on the road again
On The Road Again was one of the sport’s all-time great pacers, winning 44 of his 61 starts and earning $2,819,102. He retired as the second leading money-winning pacer of all time. In 1985 he became one of the first two Standardbreds in history (along with fellow pacer Nihilator) to record back-to-back million dollar seasons.
Son of Happy Motoring out of the Bye Bye Byrd mare Bye Bye Mollie, 1981 foal On The Road Again was bred by Anna and Sam Schulsinger of Brooklyn, New York. He was purchased for $10,000 as a yearling at the 1982 Garden State Mixed Sale in East Rutherford, New Jersey by Calgary, Alberta auto dealer Gordon Rumpel and his wife Illa. The colt was then turned over to Harry Poulton, a 25-year-old trainer from Prince Edward Island. Another Canadian, Hall of Famer William “Buddy” Gilmour, would eventually become his exclusive driver.
As a two-year-old, On The Road Again won four of five starts for driver Fred Gillis including the Calgary Pacing Series. Early in his three-year-old campaign he was driven by Fred Gillis with Buddy Gilmour later taking over for most of his 18 victories in 26 races that year. His wins included the Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, Confederation Cup and Shelley Goudreau Memorial Final. On The Road Again set a single season money-winning record of $1,751,695 for Standardbreds and was voted 1984 Pacer of the Year.
At four, On The Road Again was just as dominant, winning 22 of 30 starts. He earned over $1 million for the second consecutive year and equaled the world race record of 1:51.4 for his age. He was voted Aged Pacer of the Year in 1985.
On The Road Again was retired to stud at Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, New York after his four-year-old campaign. He excelled as a stallion, having sired the winners of over $70 million, including 4 in 1:50, 228 in 1:55, and 657 in 2:00. He has a $1 million winner, 19 $500,000 winners, and 204 winners of $100,000. His top performers include world champion mare and Breeders Crown winner Delinquent Account p,1:51.4 ($1,038,997), Ash Blue Chip p,5,1:49.4 ($318,822), Catch A Flight p,4,1:49.4 ($501,785), and Jugette winner Sara Loren Rd p,5,1:53.4f ($963,768). To date, he has sired the dams of over 270 1:55 performers and over 175 $100,000 winners, including the millionaires Four Starzzz Shark p,6,1:47.4 ($2,537,267), Artiscape p,3,1:49.3z ($1,469,461), Special Report p,5,1:48.4 ($1,462,444) and Rainbow Blue p,3,1:49.2s ($1,428,934).
On The Road Again was inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame in 2001. He was euthanized on December 19, 2006 at Blue Chip Farms after suffering a severe bout of colic. He was 25.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's "The 2006-2009 Immortals" (2011)