In the latest edition of Rewind, Robert Smith has followed up last week's column with a number of old photographs from around 50 years ago. All of the "oldies" involve participants on the Ontario Jockey Club Circuit at that time. They are presented as a quiz for the reading audience. All of the photos may not have actually been taken exactly 50 years ago, but they are representative of that time period within a year or so.
#1 - Can you identify anyone in this group picture that includes many well known drivers from the 50 years ago time period racing on the Jockey Club circuit? The fellow at the far left was a very long time fixture on the OJC Circuit and the man on the far right was a Rep. for the Rockwood Lions Club, present for this fundraising event.
#2 - Can you identify this young fellow driving number seven, shown winning a race during Grand Circuit week at Greenwood in 1973?
#3 - Can you identify this horse and driver that held a track record at this time at one OJC track which was set in 1970? By 1973, his racing career may have ended but his record still stood. The driver was certainly very involved at this time.
#4 - Can you identify this horseman, who was at the peak of his career at this period in time and was named "Jockey Club Horseman Of The Year" for 1973? Let us know who he is.
#5 - Can you identify this "young" fellow on the right, who turned 50 in 1973 and was "Tops" in most categories? Who is he and also who is that man doing the presentation?
#6 - Can you identify the driver and anyone else in the photo? This photo was taken following a Stakes win in the 1973 edition of the Alliston Trotting Stakes at Mohawk. It took some stamina to win that event as it was contested at 1-5/16 miles.
#7 - Can you identify the gentleman on the left? He was a popular figure in the sport and the fellow on the right along with his wife was a very successful trainer and driver at this time. Who are they?
#8 - Can you identify this young horseman on the right that spent most of his Hall of Fame career on the OJC circuit and is shown receiving one of many awards he earned over the years? Who is he and if you recognize the presenter include him as well.
#9 - Can you identify this young lad in his driving suit that was indeed pretty young when this was taken?
#10 - Can you identify this horseman? He was doing pretty well 50 years ago as an all around horseman.
Note: Many of the above pictures should be pretty easy to identify, but they are also intended to rekindle memories of what was happening 50 years ago on the O.J.C. circuit.
Dave Groombridge representing Carlings Brewery is on the far right as he presides over a trophy presentation at an OJC track. Can you identify all of these well known drivers from a half century or so ago?
Quote For The Week: "A smile can start a conversation without saying a word." From an unknown source.
Blast From The Past: Remembering Five Mile Races In Quebec
Back in the day, part of the annual racing calendar in the Province of Quebec included a number of five mile races at or near the end of the racing season. It seems that horses that did not necessarily fare well in traditional one mile races, did well in the long distance affairs. A horse named Grattan Baker, bred and raised in Manitoba, excelled at the longer distance and won many "five milers " in the years surrounding 1960. This venerable trotter was owned by Elizabeth "Betty" Wallace of Dauphin, Manitoba and trained and driven by her husband Jim Wallace. For many years Grattan Baker held the record for the fastest five mile race time.
Mrs. Wallace passed away in her sleep on August 28th in her native Dauphin, Man. She was 94 at the time of her passing and reportedly still retained all of her faculties and could still recite pedigree information that she had compiled which was her life long avocation. Standardbred Canada extends condolences to her family and appreciated her assistance a few years ago in providing information for a Rewind column entitled "Going The Extra Miles" published on Oct. 27, 2018.
An excerpt from her obituary read "Betty’s legacy will be those people she inspired to reach beyond the stars to be the best they could be".
Betty and Jim Wallace of Dauphin, Manitoba appear with family favourite Grattan Baker, also known as "Jake". For several years they made the long trip from their home in Manitoba to compete in Quebec's famous five mile races. (Wallace family collection)