The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is saddened to learn of the passing of 2002 Standardbred inductee Staying Together.
Since his retirement in 1995 following a four year race career, the pacer affectionately known as “Stanley” was a resident of the Kentucky Horse Park, where he was a favorite of visitors, many of who would bring him peppermints, his favorite treat. A release from the Horse Park acknowledging the great horse’s passing states in part, “At the age of 30, the gelding was euthanized due to infirmities of old age. Like the other great Hall of Champions horses that died in retirement at the park, Staying Together was buried in the Memorial Walk of Champions near Standardbreds Cam Fella and Rambling Willie.”
Racing stats of 46 wins in 95 starts and winnings of $1,692,832 earned the Canadian owned pacer 1993 Horse of the Year honours in both Canada and the United States and was subsequently inducted to the US Harness Racing Hall of Fame as well as the CHRHF. Bred by Kentuckiana Farms of Lexington, the son of Panorama was sold for $19,000 as a yearling to Robert Hamather of Hensall, ON. Bob Anderson handled Staying Together’s early development as a 2-year-old before Hamather turned him over to trainer Jack Parsons. Under the care of Parsons he ended up winning 18 races as a 3-year-old, including the Mohawk Gold Cup and five races under 1:55. Parsons turned him over to trainer Bob McIntosh during his signature 4-year-old season, one in which he won 21 times in 26 starts. He established the world race record of 1:48.2 winning an elimination of the Driscoll Pacing Series and came back the next week to win the final in 1:49.2. A 1:52.4 win in a Graduate Series leg at Freehold was a world record for pacing geldings on a half-mile track. He won the U.S. Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands in 1:49.1. Other victories included the Breeders Crown, Canadian Pacing Derby, Stewart Fraser Memorial, American-National Maturity, Graduate Series final, U.S. Pacing Championship and the Des Smith Memorial. At Greenwood, he equaled the world record, 1:50.4, for a mile on a five-eighths mile track.
Staying Together won three races faster than 1:50, more than any other horse in history at that time and 19 faster than 1:55. His 1994 campaign included six wins, the fastest in 1:50.4, and a second American- National Maturity as well as the Frank Ryan Memorial. During his career Staying Together barnstormed across North America, from Northlands Park in Edmonton to Hippodrome de Montreal, and throughout the United States, gaining necessary qualifications as a future ambassador.
Bill O’Donnell, Staying Together’s driver for many of his races remembers him as “a champion on the racetrack who gave his all in every race. The race I remember most was when he won on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands coming from far back in the last quarter to defeat the best pacers in North America. He was loved by everyone that his existence touched. RIP Stanley.”