New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Tag Archives: Harness racing

Al Spitzer

Al Spitzer (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, Feb. 10, 1910.)  Beginning as a part-time “space” writer under the paper’s scholastic sports editor, Alfred Spitzer ultimately spent more than 40 years with the Long Island Press.  Spitzer was hired by Ed Binneweg and succeeded him in 1940, when Binneweg began covering harness racing at the then-new Roosevelt […]

Del Insko

Del Insko (Harness racing.  Born, Amboy, MN, July 10, 1931.)  Del Insko was the dominant harness driver in the New York area in the 1960s and early 1970s, when Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways were the dominant tracks in the sport.  Delmer M. Insko shifted to the New York circuit in 1962.  For a dozen years […]

Billy Haughton

Billy Haughton (Harness racing.  Born, Gloversville, NY, Nov. 2, 1923; died, Valhalla, NY, July 15, 1986.)  William D. Haughton was, for over 30 years, a leading figure in harness racing, and his unfortunate death was the result of a driving accident at Yonkers Raceway.  During his career, Haughton was the winning driver in 4,910 races […]

Bill O’Donnell

Bill O’Donnell (Harness racing.  Born, Spring Hill, Nova Scotia, May 4, 1948.)  Honing his talent as a harness driver in New England and at the Saratoga (N.Y.) harness track, William A. O’Donnell came into national prominence at the Meadowlands racetrack.  O’Donnell vied with John Campbell to dominate the Big M in the 1980s with three driving […]

Buddy Gilmour

Buddy Gilmour (Harness racing.  Born, Lucan, Ontario, July 23, 1932; died, Fort Erie, Ontario, May 23, 2011.)  In 1986, William D. (Buddy) Gilmour won two of the four million-dollar events in harness racing in a span of eight days, sweeping the Woodrow Wilson Pace with Cullen Hanover after winning the Meadowlands Pace with Laughs.  But […]

Lucien Fontaine

Lucien Fontaine (Harness racing.  Born, Pointe aux Trembles, P.Q., Apr. 12, 1939.)  In 1959, Lucien Paul Fontaine made what could hardly be called an auspicious start in harness driving.  He drove twice and failed to finsh in the money either time. But in the  intervening years, his next 6,613 drives produced 3,458 wins and 1,634 […]

Herve Filion

Herve Filion (Harness racing.  Born, Angers, P.Q., Feb. 1, 1940.)  Herve Filion’s story began in the farm country of Quebec, where his father began racing harness horses as a hobby when Herve was nine. Herve entered his first race when he was 12 (finishing second) and at age 13 won his first race at Riguard, […]

Stanley Dancer

Stanley Dancer (Harness racing.  Born, Edinburg, NJ, July 25, 1927; died, Pompano Beach, FL, Sept. 8, 2005.)  During his lifetime, Stanley Dancer was described as “harness racing’s living legend,” and there was much merit behind the title.  In a career that started in 1945, Dancer won more than 3,700 times and became one of the […]

John Chapman

John Chapman (Harness racing.  Born, Toronto, Ont., Nov. 25, 1928; died, Westbury, LI, May 2, 1980.)  In a career that began in 1947, John Chapman became one of the most popular of the catch drivers during the “golden age” of trotting at Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways.  Chapman drove 3,915 winners and his horses earned $21,359,746.  […]

Bill Cane

Bill Cane (Harness racing.  Born, Jersey City, NJ, Aug. 5, 1874; died, Miami Beach, FL, Mar. 27, 1956.)  Following his father into the building trade, William Henry Cane also developed a passion for buying and driving trotting horses.  His avocation eventually became the main focus of Cane’s life.  His Good Time Stable in the Orange County […]

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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