Key dates in the history of Kentucky Futurity and Tattersalls


by Bob Heyden

The Kentucky Futurity, which began in 1893, is the oldest of the sport’s Triple Crown races. The others started like this:

1926 Hambletonian

1946 pitcher

1955 Cane Pace

1955 Yonkers Trot

1956 envoy

In 1893 seven colts and four fillies got tangled up in the first Futurity. That year there was no preakness and the Belmont only had five competitors and the Kentucky Derby only had 6.

The Kentucky Futurity did not take place from 1942 to 1945 and was the 125th edition that year.

From 1893-1920 you had to win three times to be declared a Futurity winner.

Father Patrick won the last two editions of Futurity from his first two harvests – Greenshoe and Amigo Volo.

Only three riders in history have won each of the Trotting Triple Crown races at least three times each: Mike Lachance, John Campbell and Brian Sears.

Lachance has three Yonkers trots and four each in the Hambletonian and Futurity.

Sears has four Yonkers trots and three each in the Hambletonian and Futurity

Campbell has three Yonkers trots and six each in the Hambletonian and Futurity.

Team Pinske won both the Kentucky Futurity with Amigo Volo and the Filly Futurity with Love A Good Story in 2020. Carter Pinske tried to put it into words: “It’s like no other day I’ve ever had or will ever have again. In all honesty, after Story won, I was a little upset because I (my wife) MaKenna said, “There’s no way we’re going to win these two races.” It was a very surreal and humiliating day. Rounded off by the insane flood of support and congratulations from so many people afterwards. I will never forget this day.”

This will be the last triple crown race of 2021. Who are some of the biggest names that have never won a triple crown race?

1993 Presidential Ball

Chapter Seven 2011

Father Patrick 2014

Rocknroll Hannover 2005

Real Desire 2001

Gallo Blue Chip 2000

Stay together 1992

Kunstplatz 1991

Forrest Skipper 1985

Bye Byrd 1958

McWicked 2014

Always B Miki 2014

Remembering the Kentucky Futurity 2005

Strong Yankee won it in a two-horse raceoff that went in 1: 51.2 to set a world record with three runs.

Vivid Photo and Strong Yankee won the Elims, Classic Photo finished third in both races, and Sir Perseverance with 10 and 150-1 finished second in both races.

Trond Smedshammer won the Triple Crown with Windsongs Legacy in 2004 and Yonkers Trot and Futurity with Strong Yankee in 2005, winning five of the six Trotting Triple Crown events in consecutive years.

The gold dust twins

This moniker used to refer to Stanley Dancer and Billy Haughton, and then to Campbell and Bill O’Donnell. Triple Crown Racing is certainly a big part of how they got their nickname. In the decade of the 1970s, 60 Triple Crown events were held – 30 at pace and 30 at trot – and 27 out of 60 races went to someone named Dancer or Haughton.

In the 1980s, another 60 Triple Crown events were held and 20 out of 60 went to someone named Campbell or O’Donnell.

The tattersalls

The race started in 1971 and the horse of the year Albatros won two times in 1: 54.4 for a new racing world record.

“Keystone” combinations clicked in three of the first six issues:

1973 Keystone-Smartie (Joe O’Brien)

1974 Keystone-Presto (Peter Haughton)

1976 Keystone Ore (Stanley Dancer)

This year, Brett Pelling is celebrating his 30th anniversary when he won his first Tattersalls with Stoneridge Scooter in 1991.

Last year a colt and a filly each won their Tattersalls divisions, just like their fathers did:

Party Girl Hill 2020, Captaintreacherous 2013

Tall Dark Stranger 2020, Bettors Delight 2001

In 1987 there was a dead run with Laag-Jaguar Spur.

The 1983 Tattersalls were the first year the wallet hit six digits.

A quarter of a century passed before the race was divided into divisions – in 1995, Nick’s Fantasy and Stand Forever.

The junior winner has doubled at the Tattersalls twelve times out of 50.

Always B Miki and JK End Of An Era shared the 2014 Tattersalls Day spotlight.

Seventeen of the 20 drivers who won the Tattersalls 1971-1990 made it into the Hall of Fame.

Ten of the 50 winners of the Tattersalls were voted Horse of the Year.

This Saturday it will be exactly five years to the day that Always B Miki’s 1:46 world record mile was in the race.

The winners from 2012-2014 also made a pretty good impression off the track:

2012 Sweet Lou

2013 Captaintreacherous and Sunfire Blue Chip

2014 Always B Miki and JK End of an Era

The prime-time players in the greatest Meadowlands Pace of all time – Somebeachsomewhere and Art Official – each won their 2008 Tattersalls divisions.

Full brothers won it – Western Terror in 2004 and If I Can Dream in 2009.

Western Ideal’s first harvest took center stage in 2005 when Rocknroll Hannover and American Ideal stole the Tattersalls show.

No Pan Intended won the Tattersalls and Triple Crown and Breeders Crown in 2003.

Test Of Faith impressed last week. Her father, the 22-year-old Art Major, won the Tattersalls in 2002.

The richest edition came in 2010 when Rocknroll won Heaven for $ 604,000 in prize money.

Joe Holloway won the Tattersalls in 1985 with Tylers Mark and again in 2014 with Always B Miki. Thirty-five years after his first win at the Tattersalls, will Holloway win with Perfect Sting this year?

Niatross made his last four races on the Red Mile in 1979 – and his last six races in Kentucky when he was 2 years old, but he didn’t compete in Kentucky in 1980 when he was 3 years old, except, of course, his time trial.


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