American Harness Horse of the Year
The Harness Horse of the Year is an honor recognizing the top harness racing horse in the United States. The award is selected by the United States Trotting Association and the United States Harness Writers Association who issue the annual Dan Patch Awards.
The inaugural honor was awarded to Victory Song of Castleton Farms Stables who was named the "Harness Horse of 1947" by a committee that consisted of 50 harness racing writers, radio commentators and sports editors. Victory Song picked up 23 first-place votes, to lead a field of 22 horses that had been nominated for the honor, edging stablemate Hoot Mon who finished in second in the balloting. Victory Song had set the harness racing record for stallions with a time of 1:57.6 in the mile. E. Roland Harriman, president of the Trotting Horse Club of America, announced the award and indicated that the enthusiasm shown for the honor led to the decision to make the "Harness Horse of the Year" an annual event.
Good Time became the first horse to win the honor two times, winning in both 1949 and 1952. Good Time held the single-season money record at the time of $110,299 and received 80 first-place votes from the 99 writers participating in that year's balloting, after finishing first in 23 starts in 1952, with three second-place finishes and two finishes in third.
In 1956, Scott Frost became the first horse to win the Harness of the Year honors in consecutive years, earning the first place on the ballots of 66 of the 95 writers participating that year. Driven by Joe O'Brien, Scott Frost won 18 of 21 starts in 1956, coming in second in the three other races.
|1952||Good Time (2)||Pacer|
|1953||Hi Lo's Forbes||Pacer|
|1956||Scott Frost (2)||Trotter|
|1959||Bye Bye Byrd||Pacer|
|1961||Adios Butler (2)||Pacer|
|1962||Su Mac Lad||Trotter|
|1965||Bret Hanover (2)||Pacer|
|1966||Bret Hanover (3)||Pacer|
|1968||Nevele Pride (2)||Trotter|
|1969||Nevele Pride (3)||Trotter|
|1983||Cam Fella (2)||Pacer|
|1988||Mack Lobell (2)||Trotter|
|1994||Cam's Card Shark||Pacer|
|1995||CR Kay Suzie||Trotter|
|1999||Moni Maker (2)||Trotter|
|2000||Gallo Blue Chip||Pacer|
|2003||No Pan Intended||Pacer|
|2010||Rock N Roll Heaven||Pacer|
|2014||Bee A Magician||Trotter|
|2015||Wiggle It Jiggleit||Pacer|
- Staff. "VICTORY SONG TOPS 1947 HARNESS POLL; Castleton Trotter Selected as 'Horse of Year' -- Hoot Mon, Stablemate Is Next", The New York Times, December 7, 1947. Accessed February 19, 2009.
- via Associated Press. "Good Time Is Selected Harness Racer of Year", The New York Times, December 9, 1952. Accessed February 19, 2009.
- Staff. "Scott Frost Takes 1956 Harness Poll; SCOTT FROST WINS 56 HARNESS POLL", The New York Times, December 16, 1956. Accessed February 19, 2009.
- Harness Racing Champions from 1952-2000, Odds On racing. Accessed February 19, 2009.
- Harness Horse of the Year, Infoplease. Accessed February 19, 2009.
- Wiggle It Jiggleit named Horse of the Year, Daily Racing Form, Retrieved 30 October 2016