helen r. buck
Helen Rouss Buck and her husband, Leonard J. Buck, developed Allwood Stable of Far Hills, New Jersey and Thomasville, Georgia and Allwood Farm of Hanover, Pennsylvania. Great pacers and trotters owned by the Bucks included The Intruder T1:59.1, winner of the 1956 Hambletonian Stake; Kimberly Kid 1:59, winner of the 1953 Kentucky Futurity; Capetown p,1:58; 1975 Horse of the Year Savoir 3,1:58.1 and Overtrick, who turned in fifteen two-minute miles, the fastest of which was a 1:57.1h world record performance while winning the 1963 Little Brown Jug.
Thomas W. Murphy was an advisor to the Bucks when they first became involved in the sport. Immortals Tom Berry, John Chapman, and Ned Bower, Hall of Famers John Patterson and Del Insko, as well as Jimmy Arthur, trained the Bucks' racehorses. In an article in Hoof Beats magazine, Mrs. Buck "... excelled as a breeder of top quality stock ..." In 1955 she purchased a small yearling filly, overbidding at a price of $6,500. Although too tiny to become a superior racehorse, Overbid, as Mrs. Buck (who was also an avid bridge player) so aptly named her, produced two champions, Overtrick and Overcall. Little Brown Jug winner Overtrick had earnings of over $400,000. He was syndicated for $500,000 at the close of the 1964 season and retired to Lana Lobell Farms at Hanover, Pennsylvania. The 1969 undefeated Pacer of the Year Overcall p,6,1:57.1f had lifetime earnings totalling more than $785,000. He was retired to stud at Blue Chip Farms, Wallkill, New York.
Immortal Leonard Buck, a founder and trustee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, was known to say that all the good horses belonged to his publicity-shy wife and all the bad ones to him. Mrs. Buck had similar good fortune as a dog breeder, winning blue ribbons at Madison Square Garden in the late 1930s with a cocker spaniel named Found. She was a lover of fine cigars and was even known to smoke a pipe. Helen R. Buck died in October, 1997 at the venerable age of 97.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 2001 Souvenir Journal