Silent Majority

Standardbred
Hall of Fame Inductee, 1976

Silent MajorityThe Silent Majority story began in 1970 Tattersalls Sales in Lexington, Ky., when Roger White, a popular and accomplished trainer-driver, phoned Irving Liverman of Montreal with the news that he had “found an underdog” in the sale and was looking for a partner. Liverman agreed and White purchased the “plain looking” colt for $9,500 to trigger one of the great sagas of Canadian harness racing history.

For starters White was killed in a plane crash the following year and failed to stake the youngster to the major American classics. Before the crash, White suspected that he had made a mistake in taking a partner in the winter of 1971 when the son of Henry T. Adios started doing everything like a good horse, moving far ahead of the Montreal-trained freshman class. White had steered him to victory in a “baby race” at Blue Bonnets to launch his career before he won three legs and a final of a series for freshman pacers. He followed up with wins in the Canadian Juvenile Circuit stakes at Richelieu, Greenwood and Connaught Park. This was enough to cause the owners to wonder how he might compare with the best 2-year-olds. The Roosevelt Futurity was one of the rare events that allowed supplemental entries so White and Liverman anted the $7,500 fee to make him eligible.

Then, tragedy struck with the plane crash in Pennsylvania while White was enroute to Liberty Bell for a yearling sale. White left his wife Aline and three young daughters. All but two of the 42 horses White had in training were moved to other stables. Aline kept Silent Majority and a mare her husband co-owned with Liverman. Silent Majority now became a bread-winner for a widow with three young children. White’s assistant, Guy Contant, and Lucien Fontaine stepped in to train Silent Majority for the Roosevelt Futurity. Silent Majority finished fourth. The winner was another precocious Canadian-owned colt, Strike Out. He was to become Silent Majority’s nemesis. They then met in the Canadian Juvenile Circuit final at Blue Bonnets. After an early duel, Strike Out faded as Silent Majority recorded his fastest win at two, 2:00.2f. He won 17 of 21 starts in his initial campaign.

Silent Majority was then placed with Stanley Dancer, one of the all-time great trainer-drivers. He won 19 of 26 starts in his sophomore season. With Dancer and then Billy Haughton directing his campaign, Silent Majority won the Messenger, Shapiro, Battle of Brandywine, American-National, Romeo Hanover, Commodore, Saratoga Anniversay, Best of All, Little Brown Jug Trial, Connaught Cup, Thomas W. Murphy Memorial, Salem Championship and, fittingly, the Roger White Memorial at Hippodrome de Quebec. In six races Silent Majority held a 3-to-2 edge over Strike Out. In their other meeting, Silent Majority finished third while Strike Out was fourth. Debates raged over who was the best 3-year-old pacer. Strike Out was voted the best in the USTA poll while Silent Majority was acclaimed as Horse of the Year in the Canada.

A small bone fracture prompted his retirement in 1973. He headed to stud in Kentucky with a 1:56.3 record. His most notable offspring was Abercrombie, the 1978 Horse of the Year in North America and leading money-winning sire in 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1996. Abercrombie also became a sire of sires with his 1992 “Horse of the Year” Artsplace, the leading money-winning sire for 1997 and 1998.