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SC Rewind: Years Ago - 1990s

Published: June 5, 2021 10:23 am ET

Last Comment: June 6, 2021 8:58 am ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

This week's Rewind takes readers back to the decade of the 1990's in the monthly feature Years Ago. It might seem like the 90's were yesterday but it could have been as long as 30 years ago. The topics this week recall a few events from that period in time and also remember the people who were in the news.

1990 - Canadian Drivers Dominate Breeders Crown Races at Pompano

On the evening of Nov. 2, 1990 that year's Breeders Crown races were held at Pompano Park with some predictable but amazing results. Canadian-owned horses or those driven by those from the land of the Maple Leaf were front and centre all night long.

Race Winner Driver Trainer Time
2YO Colt & Gelding Pace Artsplace John Campbell Gene Riegle 1:51.1
2YO Colt & Gelding Trot Crystas Best Dick Richardson Jr. Dick Richardson Jr. 2:01
2YO Filly Pace Miss Easy John Campbell Bruce Nickells 1:54
2YO Filly Trot Jean Bi Jan Nordin Soren Nordin 2:00.3
3YO Colt & Gelding Pace Beach Towel Ray Remmen Ray Remmen 1:51.2
3YO Colt & Gelding Trot Embassy Lobell Michel Lachance Jerry Riordan 1:56.4
3YO Filly Pace Town Pro Doug Brown Stew Firlotte 1:54.4
3YO Filly Trot Me Maggie Berndt Lindstedt Jan Johnson 1:57.1
Open Mare Pace Caesars Jackpot Bill Fahy Michel Bouvrette 1:52.3
Open Mare Trot Peace Corps Stig Johansson Stig Johansson 1:54.2
Open Pace Bays Fella Paul MacDonell Mike DeMenno 1:52.1
Open Trot No Sex Please Ron Waples Ron Waples Jr. 1:55

(Courtesy of Hambletonian Society & Breeders Crown Archives)

A few excerpts from UPI Sports described some of the events.

The only losing favourite Topnotcher with Doug Brown driving, gave way grudgingly just before the wire after a gutsy late battle with 69-1 shot Bays Fella driven by fellow Canadian Paul MacDonell in the aged pacing divisions for colts and geldings. (Note the win payoff of $140.60 stood as the highest in Breeders Crown history for some 18 years.)

Beach Towel with Ray Remmen driving became the first harness horse to crash the $2 million mark for a season in his win in the three-year-old colts and geldings division.

Canadian invader No Sex Please, accustomed to being accompanied by two people named Ron Waples had to make a last minute adjustment. Ron Jr. failed to make his flight to Florida when a broken water main at his Ontario farm delayed his departure. Ron Sr. was equal to the challenge and piloted the trusty trotter to victory in the aged division. His mile in 1:55 shaved two-fifths of a second off the existing all age trot record for aged geldings.

The best human performance of the night was turned in by Michel Lachance who had one victory (Embassy Lobell), one second and four thirds in seven tries

1991 - Frank Salive Becomes O.J.C. Announcer

Thirty years ago in the fall of 1991 the Ontario Jockey Club hired a new track announcer and his name was Frank Salive. The young former hockey goaltender had already been honing his announcing skills for several years at various smaller tracks and was eager to accept the new position. At the time he said "working at the Jockey Club has been a goal of mine, I've followed the racing here from afar for some time and it's really great to have the opportunity to be here."

Salive, a native of Leamington, saw his first ever harness race at Windsor Raceway in 1972 when some friends from his hometown invited him to a night at the races featuring none other than the great Albatross. It was a pretty good way to start his interest. After working at jobs in various spots such as Peterborough and Sudbury, Frank eventually found his way back to Essex County. There he did a lot of announcing at Windsor as well as at his hometown Leamington Raceway. Salive also showed his proficiency at writing and press and advertising work.

Part of the Salive 'package' has always included his dedication and attention to detail in his work. When his OJC announcing stint began at Mohawk that first year his voice was severely compromised for the first couple of weeks by a flu bug but he wasn't about to be taking time off. "I wanted to keep my attendance record intact, and in 21 years of broadcasting I haven't missed a day," he told Sportsman writer Katrina Schmitz, who contributed much of this piece.

A rather young Frank Salive as he appeared about 30 years ago (Photo courtesy of Canadian Sportsman)

1992 - Precious Bunny "Horse Of Year"

Trainer Bill Robinson appears with Precious Bunny (U.S.T.A. Photo)

Just over a year ago Precious Bunny was fortunate to have escaped a disastrous barn fire. In 1991 he was named Harness Horse Of The Year. Owned by R. Peter Heffering of Port Perry, Ontario and trained by Bill Robinson, "The Bunny" was named best on the 270 ballots of the USHWA and the NAHRS. He became the richest single-season performer in the history of harness racing with $2,217,222 banked on the strength of 20 wins in 25 starts.

