Sharp Note - 1952
At 74, Bion Shively, known as the Oklahoma Sage, became the oldest driver to win a Hambletonian when he accomplished the feat with Sharp Note in 1952 for owner C. W. Clark of Dearborn, Michigan. Sharp Note, a $1,000 yearling purchase from the Walnut Hall Farm 1950 consignment, was lightly-raced at two. As in the previous year, showers caused the 1952 Hambletonian to be delayed from Wednesday to Thursday. It was nearly 4 p.m. when the field of 16 went to post. Sharp Note was off poorly on a break in the first heat and finished a distant 10th as Hit Song won by half a length over the favored Duke of Lullwater. In the second heat, Sharp Note stormed around the field and won easily. Leaving from the pole in the final heat, Sharp Note took charge at the three-quarter pole, coasting home to a two-length victory over Hit Song in 2:03.2.
At age 74, Shively was the oldest driver to win the Hambletonian. Bi Shively’s story was documented in the movie short, Old Man in a Hurry. Shively was a veteran of the Spanish American War. In a remarkable conditioning job, Sharp Note had not raced in almost three months before the Hambletonian. Sharp Note was the Three-year-old Trotter of the Year in the harness writers’ first divisional balloting.