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Lofty Bruce, 85, dies
Wednesday, May 03, 2017 - from

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Lexington, KY --- Horseman Wallace "Lofty" Bruce, 85, who raced horses in the Breeders Crown and other top events while based at the Meadowlands, died May 2, 2017, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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Wallace "Lofty" Bruce died May 2, 2017.

A native of Truro, Nova Scotia, Mr. Bruce became exposed to harness racing at age 10 through fellow Maritimer Joe O'Brien. But first Mr. Bruce pursued a career in ice hockey, playing in the Quebec Junior League and the Eastern Hockey League. He suffered a neck fracture at age 19 and that ended his hockey career. He went to work with horses and moved to the United States to join the O'Brien Stable. He later worked for Stanley Dancer when Dancer's stable included the great Su Mac Lad.

Among Mr. Bruce's top horses were Robust Hanover, winner of the 1985 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt Pace and a runner-up in the Crown at age three. Robust Hanover also won the 1986 Pilgrim Pace, the Oliver Wendell Holmes and a Meadowlands Pace elimination.

Mr. Bruce also trained and shared ownership of the free-for-all pacer Beatcha, winner of two legs of the 1982 World Cup.

"He was probably the best I ever trained, setting a world record for pacers at 1-1/2 miles," said Mr. Bruce.

Other notables trained by Mr. Bruce include the free-for-all pacers Albus, Silver Dollar, Hothead, Save Fuel and Ideal Tanner, who upset Cam Fella in a leg of the 1983 Graduate Series at Brandywine Raceway.

Hall of Fame driver Bill O'Donnell, who drove horses for Mr. Bruce, posted on Facebook, "He operated one of the best stables at the Meadowlands for a lot of years."

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