Gliding to Glory

For his impact as a stallion,Yankee Glide has entered the Living Horse Hall of Fame

by Kathy Parker

A horse can leave an imprint in many ways. For most, it’s solely because of a connection to a person or persons. But if a horse breeds, its offspring can create a different kind of legacy—and the imprint is usually physically visible.

Yankee Glide was elected to the Living Horse Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2023 after being nominated for his impact as a stallion. He was honored at the recent induction ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum, in Goshen, N.Y.

As of this writing, the 29-year-old stallion is living out his retirement at Kentuckiana Farms, in the heart of central Kentucky’s Bluegrass horse country. His last year breeding was 2018, and with more than 1,500 foals, he has thus far sired the winners of over $104 million.

Yankee Glide’s sons include trotting Triple Crown champion Glidemaster, Kentucky Futurity winner Manofmanymissions, Breeders Crown victor Ken Warkentin, and Hambletonian runner-up Guccio. His most accomplished daughters on the track were classic winners Passionate Glide (Hambletonian Oaks, Breeders Crown); Falls For You (Kentucky Filly Futurity); Mystical Sunshine (Breeders Crown); and Stroke Play (Breeders Crown).

Today, his impact on the breed largely lives on through his daughters, with 425 producing winners of over $116 million, among them seven millionaires.

Among the most accomplished are 2012 Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic winner Market Share 5,1:50.2f ($3,792,101); two-time (2013-’14) Breeders Crown winner and two-time divisional Dan Patch Award winner Shake It Cerry 3,1:51.2 ($2,786,104); two-time (2019-’20) Breeders Crown and 2020 Kentucky Futurity winner as well as 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year Amigo Volo 3,1:50.2f ($2,027,189); 2016 Breeders Crown and 2015 Cashman Memorial winner Flanagan Memory 6,1:51.2s ($1,609,330); and 2021 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt Trot winner Rebuff 3,1:49.4 ($962,490).

“He made a very correct yearling and marked his offspring with a distinguishable Yankee Glide look, but more importantly, his offspring were all willing and wanted to trot, and trainers loved that,” said Bob Brady, of Kentuckiana Farms, which managed Yankee Glide throughout his 21 seasons at stud.

Brady’s father-in-law, Hall of Famer Tom Crouch, founded Kentuckiana Farms and orchestrated the purchase of Yankee Glide. He describes the horse physically as a stallion with a “high wither, a great shoulder and good length,” but he believes one of Yankee Glide’s most important traits was that he “picked up” mares, meaning that he helped mares produce their very best foals.

“I wasn’t particular about who I bred to him,” Crouch shared. “His first few years, I bred a lot of my cheap mares to him just to get foals on the ground, and many of them were excellent performers on the track.”

Kentuckiana and/or Crouch bred half of Yankee Glide’s top 10 richest earners: Mystical Sunshine, Falls For You, Manofmanymissions, Stroke Play and Celebrity Secret. But it quickly became evident that Yankee Glide’s fertility wasn’t great, a trait he inherited from his sire, Valley Victory.

“You couldn’t freeze him and his semen didn’t ship well either, so that was a problem,” Crouch added.

In 1997, at the end of Yankee Glide’s 3-year-old campaign, Kentuckiana Farms bought Robert Waxman’s ownership position in Yankee Glide.

“He was a marginal horse going to stud,” noted Brady. “Once his first crop hit the track, it was easy to syndicate him.”

Yankee Glide was from Valley Victory’s fourth foal crop, and by the time Yankee Glide was on the track, it was well known within the breeding community that Valley Victory’s fertility was in jeopardy. Valley Victory’s first foal crop numbered 86, and his fourth resulted in just 42 registrations from 80 mares bred. Nevertheless, Valley Victory’s sons were a hot commodity if they had the racing credentials to be a stallion prospect. His first crop included Hambletonian champion Victory Dream, and another game-changing son in Muscles Yankee was yet to come.

Yankee Glide seemed poised to be a Victory Dream or Muscles Yankee in the summer of 1996, just a few days before Valley Victory’s daughter Continentalvictory won the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. Yankee Glide captured the Peter Haughton Memorial Trot for the Continental Farms team of Berndt Lindstedt, Jan Johnson and Jim Keller. His winning time of 1:57.1 was far from a world record for 2-year-olds—Mack Lobell had set the 1:55.3 mark a decade earlier in Lexington—but the victory was a jog burger, as they say.

