HARNESS RACING—Closing fast in the stretch, MARCO HANOVER ($23.60) won the $50,000 American Trotting Classic at Hollywood and equaled the world record for 1? miles with a 2:14[3/5] clocking. The field was so tightly bunched at the finish that Elma, in fifth place, was only three noses and a head behind the winner.
Unbeaten BRET HANOVER was named Harness Horse of 1964. The 2-year-old pacer, a son of Adios, cost Owner Richard Downing $50,000 as a yearling, but the colt has now won 24 straight races and $173,298 for the Ohio coal man.
Bob Farrington, a bricklayer 10 years ago, became the first American to drive 300 winners in one season. His philosophy: "I'm good to a horse that's good to me, but he's only good to me if he makes money for me."
HOCKEY—After losing two in a row, league-leading DETROIT beat Boston 3-1 ( Roger Crozier had 32 saves) and then scrambled to a 3-3 tie with New York. TORONTO climbed into second place, a point out of the lead, by defeating the Canadiens 3-1, the Black Hawks 1-0 ( Terry Sawchuk's 97th shutout of his 15-year career) and the Bruins 3-1. MONTREAL lost both its games and fell into a tie for third with CHICAGO, which won two out of three. NEW YORK slipped to fifth, only a point behind, despite a win and a tie, while hapless BOSTON was loudly booed at home after dropping two games.
HORSE RACING—Seven-year-old KELSO won only three stakes in 1964 (the Aqueduct, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Laurel International) but they were enough to earn him Horse of the Year honors for an unprecedented fifth time. NORTHERN DANCER was named 3-year-old champion, and two of Bold Ruler's offspring—BOLD LAD and QUEEN EMPRESS—took the 2-year-old titles.
A few cold horseplayers felt better when THIRD MARTINI ($15.90) downed Smart by a neck in the $55,900 Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct. About the same time LEMON TWIST beat Copy Chief by 1� lengths in the $27,450 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.
HORSE SHOW—The UNITED STATES team won its sixth championship in seven years at Toronto's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The Americans dominated the international classes, winning seven of 10 events.
MOTOR SPORTS—In the 200-mile Bobby Ball Memorial in Phoenix, LLOYD RUBY of Wichita Falls, Tex. roared past the checkered flag at 107 mph to defeat Rodger Ward by one lap. The race would have been even closer had Ward not been penalized a lap for passing the pace car while the caution light was on.
POCKET BILLIARDS—The hustlers drifted through Johnston City, Ill. (pop. 3,891) and picked up 20 grand at the local pool hall in the World's All-Around championships. ED TAYLOR, a big-nosed bachelor known as the Knoxville Bear, won the title and $2,800.
TRACK & FIELD—PETER SNELL took 3/10 of a second off his world mile record with a 3:54.1 clocking in Auckland (page 28).