Us Harness Racing

Impish through Jack Kopas

IMPISH 2, 1:58.3m 1999 [1959-1982]

The daughter of The Intruder and ho Hanover-Nibble Hanover, Impish was trained and driven by Hall of Famer Frank Ervin. As a 2-year-old, Impish won the 1961 Hanover Shoe Filly Stake in a world record time of 1:58.3. This was the fastest mile any 2-year-old had ever trotted, regardless of sex. That year she secured three world records: a filly mark for age and gait on a half-mile track of 2:03.3; the Hanover Shoe Stake 2 year-old Filly Trot, 1st heat 1:58.3. The 2nd heat went in 1:59.3. The combined two heat time of 3:58.1 bettered the world record for all-age mares.
At 3, Impish again set a world record, teamed with stablemate Sprite Rodney and driven by master trainer-driver Frank Ervin, she broke the world record for team-to-pole with a stunning 1:59.2m. Other major victories that year included the Breeders Filly Stake, the Lady Suffolk at Roosevelt Raceway and the Coaching Club Trotting Oaks at Goshen.
Impish was the dam of 13 foals, including Pay Dirt 2,2:02.3 (590,450), Canny Imp 2, 2:04.2, Quick Trick 3,2:05f, Star's Chip 4,2:00.3f($ 141,972) and Impish Legacy 3,1:56.3m. She was bred and last owned by Walnut Hall Farm, Lexington, KY. She died there, in 1982, following the birth of her last foal, a Bonefish colt. She was 23.

Delmer M. Insko 1980

Intercontinental 2002 [ - ]

The trotting mare Intercontinental (Chiola Hanover-Pert Flirt) raced just twice as a 2-year-old, but left an indelible mark on the sport as the dam of 1996 Horse of the Year Continentalvictory, a trotting mare who won more than $1.6 million in two seasons of racing, and the trotting horse Victory Abroad, whose career earnings were $595,349. Intercontinental was bred by Castleton Farms and is currently owned by Brittany Farms, both of Kentucky.

IOSOLA'S WORTHY t, 2:02¾ 1995 [1924 - 1951]

Foaled in 1924 by Guy Axworthy out of Iosola the Great, Iosola's Worthy was acclaimed as the greatest money winner since the days of the high wheeled sulky. She was victorious in the 1927 Hambletonian, 1927 Kentucky Futurity, the Horse Review Futurity and the Horseman Futurity. Driven by Marvin Childs and Thomas Berry, Iosola's Worthy's winnings totaled $56,538. Once retired from the track, she distinguished herself as a broodmare, foaling: Algiers 1:584/5, Long Key 3, 2:00, Scotland's Comet 2:00 and eight 2:05 performers. One of her daughters, Miss Kate B. 2:02¾, produced Kaola t, 2:03 winner of the first $50,000 Golden West Trot in the world record time of 2:32 for 1¼-miles. Iosola's Worthy died in late July 1951 at the Walnut Hall Stud Farm at age 27.

ISOTTA t, 2:09¼ 1975 [1917-]

An A. B. Coxe Stable foal of 1917, Isotta was a product of the Cross of Peter The Great-The Zombro Belle. Until 1943 she was a top producing mare at Hanover Shoe Farm. She is credited with seven-teen record holding foals; among them, Zombro Hanover, Irene Hanover, Dillon Hanover and Gilt Hanover.

James Ives

J. MALCOM FORBES t,2:08 1959 [1907-1931]

When foaled in 1907, the colt was regarded as the most wonderfully bred colt in the world; by Bingen out of Santos, the dam of Peter the Great. His breeder/owner was D. D. Streeter of Kalamazoo, MI. In 1909 James R. Magowan purchased the colt from Streeter's estate through the Old Glory Sale for $3,750. Magowan later refused $40,000 for the horse, even though he had been repeatedly ill as a three and four-year-old. At five in 1912, J. Malcolm Forbes was the champion sire of his age, placing five yearling trotters and one two-year-old on the Standard list. He was put in the hands of trainer Pop Geers for the season of 1914, however, he broke down a few days before his first race. And so, the horse's contribution to the breed remained at the stud and his foals were the "annual sensations" at Lexington, KY. John Stout purchased him in 1924.
J. Malcolm Forbes died at Stout's Glen Lake Farm in Versailles, KY in 1931.

