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Author Topic: "Not worth a plug-nickel"  (Read 547 times)
wilderness
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« on: February 18, 2010, 08:38:15 PM »

from Nov 1949 Hoof Beats

A Horse and a Nickel
Oscar Silvey Is Ready to Eat the Plugged Nickel Which He Once Said Star Pupil Scotty Direct Wasn't Worth
ONE of the amazing harness horses of 1949 will win no special mention when it comes to selecting the harness horse of the year but Scotty Direct, a game 7 year old bay gelding, has won a large spot in the hearts of his owner V. R. Rittenhouse and his driver, Oscar Silvey.

In 1948 the son of Bin Direct Golden Slippers didn't win a race. In 1949 he won more than 20 races, finishing second, once and third, four times. That's a comeback for a horse who had all but been counted out.

The first time Silvey sat back of the horse he told Rittenhouse that Scotty wasn't "Worth a plugged nickel." Silvey laughs about his remark now and will tell you that the only reason he stuck with Scotty was because Rittenhouse liked the little bay and wanted to give him a chance.

When Silvey saw that the Hillsboro, Ohio, owner was serious, he went to work with the horse. First of all he noted that his gait was definitely toward the pace but that he seemed to get all tangled up. A trip to the blacksmith shop brought a new pair of shoes. This seemed to help.

But at this point Silvey was really at work. He began to like the little pacer's willingness to try. Persistent training and kind handling returned dividends. Scotty's low shuffle began to take on speed. Silvey called in Rittenhouse and said he might have to eat his words and smilingly admitted that he didn't mind.

On his final workout before going to the races, this green pacer turned in a 2:14 mile, encouraging enough.

In his first race of the year, with Oscar Silvey in the sulky, Scotty Direct paced his mile in 2:13 and came home a winner. By the time he was ready for his fifth start, Silvey knew be had a better than average pacer. His stopwatch and the time on the infield board reassured him—2:072/5 for the mile.

Now the gifted gelding has wound up his campaign for the year at Maywood Park, pioneer Illinois harness track. He won his first start at the popular Chicago track just as he did at every other oval where he made a debut this season.

Chicago fans like the horse and like his story. At Maywood Park Silvey now lists among his favorite stories the yam about the horse who wasn't worth a plugged nickel. Whether Scotty heard his original remark nobody knows but he has brought almost $8,000 worth of nickels to his owner this year.

And—making money with horses isn't exactly new to handsome Oscar. He started his harness career by buying Rutherlee, a pacer, for $52. Before selling this side wheeler in 1948, Silvey states he had driven him to total earnings of more than $5,000. With Barber B, be says, be won over $12,000 in purses.

And last year he drove Florian, fleet trotter, to 17 triumphs in 43 starts. Three of the losses were to Rodney, harness horse of 1948. Congratulations to Oscar and his present pacing star Scotty Direct.

OSCAR SILVEY prepares to eat the plugged nickel which he once said the fast pacer, Scotty Direct, wasn't worth. Silveys stable star didn't win a race in 1948 but this year he has more than 20 to his credit.
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Regards Don
Homestretch
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 08:44:25 PM »

I have quite a few pictures of this horse, but of course I can't post them.
It's time for me to act on your advice !!!!
 thumbs up
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Suicide_Mare
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 08:51:49 PM »

Wilderness is the bomb!  If we could combine Homestretch's museum with Wilderness's archives ...

Convinced.  Harnesspedia.  In the making.
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wilderness
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 09:01:43 PM »

I have quite a few pictures of this horse, but of course I can't post them.
It's time for me to act on your advice !!!!
 thumbs up

 There was a nice cameo of Scotty and Oscar that accompanied the article, however I didn't add it.
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wilderness
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 09:05:16 PM »

Wilderness is the bomb!  If we could combine Homestretch's museum with Wilderness's archives ...

 He couldn't keep the pace through the first turn Wink
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Freelegged
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 09:26:05 PM »

Wilderness is the bomb! 

in my eyes, wilderness became the bomb  Bomb and the undisputed king of harness racing history...when he surprised me with a winner's circle photo of my great-grandfather (circa 1950) at saratoga harness.
finding it was impressive, but then getting it into digital format and emailing me a beautiful picture was above and beyond my expectations. For that, I thank him.  thumbs up
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wilderness
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 09:41:16 PM »

Free,
       I had a guy contact me last spring through one of my websites and he was just "in the right place at the right time".

 He had come across a mere mention of either his father or grandfather's name in article, and inquired if I had any more information.

 he'd never even seen a photo of his grandfather.

 I had just archived a 1930's article from Trotter & Pacer, which included a family photo of his grandfather and great Uncle when both were about 10YO. There were standing with their parents, who happened to be this gents great-grandfather and great-grandmother.

 No I'm not think of you, this was an entire different person.

 The websites, which I will surely miss have provided some wonderful and heartwarming thank you's and even interesting inquires.

 Two that I recall?
 1) One was a report of ghosts both horses and people in the subdivision that sits atop the former Charles Dean Farm at Palantine, Ill.
 2) Somebody who was doing some extensive search on a murder (details escape me currently) that was somehow connected with a horseman who participated in the Alix race at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.


 
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