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Billy Haughton

Billy Haughton, or William R. Haughton (November 23, 1923 – July 15, 1986) was an American harness driver and trainer, and one of the most-winning drivers ever. He was one of only three drivers to win the Hambletonian four times, the only one to win the Little Brown Jug five times, and the only one to win the Messenger Stakes seven times. With a career record of 4,910 wins and c. $40 in earnings, he was first in annual winnings twelve times – 1952-59, 1963, 1965, 1967 and 1968 – and in heats won from 1953-58.

Born in Gloversville, NY, Haughton came from a farming background where he competed in fairground races before coming into harness driving. In the early 1960s he started developing a stable of his own. His best horses were Rum Customer that won the pacing Triple Crown in 1968, and Green Speed that was named harness horse of the year in 1977. With his Meadow Paige, Haughton paced a world record 1:55.2 minute mile in a time trail at Lexington in 1967. He died in Valhalla, New York from head injuries sustained at Yonkers Raceway.

Haughton’s oldest son, Peter, who was also a driver, died in a car crash in 1980.


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