JAY-EYE-SEE t, 2:10, p, 2:06¾ 1990 [1878-1909]

Son of Dictator and Midnight, Jay-Eye-See was the world's first 2:10 trotter. This milestone in harness racing history was recorded at Providence, RI on August 1, 1884, reducing by a quarter of a second the world mark set by Maud S. three years earlier. The black gelding was only king for a day, however. Maud S. lowered the record to 2:09¾ the very next day in Cleveland, OH. Although his career was at the trot, Jay-Eye-See was double-gaited and in 1892, at age fourteen, paced a 2:06¾ mile, one second off the world record. He died in 1909 at age thirty-one.


After the unexpected death of her first husband Harkness Edwards and his mother, Lela Edwards, shortly thereafter, Mary S. "Polly" Edwards and her sister-in-law, Immortal Katherine H. E. Nichols, inherited Walnut Hall Farm in Lexington, KY. After Polly married Sherman Jenney in 1949, the sisters-in-law divided up Walnut Hall Farm and began separate breeding operations.
Katherine Nichols retained the name Walnut Hall Farm for her operation while Polly Jenney called her venture Walnut Hall Stud. Regarded as highly knowledgeable, Polly was the chief decision maker for Walnut Hall Stud at a time when women generally deferred to men. She had a good eye for sizing up her yearlings and often rode around the farm on horseback to inspect the annual crop of foals. A hands-on breeding farm owner, she arranged to manage the breeding career of the acclaimed trotter Immortal Rodney, for owner Immortal David R. Johnston. Rodney [1944-1963] was considered one of the sport's foremost stallions. He went on to set incredible records as a sire, having thirteen $100,000 winners at the time of his death in 1963. This was more than any other living sire of the time. His most famous offspring include such stars as Immortal Elaine Rodney, Immortal Merrie Annabelle, Tie Silk, Duke Rodney, Charming Barbara, and Something Special.
Rodney was the farm's premier sire and upon his premature death Polly decided not to pursue a replacement stallion of his caliber. The Walnut Hall Stud was dispersed and the farm sold. It was purchased, in 1972, by the State of Kentucky and is now the Kentucky State Horse Park. Polly Jenney died June 26, 1993 at the age of 85.

PRESTON H. JENUINE1995 (1909-1995)

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990, Pres, as he was known, was associated with the sport for more than six decades. The Illinois native helped form the Topline Circuit and Illinois Colt Stakes in 1932. After World War II he advanced through executive positions at racetracks from coast to coast. As a top official of Western Harness Racing, Jenuine brought top-class harness racing to the West Coast by establishing the American Classics and L. K. Shapiro Stakes. He introduced new systems of race classification and payment schedules and was an innovator in the introduction of the plastic wheel disk, a significant safety advancement for the sport. Jenuine served on the Board of Directors of the United States Trotting Association from 1972 through 1984. For four of those years he was the USTA Treasurer. He was a Trustee of the Trotting Horse Museum from 1972 to 1984 and a Trustee Emeritus until his death, on August 14, 1995, in Terre Haute, IN.

JESSIE PEPPER t 1969 [1865-1889]

Jessie Pepper, by Mambrino Chief-Sidi Hamet, was foaled in 1865 and trained and driven in races in Kentucky. She showed speed and could trot in better than 2:40. Her offspring were even better, with Iona posting a 2:22 and Alpha a 2:23½. The Jessie Pepper line leads all others in production of 2:00 speed.

