Volo Song - 1943
Volo Song, the champion at two, was favored in the classics at three. The big, brown colt by Volomite out of the mare, Evensong (who had six 2:00 offspring), was a $5,000 yearling purchase by William H. Strang and was turned over to Ben White to drive and train. The 1943 Hambletonian was contested at the slow Empire City running track because of wartime travel restrictions. Volo Song, who had won the Matron, American Stake and Hambletonian Test, broke in the first heat of the Hambletonian and finished third, with Worthy Boy winning the race. But Volo Song rebounded to win the next two, giving Ben White his fourth Hambletonian victory. When Worthy Boy and Phonograph were second and third, respectively, in the summaries, and Gordon Gray was fifth, sons of Volomite finished 1-2-3 and had four of the six purse awards. Sold to E. J. Baker the next season, and campaigned by Harry Fitzpatrick, Volo Song had his career and life cut short when he suffered a broken leg in a race at Elkhorn, WI.
The Hambletonian was moved to the Empire City Track (then a Thoroughbred track, now Yonkers Raceway) because of wartime gas rationing in World War II. The Kentucky Futurity was canceled from 1942 to 1945. W. H. Strang Jr. was the second owner (along with his trainer/driver Ben White) to win back-to-back Hambletonians. Ben White, 70, won his fourth Hambletonian as a driver with a horse considered by many as one of the best of all time. It was also a record fifth training win for the White Stable. The second consecutive year the saletopper at the Walnut Hall Farm won the Hambletonian. The opening heat, won by Worthy Boy in track record time of 2:02 1/2, saw Volo Song trot what many witnesses at the time called the greatest heat ever by a 3-year-old. Volo Song made a break at the start, then rallied to finish a close third, timed around 2:00. Worthy Boy was the first Standardbred acquired by Frances Dodge Johnson (later Frances Dodge Van Lennep) who purchased Castleton Farm in July of 1945. Volomite sired the first three money winners (as well as the fifth money winner).