With records and victories in his wake, Precious Bunny was retired recently and will stand at stud at Castleton Farm in New York. Knowing how "bunnies" breed, there will almost certainly be many of his sons and daughters hopping around for years to come.

(Compiled with assistance from the archives of Northeast Harness News)

1994 - McIntosh Stable Tops In O.S.S. For 1994 Season

(Authors collection)

The red and white colours of the Bob McIntosh Stable were prominent in Ontario Sires Stakes action this season. The well-organized operation based in LaSalle, Ontario just outside of Windsor had a number of outstanding performers including the homebred Mr G., pictured below. Bob was the winner of the 1994 Johnston Cup awarded to the top points earner in the training standings. This was just the second season that this award was offered with the first one going to Scott McEneny in 1993.

That 1994 season Bill Wellwood topped all trainers in the dollar department and finished second to McIntosh in the Johnston Cup standings. Dave Wall captured his first Lampman Cup title that season and finished third behind Bill Gale and Steve Condren on the money earnings list.

1996 - A New Looking "Horse"

Starting back around 1992 Diane Richards (pictured), of Big Bear Lake, California started a rather unique and interesting equine experiment. She began crossing Zebras with various types of horses. What do you think she came up with? Well, you may have correctly guessed that she calls the offspring Zorses. She starts with her zebra stallion and has so far crossed "Valentino" as he is called with Thoroughbreds, Andalusians, Arabians, a Spanish Mustang, a quarter horse, draft horses, Saddlebreds and
an Appaloosa just to name a few.

The question becomes obvious: Can Standardbreds be far behind? To that she told Hoof Beats writer Bill Heller "Oh, I will cross a Standardbred when one presents herself." Any volunteers out there? She charges a stud fee of $1,000 live foal guaranteed and has received inquiries from as far away as France for a date with Valentino.

Zorro shown above at 10 months old, a son of Valentino and a Quarter Horse mare, shows how offspring combine the colouring of their zebra father and horse mother (Hoof Beats photo)

Richards said "The resulting zorses are mellow which might change if they see this article and learn they are sterile." The reason is that the parents have different numbers of chromosomes.

Note - Twenty-five years have passed since this article was published in the Hoof Beats magazine. While it was an interesting topic then and still is I don't think zebras have had too much of an impact on the Standardbred breed. I do have a thought that a horse wearing pajamas would make quite a sight.

Quote For The Week: "One of the nice things about growing old is that you wake up each morning wondering what new thing you have wrong with you."

Who Is It?

Can you name this fellow who is just moments away from the winner's circle? Let us know if you think you have the correct answer.

Who Else Is It?

Can you identify the driver shown above?

A Golden Oldie

These may be two of the oldest pictures (both the same person) I have ever posted in the Quiz section; taken about 70 years ago. I will give a few clues. This now-passed gentleman hailed from Western Canada and made his way eastward to Dufferin shortly after WWII when he served in the Canadian Army overseas. He drove at times and once had a well known horse (rather erratic) that he raced at Old Woodbine. He trained and raced horses for many years on both sides of the border and also worked for a number of owners. He was among the first group to race at Rideau Carleton when it opened in 1962. Although
he was a low profile fellow (and a bachelor) he was quite well known. Can you figure out who he is?

Stay tuned as the correct answers on this week's pictures will be given out.

On This Date - Back on Saturday, June 6, 2009 the very first edition of Rewind appeared on this website. It's been fun!

June 6, 2021 - 8:58 amTerry Kerr Clare

Craig Barss SAID...

Terry Kerr
Clare Macdonald
Ralph Baldwin ?

June 5, 2021 - 7:08 pmThe more I look could be

Gord Brown SAID...

The more I look could be Butch Cloutier.

June 5, 2021 - 3:50 pmMr. Terry Kerr of Dapper

Gord Brown SAID...

Mr. Terry Kerr of Dapper Dillon fame, Clare Macdonald, Frank Ervin or Freddie Goodreau, Keith Waples.

June 5, 2021 - 11:54 amThe 1st, Mike Lachance. or

The 1st, Mike Lachance. or Mr. Kerr.
The last, The cowboy, Ross Curran.

June 5, 2021 - 11:14 amthe first picture is Terry

kent benson SAID...

the first picture is Terry Kerr
the second one ?
the third would it be Clint Hodgins?

June 5, 2021 - 11:10 amWho is it ... Terry

Who is it ...
Terry Kerr
Clare MacDonald
Frank Irvin ??

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