Bill Gallon - 1941
A relative newcomer to the sport, R. Horace Johnston of Charlotte, N.C. made a very astute and economical buy at the first Standardbred Sale in Harrisburg in 1939, purchasing the Sandy Flash colt, Ashley Hanover, for $1,800. His new owner, a textile manufacturer, changed the colt’s name to Bill Gallon in honor of a friend and turned him over to the soft-spoken Lee Smith for development. Bill Gallon was a top juvenile trotter. Among his wins were the Tompkin Memorial and the Horseman Stake. Bill Gallon was off to a rather slow start at three, sickness and slight lameness halting his progress. In his tune-up start in the Hambletonian Test at Old Orchard, the handsome colt was twice second to Volstadt and then took the third heat in 2:04, beating His Excellency. The Hambletonian of 1941 was a slow race as practically every participant had been ill or off form slightly during the preceding weeks. Added to this, an atrocious barrier start cost Bill Gallon all chances the first heat, His Excellency coasting in with a 2:07¼ clocking. Bill Gallon came back to win the next by a neck from His Excellency with a nicely-timed drive in 2:05 and won the final by open lengths in 2:05½. Retired to stud at his owner’s Whitehall Farm, Bill Gallon had limited opportunities as he was not situated in a busy breeding area. Later moved to Hanover Shoe Farms, he sired one of the outstanding two-year-old trotting fillies of all time, Stenographer.
In a field considered by most, "…weakened by a rash of illness and off form," the first heat, won by His Excellency, a maiden, in 2:07 1/4, was the slowest ever – other than a raceoff. The era of modern nighttime pari-mutuel harness racing began with the opening of Roosevelt Raceway on September 2.