“I saw Yankee Glide win in the Peter Haughton and he impressed me,” said Crouch recently from his home in Florida.

One month later, Yankee Glide was entered in a Maryland Standardbred Race Fund event at Rosecroft Raceway. Since he was bred by Maryland-based Yankeeland Farms, the trip to the five-eighths-mile track seemed worth the short trip from Continental Farms’ New Jersey base. But the horse was scratched. Johnson said that, at about that time, Yankee Glide began suffering from quarter cracks that plagued him the rest of his racing career.

“He had sore front feet and he was kind of a flat-footed horse,” said Johnson, who said today’s repairs for quarter cracks—which include new polymers and techniques—might have helped him. Yankee Glide’s foot problems sidelined him for the rest of his 2-year-old season and certainly jeopardized any chances he had for year-end honors. But by the end of 1996, the focus was on the colt’s upcoming sophomore campaign.

Yankee Glide made his first start as a 3-year-old on May 30, 1997, in a qualifier at the Meadowlands. On paper, he aced the test, finishing second and trotting in 1:58.2. Twelve days later, in his first start, he broke stride and finished eighth in a New Jersey Sire Stakes division at the Meadowlands. He re-qualified, then broke stride in his first start back, another stakes at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian was just one month away.

The Continental crew got Yankee Glide through a qualifier and an open-class overnight without a break in stride, and so the colt was entered in the Hambletonian. He won his elimination by one length in 1:55.1, but in the days leading up to the Aug. 9 final, a quarter crack became pronounced.

“We needed more time after the elimination,” said Johnson. “We tried to patch it up, but it didn’t work.”

Yankee Glide started from post three in the Hambletonian final and was the second betting choice, but broke stride and finished last as Malabar Man trotted to victory.

Yankee Glide improved, and on Aug. 17, he won the Harry M. Zweig Memorial at the Syracuse Mile. Two weeks later, at Du Quoin, Ill., he broke stride in the first heat of the World Trotting Derby but bounced back for a third-place finish in the final, trotting his own mile in 1:53.3. By that point, Crouch had an agreement with Waxman to purchase his interest in Yankee Glide. Jorgen Jahre Jr. had bought into the colt before his 3-year-old season commenced.

“I called Jorgen and told him I was going to call Waxman and try to buy him out. Jorgen was happy about that,” recalled Crouch. “Bernie (Lindstedt) had told me that Yankee Glide was the best horse he had ever sat behind, and I would take anything Bernie said to me to the bank. So, I proceeded.”

Yankee Glide competed in the Kentucky Futurity but broke stride in the first heat and was the runner-up in the second, which ended up being his last career start. Crouch brought a trailer to the Red Mile backstretch to pick the horse up to take him to Kentuckiana. When he got there, a well known horse agent was in the shed row, but Crouch didn’t budge from his deal and loaded the horse in the trailer.

Yankee Glide began his stallion career at a Kentuckiana Farms annex in New Jersey, on the Continental Farms property (originally Stanley Dancer’s Egyptian Acres and now the Melander family’s training center). During those years, Yankee Glide was managed by the late Bill Smythe.

“I must give Bill tremendous credit,” said Crouch. “He did a wonderful job managing Yankee Glide so he got as many mares in foal as he did.”

With purse increases in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, Yankee Glide stood at stud in the Keystone State from 2009 through 2016. In 2017, at the age of 23, he was brought back to Kentucky and bred two books of mares before being retired from breeding.

While most of Yankee Glide’s offspring have finished their racing days, he has one very notable son still competing in Europe: The now 9-year-old Vivid Wise As 1:50.2, a winner of more than €2.6 million, is still racing at a very high level, having competed in this year’s Prix de France. Yankee Glide’s daughters, of course, are carrying on his legacy, and two have contributed to the blood of young trotting sires Greenshoe and Volstead. Greenshoe’s granddam is Yankee Glide’s daughter Sheer Soul, while Volstead is out of Madame Volo, a daughter of Yankee Glide. HB


Kathy Parker is the former editor of Hoof Beats and The Horseman And Fair World. To comment on this story, email us at


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