JOE PATCHEN p,2:01¼ 1954 [1889-1917]

"The Iron Horse" was foaled in 1889, sired by Patchen Wilkes out of Josephine Young. One of the five pacing kings" (the others were John R. Gentry, Star Pointer, Frank Agan, and Robert J.), Joe Patchen raced against the top pacers most of his racing career. He was champion pacer of the half-mile tracks and was driven by Pop Geers until 1897, when John Dickerson raced him in 2:01¼ at Terre Haute, IN. He was retired to stud in Goshen, NY, and was the sire of the great champion Dan Patch. He died in 1917, at Parkway Farm, opposite Historic Track's backstretch in Goshen.

JOHN R. GENTRY p, T2:00½ 1955 [1889-1920]

"The Little Red Horse" was bred by H. G. Toler, sired by Ashland Wilkes out of Damewood and foaled in Wichita, KS. He was sold to John R. Gentry and James F. Ramey of Hughesvllle, MO, and made his turf debut in 1892, when he defeated an aged group, pacing in 2:15. He beat every pacer he met and soon became famous under the tutelage of Myron McHenry. On September 24, 1896 he almost became the first Standardbred to beat 2:00, pacing an exhibition mile in 2:00½ at Rigby Park in South Portland, ME. At this time he was owned by William Simpson who sold him to Lewis J. Tewksbury for $19,900. The following winter John R. Gentry became the property of E. H. Harriman, who later retired him to Tennessee, where he died in December 1920.

DAVID R. JOHNSTON 1984 [1925-1982]

Born in 1925, he grew up with the trotters on his father's Whitehall Stud Farm in Charlotte, NC. He competed extensively as an amateur driver and in 1957 set a world mark of 2:00 with his home-bred, Gallon's Lady. In 1964 he joined In partnership with Norman Woolworth to purchase Stoner Creek Stud in Kentucky, which became the home of the Immortal Meadow Skipper and world champion Nevele Pride. Johnston was president of the Lexington Trots Breeders' Association, a director of The Hambletonian Society, a trustee of The Trotting Horse Museum/Hall of Fame of the Trotter and a director of the USTA. He died in October, 1982 in Charlotte, NC.

R. HORACE JOHNSTON 1981 [1890-1949]

Born in Cornelius, NC in 1890, Johnston enjoyed great success as a breeder and owner of trotters. His most famous horse was Bill Gallon, who swept the field as a two-year-old, then won The Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity the following year. He also owned Rodney, holder of numerous world records. One of his home-bred mares, The Colonel's Lady, trotted in 2:00 at Lexington and later scored a stunning upset in The Transylvania, when she beat Doctor Spencer in 1:59½. Johnston died suddenly in 1949 at his Whitehall Farm in Charlotte, NC.

FRANK C. JONES 1958 [1832-1902]

A great amateur reinsman, he drove his mare Dudie Archdale in many of her races, including a $10,000 stake at Kalamazoo. For years he raced a large stable with Pop Geers in charge. He had Baron Grattan, a leading pacing winner, Highball, a trotting stake winner and many others. Born in Barrington, NH in 1832, the son of a farmer, he became a grocer, quickly making a fortune in commerce and brewing. Jones always loved the trotter and established Maplewood Farm at Portsmouth, NH, which became the best trotting stud in the northeast. There he bred many champions including Eleata and Idoilta. He also took great pleasure in owning and operating Granite State Park (track) in N. H. He died in New Hampshire in 1902.

FRANK G. JONES [1858-1927]

