Diller Hanover - 1959
As has often happened in Hambletonian history, a trainer of two colts entered in the great race has chosen one of his two possible mounts and given the other drive to a friend, and then watched as that friend drove his way to victory lane. Such was the case in 1959 when Ralph Baldwin gave the drive behind Diller Hanover to Frank Ervin, who would gain his first Hambletonian victory in ten tries. Diller Hanover, a son of Star's Pride, rewarded his young sire with his second straight Hambletonian winner with miles in 2:01.1 and 2:01.4 over a track dulled by rain a day earlier. Ralph Baldwin trained Diller and prepped him for the race, but chose instead to drive Tie Silk, who finished second fourth with Circo and Bill Haughton trotting home second in the final heat, but not menacing the winner. The purse was a record $125, 283, at the time the richest harness race ever, and the winner's share of $73,666 made Diller Hanover the leading money winning two-and three-year-old of all time in harness racing.
Frank Ervin catch-drove for trainer Ralph Baldwin, who reined the other half of his entry, Tie Silk, and finished second in the summear (2-4). Diller Hanover was the Three-year-old Trotter of the Year. The youngest driver ever in the Hambletonian, future Chicago star Walter "Butch" Paisley, was only 18 years and six months old when he drove Algiers Eblis, a horse owned by his father, to a 12-15 finish, 14th in the summary.