Inducted 2002

Bestdealintown is a 1986 foal of Proud Butler. He was foaled to Charles Petrowitz of Mauston, WI. In 1990 Jerry Kaercher, a farmer, who lives near Cavalier ND saw Bestdealintown race at Assiniboia Downs in Manitoba, Canada and bought him as a 4 year old.

Bestdeal would relocate to Jerry’s farm where his friend Art Snell would train and race him for the balance of his career. This “duo” traveled throughout the Midwest thrilling racing fans at numerous county fairs.

Throughout his fair career he would prove his greatness time after time, it didn’t seem to matter what his post position was Bestdeal and his driver just got it done! During his racing career he set 18 fair track records of which 2 still stand in Wisconsin.

Bestdealintown’s fastest race win was 1:57.1 taken October 28, 1992 at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta, CA. At the end of the 2000 racing season at the age of 14 Bestdealintown, was retired with a race record of 199-126-30-20 earnings of $57,650.

He is enjoying his retirement in Henrod, IL with Linda Werkheiser.

Nominated by Joanne Gilbertson

Crafty Sailor

Inducted 2008

Horse with the Iron Legs, Ancient Mariner and Cranky Sailor are but a few of the phrases that have been used to describe one of harness racing’s unique race horses.  Crafty Sailor and owner David Carter of Eau Claire, Wisconsin have been a dynamic duo throughout their careers.

Crafty Sailor retired at the end of 2007 at the tender age of 14, but not before leaving his mark all over the United States. He has a racing career spanning 11 years, comprised of 330 starts and bankrolling over $130,000, all earning it all by grinding it out on fair circuits and in the amateur driving series. His 107 wins makes Crafty a member of the elite “Century Club”.

Crafty Sailor’s accomplishments include setting numerous track records throughout Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota-many of which stand to this day. He has been a top ten trotter in Wisconsin for 9 years, triumphing as Trotter of the Year in five of those years. Crafty and owner/trainer/driver Dave Carter, were awarded the prestigious James Laird Memorial Award for Excellence in 2004. He campaigned on the Billings circuit for many years, which has helped him to be covered in two articles published in Hoof Beats.

Crafty has been a great ambassador for harness racing throughout Wisconsin and this country. He has been a popular race horse wherever he races and his appearance on the track always excited fans and put fear into his competition.

Nominated by Rick Davis

Dusty H Forbes

Dusty H Forbes1



Inducted 2017



Dusty H. Forbes was foaled in 1958 in Slinger, WI.  His eligibility papers identified The Slinger Creamery Company as breeder and owner.   Preceding the name of the sire and dam, the USTA inserted the phrase, “Said to be.”  Mr. Peter Pauly, the owner of Slinger  Creamery, stood a couple stallions, Grattan  Forbes was the” Said To Be” sire, one of his many broodmares, Dusty Hazel, was the “Said to be” dam.   Evidently Mr. Pauly could not prove beyond reasonable doubt who the sire and dam were, hence this little light bay would begin life with an identity problem.  He looked  like a Grattan Forbes,   wide front and powerful back end.  You could find Grattan Forbes’ offspring on most county fair race programs.  They were competitive and raced with grit.

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Golden Miss

Golden Miss 001

Inducted 1997

Golden Miss p,2:02.1, was bred by Dr. J. Howard young of Elkhorn, Wisconsin and trained and driven by Del Insko of South Beloit, Illinois. Her sire Ensign Hanover won the first Little Brown Jug. Her dam, Miss Pluto Scott, was owned by Gus Paseman of Manitowoc, Wisconsin and she was sired by McKinny Scott, owned by Dr. J.P. West of Madison, Wisconsin.

Golden Miss is the main descendent of the Fanny Skinner maternal family which has the highest average earnings per foal of any maternal line in the registry. Golden Miss had only two daughters – Shifting Sands and Malaysia. Horses descending from these two mares have earned over $17,000,000, an average of $56,000 per foal.

Golden Miss’ son, Strike Out, won the Little Brown Jug, setting a world record of p,2,1:56.3h in the process. In the first heat, Strike Out went the opening quarter in 27 seconds flat, the fastest first quarter in Jug history. Strike Out went on to sire the Jug winner Hot Hitter; giving the Bret Hanover male line three consecutive generations of Little Brown Jug winners. He also sired Striking Image, the first 1:55 two year old in history.

