Lloyd Arnold, a prominent horse and racetrack owner who lived in Dover, Del. from
the late 1990s and early 2000s, passed away at age 82 on Jan. 8, 2012.
Arnold’s finest horse during his Delaware days was the outstanding female pacer
Sanabelle Island. He raced a number of winning horses while in the First State’
In the fall of 1983, at the Tattersalls Yearling Sale in Lexington, Ky., Arnold bought
the filly Laugh A Day for a bid of $625,000.(That's more than $1.4 million in today's
dollars.) It broke through the ceiling on Standardbred yearling prices. The highest
previous price had been $425,000 and no pacing filly had brought more than
Unfortuately for Arnold, Laugh A Day and she didn't live up to her pedigree, or price
as she earned just $38,555 and after breeding her she never produced a top horse.
A native of Douds, Iowa, a farm community with a population of 400, Arnold helped
his father farm and trained an occasional harness horse. Arnold got into trading
commodities and was quite successful.
Arnold came to prominence in harness racing in the 1960s owning a large group
of race horses in Chicago under the nom-de-course of Arnold Cattle Co.
Among his best horses at that time was pacer Dancing David, a foal of 1960 that
earned $218,730 racing for modest purses.
Arnold served as president of the Illinois Harness Horsemens Assn. in the early
1970s and was named "Man of the Year by Harness Horsemens International
Arnold set his sights on harness racing’s Grand Circuit in 1973 and dispersed his
raceway stock, sending 149 to auction after 40-50 horses had been claimed.
In 1974, Arnold paid $72,000, then a remarkably high price, for the pacing colt
Warm Breeze at the Tattersalls sale. The colt didn't race at age two being thought
to be a ‘wobbler,’ but he went on to compete against the best at three taking a
1:54.4 record. The following year Warm Breeze won in 1:53.1 at the California
State Fair track in Sacramento. At the time it was the fastest race mile in harness
Warm Breeze later was a stallion breeding at famed Hanover Shoe Farms.
Arnold had a private stable in the 1970s, In addition to Warm Breeze, the stable also
raced Tender Loving Care. Her 1979 mark of 1:52.4 made her the fastest female
in harness racing.
In 1977, Arnold paid $175,000 for the filly Raindrops, then the highest priced pacing
filly in history. She earned only $1,000.
While underwriting a large racing operation, Arnold also owned vast farmland
acreage in the Midwest where he made money buying and selling cattle, hogs,
grains, and farmland.
Arnold was deeply involved in California racing, too, operating the harness
meets, Golden Bear Raceway in Sacramento, Golden Gate Fields in San
Francisco, and later at Los Alamitos in the 1980s and in the 1990s.
When the state of Delaware began to enjoy slots-enriched purses at its tracks,
Arnold relocated to the First State and enjoyed watching his horses race at
Dover Downs. His best horse was the millionaire mare Sanabelle Island, a
winner of 57 races and more than $1.6 million while racing for the Warringtons,
trainer Dan and driver Steve Warrington.
Lloyd Arnold never lost his love of a good horse. He bought a number of fast
racehorses while living in Delaware. Among them was Bagel Beach Boy for
$300,000 at Harrisburg. A few week’s later he won the Matron at Dover Downs.
Arnold later bought Chevie Duramax, who at two set the world record for a two-
year-old gelding on a mile and half-mile track. He recently owned the fast pacer
Quik Pulse Mindale, who now stands as a stallion in Pennsylvania.
Arnold struggled against cancer in recent years, but still managed to enjoy life.
One of his favorite trips was to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Until his death, Arnold remained an avid and active participant in harness racing.
Funeral arrangements for Lloyd Arnold have not been finalized.