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Veteran horseman Doug Hamilton dies at 71

October 17, 2018

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Veteran horseman Doug Hamilton, 71, died of a heart attack early Wednesday morning, Oct. 17.
A native of Port Elgin, Ont., Mr. Hamilton followed his grandfather, Lambert, and father, Irwin, onto the harness racing county fair circuit. At age 17 he moved to Windsor, Ont., to race at Windsor Raceway. After working for Gerry Bookmyer and Ron Feagan, he went on his own. He spent time competing at Northfield Park but eventually migrated to Chicago, where he made his mark at made his mark at Sportsman's Park, Maywood Park, Hawthorne Race Course and Balmoral Park.
Mr. Hamilton captured both the driver and trainer titles at the 1987 and 1988 spring meets at Balmoral Park. Also, for four straight years in the 1980s he captured the training title at Sportsman's Park. Among the top performers he trained were Ironstone Al, Great Expectation, Osborne's First, Baron Lancer, Sand Sailor, Incredible Bret, Prize Penny, Wendy Skipper and Osborne's Lady. In 1986 he drove Nite Strike to a world record of 1:56.2 for older pacing mares on a half-mile track.
In 2017, Mr. Hamilton trained Itsgoodtobequeen, who won divisions of the Simpson and Pennsylvania Stallion Series, and also started in the Kentucky Filly Futurity.
Mr. Hamilton drove 3,675 winners during his career, with more than $20 million in purse winnings. He was a member of the Illinois Harness Horses Association and Harness Horseman's Hall of Fame in Illinois and Ohio.
He is survived by his son, Mike Hamilton; his life partner, Valorie Sutton; two brothers, Peter Hamilton and Alvin (Sue) Hamilton; two sisters, Sherry Tuohy and Peggy (Bill) Black; and two step-children, Sandra and Mike Brown and Steven and Shelly Cromwell Jr. Also surviving are five grandchildren; Emily Hamilton, Casey Jo Cromwell, Devlon Sutton, Samantha Brown, and Jake Brown, and two great grandchildren; Kyler Sutton and Cody Brown. He is preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, Oct. 21, from 4-7 p.m. at Cotter Funeral Home, 224 E. Washington St. in Momence, Ill.
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