Isola's Worthy - 1927
Hambletonian lore is rife with tales of horses that enter the race in anonymity and are bedded down that night as immortals. Iosola's Worthy is a mare of just that description. A June foal, Iosola's Worthy was brought along slowly by Ben White as a two-year-old. Her lone victory came in a small stake at the Lexington Trots. She was sold over that winter by her breeder Fred Field of Brockton, Massachussetts, to E.J. Merkle of Columbus, Ohio. Spring came, and with it, steady improvement by Iosola's Worthy, who placed progressively better in each race she entered. She outlasted all the contenders in a four heat Horse Review Futurity and several other races leading up to the Hambo. The first filly to win the Hambletonian, Iosola's Worthy handled that task in straight heats and her $56,538 in career earnings made her the leading female money earner until 1930. Sold that fall to Walnut Farm for $10,700, she became the sole mare of her era to produce 2:00 performers by three different stallions.
After five days of rain at Syracuse, Hambletonian No. 2, which was originally scheduled for August 29, was moved to Lexington and raced the second week of the Grand Circuit meeting on September 27. Iosola’s Worthy was the first of 13 fillies to win the Hambletonian. Six fillies won the Hambletonian in the first twelve editions. New stake record in the second and final heat of 2:03 3/4. Childs drove the winner for trainer Ben White. White drove the filly Kashmir, probably the favorite had the race been contested at Syracuse as scheduled. A month later, when the race was staged at The Red Mile she was not a factor because of "bad manners," finishing last in the placing (7-7). White would have to wait six more years to win his first of four Hambletonians, a milestone he shares with Bill Haughton and Stanley Dancer. In the initial two years of the Hambletonian, the Walnut Hall stallion Guy Axworthy sired the first two money winners in the summary (as well as third money winner in 1927). The brother of the winning driver Marvin Childs, Frank Childs trained the winner of the 1959 Kentucky winner, Tomy Lee. The trophy for the 1927 race, a 3-foot tall urn, was among $70,000 worth of silver stolen in a burglary in 1979 in Granville, Ohio. A few months later the stolen silver was recovered in the Ohio River. The trophy is now in the collection of Merkle’s grandchildren. Heavy rain in Syracuse forced the organizers to move the event to Lexington.