Miss Tilly - 1949
After a sensational two-year-old career, Miss Tilly was a disappointment at three until she reached Goshen for the 24th Hambletonian. Driven by Fred Egan, well into his 70s at the time, Miss Tilly was bred and owned by Charles W. Phellis of Greenwich, Connecticut, who had previously won the 1947 Hambletonian with Hoot Mon. The Nibble Hanover filly, who earned nearly $50,000 as a two-year-old, scored out of the second tier for the first heat. Egan rated Miss Tilly back to fifth or sixth while her stablemate, Saint Clair, was hustled to the top. The favored Bangaway circled the field and led momentarily near the quarter, but jumped. Just after passing the half, Egan pulled Miss Tilly and she trotted to the lead. Miss Tilly hung on down the stretch as Tom Berry challenged with Volume. The filly’s victory was a long neck in a time of 2:03. The final was a rout as Miss Tilly went to the top at the quarter and pulled away, winning by five in 2:012, then the fastest clocking for a filly.
One handicapping sheet correctly predicted, "Bangaway may be the choice of millions but DON’T MISS TILLY!" despite the fact that it was her first win of the year – in straight heats – and she never won another. The time of the second and final heat of 2:01.2 was the fastest mile ever to date by a filly in the Hambletonian and was second only to Hoot Mon’s 2:00 stakes record. Tilly Tonka, the dam of Miss Tilly, was also the granddam of Hoot Mon (1947). Phellis, considered by many to be one of the foremost experts on Standardbred breeding bred both Hoot Mon and Miss Tilly. From a relatively small band of mares, he also bred the 1958 winner Emily’s Pride and, as mentioned above, suggested the pairing that produced Spencer Scott (1940). Nibble Hanover, the sire of Miss Tilly, was the only stallion to produce a Hambletonian winner and a Little Brown Jug winner (Knight Dream, 1948). Ben White drove in his last Hambletonian at age 76. His horse William Wells finished 7-11. For an unprecedented third time, a horse owned by Coldstream Stud of Lexington, KY finished second. 1934, Coldstream (operated by C. B. Shauffer of Chicago and later by Dale Shauffer of Detroit) never won a Hambletonian and holds the distinction as the owner who finished 2nd the greatest number of times without winning. The farm is now a part of the University of Kentucky. Hall of Fame of the Trotter (later renamed the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame) was founded in Goshen, NY. May 5th marked the 100th anniversary of Hambletonian 10’s foaling near Sugar Loaf, NY.