Golden Miss’ second daughter Malaysia is the dam of Riyadh, p,1:48.4, winner of over $2,750,000. Riyadh has a record of 1:48.4 on a mile track and 1:49.1 on a 5/8-both world records for an aged stallion. Riyadh is sired by Jate Lobell. The Jate Lobell-Golden Miss family cross is one of the true golden crosses in the breed.

Through December 1996, of a total of 72 horses bred, 31 have a record of 1:55 or faster, that’s about 43% of horses bred in this pattern.

Golden Miss is a true Wisconsin bred that has had a huge impact on the sport and industry of harness racing. She has earned the right to join the ranks of the honored horses in the Wisconsin Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Nominated by John & Elaine Urhausen

Guest Star

Guest Star

Foaled in 1942

Inducted 1994

Guest Star was purchased as a yearling in Lexington, Kentucky for $200 by Albert Friess of Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The bay colt came cheap as a pair of splints were enough to scare most buyers off. Friess, a cattle dealer and avid horseman, took the colt back “up north” to prep him for what was to become a history making career.

Guest Star began racing as a three year old at the fairs in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. He won six starts and showed enough pace to prompt Friess to ship him to California for his four year old season in 1946. Guest Star came back north to compete on the Grand Circuit in Milwaukee and set a track record for three consecutive heats.

Race secretaries around the country wanted Guest Star at their tracks and he became the first horse to “fly” across the country while others shipped by van or rail. Guest Star raced from coast to coast setting track records for the mile, 1 1/8 mile handicapped and the 1 1/16 mile. He also set a world mark at Arcadia, California for 1 1/16 mile.

This iron horse would make 325 lifetime starts winning 62 and finishing second or third 52 times. He would win over $70,000 in the days when it was real money. Guest Star became the equine ambassador for the Badger State.

Nominated by Kathleen Larson

H. Kay Worthy

H Kay Worthy

Inducted 1996

“Doc” Masterson purchased H. Kay Worthy in 1937 from E.P. Cray of Bellows Fall, Vermont. H. Kay Worthy was shipped by rail in a large crate. He not only survived the trip, but teamed up with Doc to set numerous track records in the Midwest.

H. Kay Worthy had been a world’s champion on a half mile track and found the county fair tracks in the Badger state to his liking. Doc and H. Kay were the “winning combination” for many battles with some of the best horses of the day.

He battled the best the Midwest had to offer, including the noted horse Kings Counsel.

H. Kay’s career spanned both the 1930’s and 40’s. He was still setting track records in Wisconsin at the ripe old age of 14.

Nominated by J.H. “Doc” Masterson

Jay Eye See

Jay Eye See 001

Inducted 1996

Jay Eye See, at one time the most famous trotting and pacing gelding in the world, put Racine, Wisconsin on the world trotting map. The little black horse electrified the trotting circles by becoming the first 2:10 trotter ever.
Jay Eye See made his trotting record at Providence, Rhode Island on August 1, 1884 to a high wheeled sulky.

On August 26, 1892 Jay Eye See paced to a record of 2:06 1/4.

This made Jay Eye See, at the age of 14, the title holder of champion combination trotter and pacer of the world.

Many of the horses of this era were named after their owners or famous men. Jerome I Case used his own initials J.I.C. in an innovative fashion, and called his trotter Jay Eye See

Nominated by John & Elaine Urhausen

Lord Steward

Inducted 2012

Lord Steward was purchased as a yearling for $1,000 by trainer, Art Shaw for owner Ed Winkelman of Whitewater. That price of $1,000 made the colt one of the greatest bargains of the sulky sport. Ralph Kroening had to buy out Winkelman’s entire stable, three horses and all equipment for $15,000 –to get Lord Steward. Shaw took it easy with the 2 year old, starting 14 times in 1949, never finishing out of the money. That careful start probably contributed to the gelding’s later durability.

Guy Crippen took over the training duties of Lord Steward in 1950 and the three year old was the nation’s leading dash winner that year, winning 23 of 38 starts. Included in those 38 starts was a 3rd place finish in the Hambletonian. Lord Steward kept right on collecting purses. His record for 10 seasons shows 299 starts, 76 wins, 55 seconds, 56 thirds. His earnings total $338,397. In 1958 Lord Steward became the top money earning trotter and on July 30th surpassed Adios Harry to become the top money earner of any gait. Before the 1958 season ended Adios Harry pushed his earnings ahead of Lord Steward but Lord retained the top money earning trotter status.

