Lusty Song - 1950
Through his breeding, Lusty Song seemed destined to win the Hambletonian. His sire, Volomite, already had a trio of winners as well as the dam of a fourth. Peter Volo, his grandsire, had the same record. On his maternal side, his dam was by Scotland, the leading sire of Hambletonian winners, with four, including then stakes record holder, Hoot Mon. His granddam, Evensong, had produced the 1943 winner, Volo Song. Lusty Song was chosen by Dr. Hugh M. Parshall for the Hayes Fair Acres Stable of DuQuoin, IL, as a yearling for $7,600. At two, the colt had established himself as the fastest juvenile trotter in a race with his 2:02.1 victory in the Horseman Stake and topped his division in earnings with $47,799.29. His nemesis at three was Star’s Pride, who beat him at Historic and Saratoga. But he reached the winner’s circle in the $10,000 Volomite at Westbury, and was kept on edge with a 2:02 workout leading up to the Hambletonian, where Delvin Miller took over the driving assignment. Lusty Song won the first heat by a length over Star’s Pride, but the final was extremely tight. Miller moved to the top early with Star’s Pride shuffled back. The Worthy Boy colt challenged from the head of the stretch home and inside the sixteenth pole, the pair was stride for stride. Lusty Song rallied to win by a short head.
Delvin Miller won his first of three Hambletonians with a horse he catch drove. Ironically, it was his only victory as a driver. Lusty Song had been developed by Miller’s friend, Doc Parshall, at two and when Parshall was taken ill, the colt was turned over to Foy Funderburk the first part of his three-year-old year. Lusty Song started 32 times as a two-year-old for Parshall with 19 victories. It remains a record for the most two-year-old starts and wins ever for a Hambletonian winner. The average 2-year-old season for Hambletonian winners has been 16 starts with eight victories. Lusty Song was the leading money winning three-year-old to that point in time with $77,142; $40,537 earned in the Hambletonian. In 1985, Prakas set a single season money record for a trotter of $1,610,608. His winner’s share of the Hambletonian purse that year was $636,000. 37-year-old Delvin Miller led the sport with a record $311,809 in purse monies and a .501 U.D.R.S. In addition to these and the Grand Circuit titles, he was second to John Simpson in the dash championship (111 to 108). He also won the premier events in each two and three-year-old division for both trotters and pacers: Little Brown Jug (Dudley Hanover), the Horseman Stake (Mighty Fine) and the Fox Stake (Solicitor). The Hayes family, who in addition to Lusty Song also owned Dudley Hanover and Mighty Fine, would eventually host the Hambletonian in DuQuoin from 1957 to 1980. Finishing second (by a short head) and third in the final heat was the entry of Star’s Pride (2-2) and Florican (5-3), trained by Harry Pownall and both owned by E. Roland Harriman of Arden Homestead Stable. Star’s Pride was co-owned by Lawrence Sheppard.