Frank G. Jones was a natural horseman and one of the great amateur reinsmen of the early 20th century. He was born in Niles, MI. Early in his life he moved to Iowa where he began a successful business career. He went to Memphis TN in 1893. There he became a friend and business partner of Immortal, C.K.G. Billings. As a representative of the Billings' interests, he soon became one of the city's leading citizens and head of the city's street car system. In 1901, Mr. Billings and Mr. Jones were instrumental in establishing Billings Park, later known as North Memphis Driving Park. Murray Howe, a writer for the Horse Review and 1994 Immortal, became Race Secretary. Constructed by Seth Griffin, the father of fast raceways, the oval produced 42 world records during a short lived era, including a 1:56 pacing mile by Dan Patch. Frank G. Jones later became the racetrack's sole owner.
Jones was, for over 20 years, the principal patron of Immortal driver/trainer, Edward "Pop" Geers. When the master reinsman was unable to drive or there were two horses in his stable entered in the same class, Jones would take the reins—making him possibly the sport's first "catch driver". Outstanding pacers and trotters in his stable included Etawah 2:03, Saint Frisco 2:01¾, Baron Grattan 2:03¼, Dudie Archdale 2:03¼, and Highball 2:03¾. In 1903, acting as agent for Mr. Billings, Jones purchased Lou Dillon, 1:58½. The industrialist later gave the great horse to Jones as a gift.
Frank Jones' last winner, on the 1925 Grand Circuit, at North Randall, was Lady Alethaire. She was driven for him by a protege' of Pop Geers, the Immortal trainer/driver Ben White. Frank Graham Jones died on September 11, 1927, at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

JUSTIN MORGAN 1976 [1793-1821]

Foaled around 1793 in West Springfield, MA, the colt was taken to Vermont at either two or three years of age. Little is known about his breeding. However, he was used for groundwork and riding, and often competed in trotting and running races. Over the years he sired numerous foals and left his mark as a progenitor of good, sturdy trotters and saddle horses of stamina. The Morgan horse breed was founded by this stallion.

JUSTISSIMA t, 2:06¼ 1975 [1915-1940]

A Dromore Farm, St. Clair, MI foal of 1915, by Justice Brooke-Claire Toddington. Justissima, with a record of 2:06¼, is ranked as one of the most prolific speed producers, being the dam of Nibble Hanover, 1:58¾, Calumet Adam, 1:59¾, Calumet Butler, 2:02¼, and 7 of her foals bettering 2:05. She was grand dam of Tassel Hanover and Titan Hanover.


CHARLES E. KELLER 1991 [1917-1990]

After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in agricultural economics in 1937, Charlie" Keller signed with the New York Yankees to become a member of one of baseball's most famous outfields with Joe DiMaggio and Tommy Henrich. Upon retirement from baseball in 1952. he became Involved with Standardbreds, eventually purchasing property near Frederick, MD to establish Yankeeland Farm. Over the years, the foals and racehorses produced there have carried the "Yankee" tag in their names. Among them were such outstanding performers as Fresh Yankee, T. V. Yankee, Yankee Bambino, Yankee Predator, Rowdy Yankee and Tempered Yankee. By the late 1980's, Yankeeland Farms had risen to the top fifteen on the leading money-winners breeding list. Charlie Keller died in 1990 at age seventy-three.

EDWIN T. KELLER 1982 [1905-1978]

Born in Hatfield, MA in 1905, Ed Keller began his career in harness racing at the precocious age of eleven as clerk of the course at the Three County Fair in Northampton, MA. From then on, for more than sixty years, he served the sport in virtually every capacity, from racing secretary to announcer, from publicist to general manager, from starter to harness writer. At one time or another he was associated with more than 140 tracks in the U.S. and Canada. Among his assignments as starter were The Hambletonian, The Little Brown Jug and The Kentucky Futurity. A prolific contributor to trotting publications, he became known as "the walking encyclopedia of harness racing". Ed Keller died in 1978.

KERRY WAY t, T1:58.4 1984 [1963-1982]

The daughter of Star's Pride and Beloved, she was bred by John Gaines and owned by his father Clarence. Kerry Way was trained by Frank Ervin, who drove her to a record-setting two-year-old season in 1965. The following year the pair captured The Hambletonian In straight heats, setting a two-heat world record for fillies. As a broodmare Kerry Way produced only six foals, but one of them was Classical Way, who captured the 1979 Kentucky Futurity and the 1981 Prix de France. Kerry Way died in 1982 at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, KY.

