Symbol Allen

Hall of Fame Inductee, 2000

Legend – Standardbred


One of Standardbred racing’s world records that is most likely to survive infinitely was established by the pacing gelding Symbol Allen. Racing for most of his career in the ownership of W.L. Ireland of Smith Falls, Ontario, Symbol Allen amassed 241 career wins over 15 seasons from 1944 to his retirement age at age 17 in 1958. Pacer Just Gary is credited with the second highest number, 178. Symbol Allen, an American-bred, started his racing career in New Jersey in 1944. After winning five races over three years at U.S. tracks, he started the 1947 season in the ownership of Carl Wells of Aultsville, Ontario and Colborne Hess of Morrisburg, Ontario, and made his Canadian debut at Maxville, Ontario. Symbol Allen’s first win on Canadian soil was July 1st at South Mountain, Ontario. During the balance of his career, Symbol Allen was campaigned at tracks in eastern Ontario, western Quebec and northern New York State. Records of the United States Trotting Association credit Symbol Allen with 44 wins in 1947, the most that year by any trotter or pacer in North America. Ottawa Valley folklore has it that when Symbol Allen was purchased at auction in the U.S. he came with a bullet imbedded in a hind quarter, the result of an errant shot fired during a brotherly dispute between two reported gangsters who owned him at the time. The brothers, believed to be bootleggers, got into a row in the stable area and one pulled a gun and fired at his brother, but missed him. The story goes that the bullet hit Symbol Allen and remained there until Ireland had a veterinarian remove it. Symbol Allen was driven in most of his Canadian races by noted horsemen John Zeron, William King or Bernard Grant.