A is for Adios

Today we start the A-Z of Harness Racing.

For 26 days we will go through the alphabet, referencing a horse, trainer, driver, venue etc. 

A = Adios

A horse so proficient at breeding that he was called “the big daddy of harness racing.”

Was he the Bettor’s Delight, the Art Major or the Somebeachsomewhere of his generation?

Adios was born in 1940 at Two Gaits Farm in Carmel, Indiana and for a while he was owned by Harry Warner, of Warner Bros film studio fame

He was a multiple champion with 43 wins from 87 starts. Along with arch rival “King’s Counsel” they were the best around at the time.

A star on the track, he was a total stud off it. At one stage he changed hands for a staggering $500,000 – his stud fee soaring from $300 to $15,000, then the highest in history.

There are too many Adios horses to mention. He sired eight Little Brown Jug winners, more than any other horse, and his sons, Adios Butler and Bret Hanover (62 wins from 68 starts)  both became winners of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers.

Adios Butler was however beaten by three time NZ Cup winner False Step in the Yonkers International Series in 1960-61 season while Bret Hanover and New Zealand’s first ever millionaire pacer Cardigan Bay would clash many times, Cardy winning their first battle at Yonkers in 1966.

Many Adios horses have starred down-under.

Great Adios won the New Zealand Cup in 1967 by five lengths. The winning time of 4:10.4, then the third fastest for the great race, with the record being held by Johnny Globe in 1954  (4:07.6).

Adios was also the grandsire of Paleface Adios, who had 108 wins. He started in seven consecutive Miracle Miles, winning in 1976 and his battles with Hondo Grattan (The Bathurst Bulldog) in the 1970s were the stuff of legend.    

Adios said just that – adios - to the world in 1965, after producing 589 offspring in his action-packed 25 years.   

Tomorrow it’s ‘B” (of course) and it’s about a victory by a horse that no-one was predicting.  

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