Hall of Fame Inductee, 2000
Legend – Standardbred


Foaled in 1885, Alvin was bred by William McClelland of St. Thomas, Ontario, and owned by Alvin Merrill, Tillsonburg, Ontario, until exported in 1895 to Russia. Alvin first raced as a four year old, trotting to a record of 2:26 1/4 at Barrie, Ontario. At five, he was taken to the United States where, over the next four years, he was campaigned on the Grand Circuit against the best trotters of the day. In 1891, he beat the highly rated Rosalind Wilkes and Homestake in the Cleveland, Ohio, Grand Circuit Free-For-All. In 1892, the first year of the “bicycle sulky,” Alvin won the Washington Park, Chicago, Free-For-All in a six-heat race. Also that season, he won a $10,000 “stallion race” at Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Grand Circuit Free-For-All at Cleveland. Alvin took his lifetime record of 2:11 in 1893 at Buffalo, New York, becoming the fastest ever Canadian-bred trotter. He also raced in three heats of the Worlds Fair Free-For-All in Chicago, a $15,000 event that took nine heats over three days to complete. In 1895, Alvin was sold to Count Vorontsoff-Dashkoff, then Russia’s leading breeder of trotters. As a sire crossed on Orloff mares, Alvin “was a great success, siring winners with uniformity” and was the leading sire of trotters for two years. An American, Sam Caton, who had general charge of Count Vorontsoff-Dashkoff’s trotting interests, reported that Alvin died in 1927 at the incredible age of 42.