by Dean Hoffman
Walter Cox was known throughout harness racing as “Longshot” for his uncanny habit of winning with outsiders. But in the 1929 Hambo, Cox held all the aces and the rival horses were the outsiders.
That’s because half of the eight starters in the Hambletonian were trained by Cox. In a show of domination that has never been equaled, his horses took home the first four places in the race. The purse was $60,309 and Cox’s quartet pocketed $58,309.
Under the prevailing rules, Cox’s horses had to be assigned to other trainers before the race, but everyone knew that each horse carried a “Made by Walter Cox” label.
This Hambletonian was contested at Lexington because it had been rained out during the New York State Fair program. Cox understandably picked the best of his four aces to drive himself. That was Walter Dear. It was thought that Volomite might give his stablemate some competition, but Walter Dear was much the best. Volomite finished 2-2 while Sir Guy Mac and the filly Miss Woerner took third and fourth monies.
Walter Dear later went to Europe and won the prestigious Prix d’Amerique in France in 1934, but disappeared during World War II and his whereabouts was never discovered. Volomite retired after his sophomore season and spent his stud career at Walnut Hall Farm, where he became the most influential stallion of the 20thcentury, siring champion trotters and pacers.
Catch this year’s Hambletonian on August 2nd on CBS Sports Network (check here for channel and availability in your area). A live streaming broadcast can also be view here and all the pre-, during, and post-race action can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.