Historic Freight - 1984
Historic Freight: On the Fast Track Historic Freight, racing in a claiming event with a price tag of $52,500 only weeks before, captured the 59th Hambletonian which featured a record purse of $1,219,000. A record number of 26 entries were scheduled to go postward (two divisions of 13 each) but three scratches in the first division reduced that event to ten. In the first elimination, Gentle Stroke, handled by George Sholty, used his second tier post 11 to perfection and won the heat in 1:574. Overlooked in the wagering, Gentle Stroke paid $21.40 to win. The 70 to 1 chance, Father Soren, finished second. In that event, Wholly Arnie took the lead immediately and had a four-lenght lead at the eight pole, but reminiscent of the 1933 Hambletonian when Brown Berry stumbled while leading, he, likewise, went to his knees and wound up fifth, placed seventh. In the second division, the 60 to 1 shot Delvin G. Hanover, driven by Hakan Wallner, upset his field by defeating pacesetting Historic Freight in 1:56.2. Delvin G. Hanover's win price of $126.20 remains the largetst in the race's history. Delvin G. Hanover had the ten post and was twelfth at the quarter, eleventh at the half, and still tenth with a quarter of a mile remaining. In the second heat, driver Webster rated Historic Freight on the lead and sealed the heat with a :28.2 final quarter, winning in 1:57.3 over the fast closing Delvin G. Hanover. The three winners, Delvin G. Hanover, Gentle Stroke, and Historic Freight, came back for the deciding heat and, once again, Webster gave his trotter a picture perfect drive. From the two post, Historic Freight immediately took command and led the field, the opening quarter in :29.2. With no challengers materializing, Webster grabbed hold of his charge, gave him a breather with a second panel in :31.1, and a thrid quarter in :30.3. It was all over with a final quarter of :28.2, closing the door on Delvin G. Hanover and Gentle Strok. Delvin G. Hanover was disqualified and placed third in the final for a lapped-on break at the wire.
Third heat race-off in the Hambletonian to determine the winner. Historic Freight had raced for the $52,500 claiming price only weeks before the race. Gentle Stroke, winner of the first elimination of the 1st heat, was the only heat winner to subsequently be gelded. Delvin G. Hanover (driven by Hakan Wallner) was the longest shot ever to win a heat of the classic winning his elimination at 62-1 ($126.20). The exacta with Historic Freight paid $1,149.00. Delvin G. Hanover finished second in the second heat and was third with a break in the stretch in the final three-horse raceoff. Breeders Crown championship series and Breeders' Cup started.