Lord Steward’s top earnings for trotters was a triumph for consistency and durability. He was a great competitor. Heart made up for lack of brilliant speed. Lord Steward never earned more than $15,000 in a race. Most of his career he went in $10,000 events, or less. But he was able to start oftener than many of the stars–and was always willing.

Perhaps no racehorse in sulky track history (in his time era) had traveled more miles, onthe tracks of the United States and Canada and between them by rail and van.

Lord Steward died at the age of 18 in 1965 and was buried at the Kroening farm in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Nominated by Susan Schroeder


Mainliner 3 001Mainliner 2 001 Mainliner 1 001

Inducted 2010

Winner of the 1951 Hambletonian
“The Horse That Made Milwaukee Famous”

A massive field of 20 went to post in two tiers in 1951 for the richest purse in harness racing history, $98,263.93. Driven by Guy Crippen, the long  strided; roman-nosed Mainliner emerged the victor for Ralph H. Kroening of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was the first Hambletonian win for a Wisconsin combination, with Mainliner hitting the headlines all over the nation the next day to become “The Horse That Made Milwaukee Famous”. The win was an extremely popular victory among horsemen, especially due to the high regard in which Guy Crippen was held and the modest and sportsmanlike demeanor of owner Kroening.

Mainliner, a foal of 1948, earned $124,707.00 in his racing career. He was a $3,300 yearling purchase at the Tattersalls sale and was sold a year later for $25,000 to Ralph Kroening. Mainliner was the best available candidate to win the 1951 Hambletonian and Ralph Kroening wanted to win the Hambletonian, his desire to win the number one stake was stimulated in part by reading Marguerite Henry’s Born To Trot.<

The onetime Hambletonian king was forced into early retirement from competition because of an injury in 1955. He then stood stud in Pennsylvania and Canada. In 1967 Mainliner came home to the Kroening farm in Waukesha, Wisconsin for good, to live out what already was a long and productive life. The old champion lived the life he so richly deserved, that of a king.

Nominated by Wayne Moldenhauer

Miss Bertha C

Inducted 2010

Miss Bertha C was bred and raced by D. C. Palmeter, who owned the Riverside Park Farm, a Standardbred breeding farm near Berlin, Wisconsin. Mr. Palmeter originally purchased Miss Bertha C’s dam, Marble and her grand dam Medioin Kentucky. When Marble entered the breeding ranks, she was matched with Palmeter’s stallion Baronmore that had already produced a Kentucky Futurity winner from Marble’s dam, Medio. The resulting foal was Miss Bertha C who was named after a daughter of Palmeter’s trainer, J.B. Chandler.

Miss Bertha C was foaled in 1906 and took a record of 2:10 ¼ winning the 5th heat of the Kentucky Futurity. Miss Bertha C was high strung, like her mother, and it is believed that her manners cost her the 1909 Kentucky Futurity. After finishing well back in the first four heats, Miss Bertha C decided to trot and easily won the fifth heat. While she had civilized manners on the track, it was a different proposition in the stall. Miss Bertha C carried her ears back and this became one of her trademarks. It was especially prominent when her driver had to go into the stall. Bertha allowed no strangers in her stall without a strong protest.

Miss Bertha C could trot all day. Her trainer, J.B. Chandler, was quite a wit and healways allowed that the mare was just too darn mean to get tired. She was one of the greatest three year olds in 1909 and was taken to Memphis, Tennessee for winter training where it appeared she was ready to trot in 2:07. Unfortunately the entire stable was taken sick with a virulent form of distemper and Mr. Palmeter decided to disperse of his stable. The horses were sent to the Old Glory auction in New York and Miss Bertha C was purchased and sent to Pennsylvania.

Horses that descend directly in maternal line to Miss Bertha C are among the greatest in the sport. They include Bret Hanover, Artsplace, Peace Corps, Cambest, Mack Lobell, American Winner, Green Speed, Arndon, Best of All, Blaze Hanover and Sir Dalrae.

At various times the fastest trotter and pacer in the sport have both descended from Miss Bertha C. Hanover Shoe Farms has the best group of broodmares in the sport and the most important building block of that group is Miss Bertha Dillon–a daughter of Wisconsin bred, trained and raced–Miss Bertha C.

Nominated by Dave Dahms