Walter Dear - 1929
October 8, 1929
The Red Mile - Lexington, KY
Walter Dear: Goshen's Pride With a head of steam built up during a championship two-year-old season, the Hambletonian was all but conceded to Walter Dear in 1929. He won all six of his starts leading up to the big day in Lexington, the second year in which the Hambletonian was held a the historic oval. In two trips to the post on Hambletonian Day, Walter Dear was the best both times, and thus the coveted trophy was his. Walter Dear's owner, William Cane, also owned the fourth place finishing filly, Miss Woerner. After the Hambo, Walter Dear was sold at a big price to stand in Germany. He won the 1934 Prix D'Amerique and later disappeared when the Russian Army swept through Germany during World War II. Ther is no definitive word on what became of Walter Dear, though popular theories include him being smuggled back to the Soviet Union to improve the breeding stock. Others think the horse was secreted away to protect him, and may have died before the war was over. None of the theories have ever been proven.
The Hambletonian was postponed because of weather for the second time in three years and relocated to Lexington. The race date of October 8 is the latest the race has ever been contested. In an unparalleled accomplishment, horses prepared by Walter Cox (but dispersed to other barns because of the rules of the Lexington meeting) captured the first four monies in the summary placing: Walter Dear (Cox, 1-1); Volomite (Bill Leese, 2-2); Sir Guy Mac (Will Crozier, 3-7); and Miss Woerner (Harry Stokes, 8-3). The track rule allowed multiple entries from a trainer/driver’s stable to race uncoupled for wagering, but empowered the judges to designate the drivers on the other horses in the entry. Cox obviously wanted to name his own drivers, and the press and the public, from the accounts of the events, clearly understood that they were still Cox’s horses. The prior week, October 1, Cox’s "army" also took three of the first four monies in the Kentucky Futurity: Walter Dear (Cox, 1-1); Miss Woerner (Stokes, 2-2); and Volomite (Leese, 4-4). Walter Dear was the only winner that traced his paternal line to The Laurel Hall, a son of Peter The Great and a great great grandson of Hambletonian 10. He was also the first of the Peter The Great line in an era dominated by the Axworthy.