Hall of Famer Jim Doherty dies at 74
March 14, 2015
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It is with great sadness that the family of Jim Doherty announced his peaceful passing at the Villa Marie Claire Hospice on Saturday, March 14, at the age of 74. Arrangements are under the care of Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, Clifton, N. J.
Mr. Doherty, from Canada, got his start in the sport by helping his father in New Brunswick. He came to New England in the mid-1960s and soon established himself as a top driver in that area, battling Ted Wing for regional driving supremacy throughout the first half of the 1970s.
When the Meadowlands opened in 1976, Mr. Doherty decided to give the mile oval a try. He was one of the top drivers there for many years, with more than 1,600 wins and $20 million in earnings in his Meadowlands career.
During the 1980s, Mr. Doherty enjoyed a lot of success with the pacing mare Green With Envy. He guided her to back-to-back Older Pacing Mare of the Year honors in 1984 and 1985.
Mr. Doherty returned to the limelight thanks to a trio of outstanding trotters in No Nonsense Woman, Starchip Entrprise and Fool's Goal. As a freshman in 1996, the Sierra Kosmos distaffer No Nonsense Woman had seven wins in 11 starts, with earnings of $288,573. Her biggest victory came when Mr. Doherty steered her to a wire-to-wire triumph in the $302,900 Goldsmith Maid final. During the 1997 campaign, No Nonsense Woman emerged as the best horse in her class. She had 14 wins and three seconds in 17 trips to the post, with earnings of $838,563. She captured the $438,750 Breeders Crown Final, the $320,000 Delvin Miller Memorial final, the $134,762 Matron, the $130,000 World Filly Trotting Derby, and the $100,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final. It came as no surprise that No Nonsense Woman was a near unanimous selection in the Dan Patch Awards balloting as the top sophomore trotting filly in the sport.
In 1998 Mr. Doherty sent out the freshman trotting colt Starchip Entrprise. The bay son of Pine Chip was in the money in eight of his 12 season's starts, with four wins and earnings of $374,684. His biggest victory came in the $343,400 Valley Victory final. He also overcame post nine to finish second in the $458,000 Peter Haughton Memorial final, a neck back of Enjoy Lavec. With expectations high for his sophomore campaign, Starchip Entrprise got off to a good start when he captured the $480,800 Canadian Trotting Classic final in a lifetime-best 1:54. Unfortunately, it was the lone highlight of a 1999 season that would be curtailed in August when Starchip Entrprise broke a coffin bone while racing in a Townsend Ackerman division at the Meadowlands. That injury forced him to prematurely end his racing career.
Another top trotter in the Doherty Stable was the gelding Fool's Goal. He enjoyed a terrific season in 2001 at the age of six. He banked $434,300 on the strength of four wins in 18 season's starts. He was at his best in the $500,000 Nat Ray final at the Meadowlands, defeating Dr. Ronerail in a time of 1:53. Fool's Goal also won the $243,000 Titan Cup final that year.
During his 7-year-old season in 2002, he broke the bank with earnings of $1,277,640, thanks to seven wins, three seconds, and one third in 15 starts. Fool's Goal was in fine form in the $1 million Breeders Crown final, defeating Plesac in a time of 1:51.3, equaling his lifetime mark which was set a month earlier in the $225,000 Titan Cup final. Other big victories in 2002 came in the $536,130 Maple Leaf Trot final and the $200,000 Cutler Memorial final. At season's end, Fool's Goal earned a Dan Patch Award as the top older trotting male in the sport and led to Mr. Doherty receiving the Glen Garnsey Memorial Trainer of the Year award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
Still going strong in 2003 as an 8 year old, Fool's Goal finished in the money nine times in 11 trips behind the gate, banking $639,363. He was at his best in the $800,000 Breeders Crown Final, defeating Victory Sam in a time of 1:52.4. He finished with 35 lifetime wins and earnings of $3,057,070.
In the summer of 2003, Mr. Doherty was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, N. Y.
Complete arrangements will be posted when available. (USTA)