Inductees Lorance, who farms near Laura in Peoria County, where he also has his Riverview Stables, began a new career almost 20 years ago when he plunked down a few thousand dollars to purchase a two-year-old pacer, Miss Elktide, from a Decatur owner.
Miss Elktide had a history of breaking stride in a race, but Lorance, climbing in a sulky for the first time at age 55, cured this problem, and as a three-year-old drove Miss Elktide to earnings of $126,000.
And there have been many other outstanding standardbreds developed and raced by Lorance and his family.
Never Still, a trotter, went 1:59.4 and earned $248,000. The trotter Never Dance was a bit faster at 1:58.2 and brought home $78,000. Jane Dancer, a pacer with 1:56.3 speed, won $177,807 and Elktide, a 2:01 trotter who won 19 out of 22 starts as a two-year-old, earned $126,000.
Over the years Claude's horses set eight world records, beginning with one for Miss Elktide who won 21 out of 23 races, along with a flock of other marks. Never Still, for instance, broke eight track records in 10 starts as a three-year-old.
Claude, now 75, doesn't drive anymore but he and his family are still as active as ever in the sport. He has seven horses at Sportsman's Park in Chicago right now, and he may have another big one on the way.
During a long driving career, Lorance posted 196 wins in 1,078 starts with 144 second place finishes and 118 thirds. He had earned $639,023 in total purses.
Lorance, who farms near Laura in Peoria County, where he also has his Riverview Stables, began a new career almost 20 years ago when he plunked down a few thousand dollars to purchase a two-year-old pacer, Miss Elktide, from a Decatur owner.
Long-time former Peoria Heights mayor Ray PicI, who has devoted thousands of hours to the local sports scene, is the winner of the Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award for 1998.