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Hall of Famer Dennis dies

February 22, 2004

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Jim Dennis, elected into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2001, died Sunday morning, Feb. 22, at his home in Solana Beach, Calif. He was 79.

A native of Idaho, Mr. Dennis trained and drove several stars over his career, but his best-known feat was directing Adios Vic to an upset victory over Bret Hanover in the 1965 Review Futurity at Springfield, Ill., snapping that one's 35-race win streak. Later that year Adios Vic and Dennis upset Cardigan Bay and Meadow Skipper at Hollywood Park.

Mr. Dennis also trained Sir Dalrae p, 1:56f ($678,314), the 1973 Horse of the Year he owned, as well as Mr. Dalrae p, 1:52.2 ($1,150,807), the 1984 Pacing Horse of the Year. He was also training Savoir when he became the first U.S.-owned horse to pass the $1 million mark in career earnings.

Mr. Dennis retired from racing in 1992 with 2,677 career driving wins and nearly $13 million in purse earnings.

"Jim Dennis is the epitome of class," said current U.S. Trotting Association president Phil Langley in introducing Dennis at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Goshen, N.Y., in 2002. "With Jim Dennis, the fans always knew they were getting the best."
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