Ed Keys

KEYSTONE PIONEER 5, 1:57.3 1997 [1972-1990]

Hickory Pride-Passing Speed-Speedster $1,071,927. Bred by Dorothy Haughton and trained and driven by Hall of Fame Immortal, William R. Haughton. Keystone Pioneer was the first American bred and owned mare to win $1 million. Unraced at two she won 12 of 25 starts at three including the Hambletonian Oaks. At four, Keystone Pioneer won the American Trotting Classic and in 1976 and 1979 was named Aged Trotter of the Year. At 5, she won in Denmark and Sweden, with earnings of $238,181. At six, she won the American Trotting Classic for the second time. Perhaps the greatest attribute of Keystone Pioneer, who raced from 1975 through 1980, was her manners. In 133 lifetime starts it would probably be possible to count her total number of breaks on one hand; truly a phenomenal record for a trotter. With total earnings in excess of $1 million, Keystone Pioneer is the only female millionaire to produce a million-dollar winner. Her Speedy Crown daughter, Kit Lobell, earned over $1.7 million. Keystone Pioneer's last foal was born on March27, 1990.

KING'S COUNSEL p,1:58 1975 [1940-1961]

King's Counsel was most famous for his record breaking races against Adios. In 1944, at four, he won 10 of his 12 starts, his only two defeats being by Adios. He continued in the limelight as a stallion at Gainesway and Castleton Farms. A Volomite-Margaret Spangler foal, King's Counsel became the sire of twelve in 2:00 and 118 in 2:05 and by the time of his death in 1961, he had sired dams producing 14 foals racing in 2:00 and 127 in 2:05.

McKINLEY KIRK 1997 [1896-1978]

Born on April 28, 1896 in New Holland, Ohio, McKinley Kirk was a successful farmer, livestock dealer, salesman, and banker and one of the sport's all-time leading drivers. He bought his first horse when he was forty-four and began his driving in 1944 at the age of forty-eight. During his career he prepared and drove four world champions—Hodgen, Floating Dream, Pleasant Surprise, and Flaming Arrow. He owned or shared in the ownership of all the horses he drove. Kirk also became a track official, vice-president and general manager at Grandview Raceway and a director of The Little Brown Jug Society. When he retired from his post on the Board of Directors of the USTA, he had served eight consecutive three-year terms. His chief fame may be as a Standardbred breeder. Recognizing the greatness of the 1974 Immortal pacer Belle Mahone and her daughters, he bought the old mare and began breeding her offspring to top stallions. Kirk helped establish the Belle Mahone Family which today boasts more than thirty horses in the 2:00 list. Although McKinley Kirk never drove more than 228 times in a season, his UDRS percentages were that of a professional. He'd been over .400 eight times and showed .532 in 134 starts in 1952. In 1961 his 91 outings produced a .607 percentage. With such results, his opponents never called him an "amateur." He died on April 15, 1978.

HENRY KNAUF 1976 [1890-1950]

Henry Knaufs love for the harness horse began as a youngster and continued throughout his life. His Siskiyou Farm, between I-add and Princeton, IL was one of the top Standardbred breeding farms in the United States. It was named after the stallion Siskiyou, who proved to be one of the sport's outstanding sires. Among the champions from Siskiyou on the nation's racetracks were Florican, Rush Hour, and Daizell. In addition to his farm activities, Knauf was president of the Illinois Breeder's Association, played a major role in getting the Illinois Harness Racing Act adopted in 1945 and was a prominent figure in the rewriting of the Illinois harness racing law in 1949. When he died in 1950, he was president of the USTA.

HENRY H. KNIGHT 1959 [1889-1959]

Henry Knight was born in 1889 at Almahurst Farm, Lexington, KY. After a formal education, he returned to the farm in 1932 after the death of an uncle, to operate Almahurst. He soon became known as one of the world's leading figures in horse breeding. Although he was a successful breeder of Thoroughbreds, his claim to fame was the champion Greyhound; also Yankee Maid and Chestertown—all three Hambletonian winners. He always retained his interest in trotters and continued to breed them on a limited scale. He was interested in the promotion of harness racing and was active in the governing bodies of the sport. He died in Kentucky in 1959.

Jack Kopas 1995