Hall of Fame



Year of Birth: 
Inducted as a: 
Elected as Immortal: 
Year of Death: 
2,2:07.2; 3,2:02.3
Hoot Mon
Tronia Hanover
Sire of Dam: 
Lawrence Hanover

The 1953 Hambletonian at Good Time Park, in Goshen, New York, was a record breaker. It was the richest in history, at the time, with a total purse of $117,117. It was the largest in history, with 23 starters. It was the first time a winner was not U.S.-owned. It was the first time a Canadian owner had won. It was the first Hambletonian Stake win by Armstrong Bros. The first time a winner (Hoot Mon, 1947) had sired a winner. The first of two wins as a trainer for Delvin Miller (who had won driving Lusty Song in 1950) and Harry Harvey, Miller's twenty-nine-year-old assistant trainer became the youngest driver to win the prestigious event.

Helicopter was trained by Delvin Miller, however, with a three-horse entry, he elected to drive Singing Sword (who took third place in the final) and Harry Harvey piloted Helicopter. After breaking stride in the first heat and finishing 17th, the sophomore filly trotter came back to win the next two heats and the famed Hambletonian Stake trophy.

Helicopter's dam, Tronia Hanover, was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Because of a winged foot, Tronia Hanover was sold privately, as a yearling, to Richard Hoke of Menges Mills, Pennsylvania for $50. Her foal, by Hoot Mon, Bell-Ard Monia was sold, as a weanling, at the Harrisburg Sale to Frances Dodge Van Lennep of Castleton Farms. Renamed Helicopter, she was then sold, at the Castleton yearling consignment at Lexington, to Delvin Miller and John Simpson, Sr., for $2,000. They subsequently sold her to J. Elgin and C. Edwin Armstrong of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, for $9,200.

Helicopter's racing career ended with total earnings of nearly $100,000. She went on to become a foundation mare for Armstrong Bros. Her most famous offspring was 1962 daughter Armbro Flight. Armbro Flight became one of the greatest trotting mares of the 20th century, posting a mark of 1:59 and earning $493,602. As a broodmare, Armbro Flight produced the Speedy Crown colt, Armbro Goal (3,1:54.3 $1,442,022), who won the 1988 Hambletonian Stake. Helicopter was also the dam, in 1966, of Armbro Jet (5,2:00, $224,429), also by Star's Pride. Between 1956 and 1968 Helicopter produced ten foals.

Helicopter died at Hanover Shoe Farms in 1968, of post-natal complications, a few days after delivering a filly by Star's Pride. The foal was a full sister to Armbro Flight. Named Armbro Lark, she died in December of the same year. Helicopter is buried at the Armstrong Bros., farm in Brampton, Ontario.