Friday, July 31, 2009

Hambo's of Yesteryear

I like glancing from time to time at Colin's Ghost, which has a story up once a week or so about the history of racing. Sometimes it's about a horse, or a trainer, or a track, or even a bettor from yesterday. Whomever writes that blog does a very good job.

In harness racing it is not a secret that the sport has lost its fans. Because of that we tend to see very few blogs on our sport, and very few stories about its past. But an interesting past it is. Today on ESPN.com Kristian Dyer has a well researched piece on a Hambo winner of days gone by - 1929's winner Walter Dear. After being sold to German interests, the war got in the way and the colt was never heard from again. The piece gives us a good look at not only a racehorse, but an excellent look at just how things went after the war in Eastern Europe.

I always found the way the story of Black Beauty was told to be right on. A horse goes through many owners, or trainers, and sometimes moves from place to place like a nomad. The way he or she moves through time usually weaves an interesting tale. The story of Walter Dear is no different. To see the world through his eyes is something that we will never see, but the author brings what we do know to light.

The Hambletonian Elims are this weekend. Three eliminations, with some of the better three year olds we have seen in a long time competing. 80 years ago Walter Dear won the Hambo, which was written about today. 80 years from now something might be written about Muscle Hill's 2009 Hambletonian. This one is one we do not want to miss.

1 comment:

Pacingguy said...

Don't forget the Adios final at the Meadows tomorrow. Well Said will be challenged from the nine hole.

One amazing thing is of the sixteen races on the Meadows card tomorrow, twelve of the races are for 2yos. Are they kidding? A perfect day to market and attempt to drum up a handle and they put on twelve 2yo races? What are they thinking?