was second 32 times and finished third on another 19 occasions. The daughter of Corporal Lee's lifetime earnings amounted to $18,236 and her best clocking was 2:04 4/5. Perhaps her most notable accomplishment occurred as a broodmare when she foaled the speedy Tarquinius who had a speed badge of 1:57 2/5 in an era long before times in that range were common. The bay son of Tar Heel died at the peak of his racing career, a huge disappointment to his owner Robert A. Smith of Buffalo N.Y., who also then owned Constance Scott.

1973 - Northlands Park Season Wrap Up
October 30, 1973 - Leading driver Steve Schedlosky won the final race of the season here with Senga Prince marking the end of harness racing on the former Edmonton half-mile track. Next season a new $1.5 million five-eighths mile oval will be in use and promises to increase the speeds dramatically. The 41-year-old Schedlosky led all drivers with 69 wins for the season and was presented with a cheque for $200 along with an engraved stopwatch and a trophy for his efforts. Next in wins were Ray Remmen, John Baxter and Ed Tracey. Among Steve's accomplishments this season was a track record tying mile in 2:04.1 with Skol, equaling the previous best by Smoky Affair. Also during this meeting, a visit from Armbro Nadir driven by Nelson White for owner Dr. Don Davis of Guelph thrilled a huge crowd as he won The Western Canada Pacing Derby in 2:04.4. Hall of Fame member and legendary horseman Joe O'Brien made a guest appearance this fall, winning three of the six races in which he competed. All statistics showed a healthy gain as an average of 2, 722 patrons attended the races for each program.

1976 - Sunday Racing At Frontenac Downs in Kingston
Leap Year Sunday February 29, 1976 - Spring may be several weeks away but summer grade racing is available here every Sunday afternoon. Today's feature event went to Sassysam scoring his second win in as many tries for owner Don Healey of Tweed and driver Pat Hunt. Despite his recent successes, he went away at better than 8 to 1 and paid $19.40 on a $2 wager. Fair Ginny was second for Hugh Wemp and third was Buckeye Bullet driven by Gary Filson. Time of the mile was 2:14 over a track rated as "good". A few other winners this day were Skein Dhu (Joe Hogan) owned by the local Guernsey Stable, Sparky George for John Renaud, Papa Dillon with owner Don Murphy driving and Luciano driven by Bernie Corcoran for owners Dan and Fred Gibson. Norm McFarland of Odessa was all smiles when his nine-year-old Vics Sam won and many in the crowd were happy as well, as he paid a slim $3.60 as heavy favourite. Roman Senator, now 10, won his season's debut for Jim Sizer. The presiding judge here is Chas. Ibey along with Associate judges Ken Brown and Jack Kiel.

March 5, 2011 - 7:57 pmI remember the Roast that

David aziz SAID...

I remember the Roast that was had for Mr. Wellwood some 10 years ago. Dr. John
Hayes was the M.C. He delivered an hilarious rhyming "ditty" to honour the featured guest. " The programme says he weighs 175!
That may have been true when Jesus was alive!!"

Does any one have the full rendition of the Doctor's poem? Please post if so.


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