Fairgrounds Track Dedicated in Honor of ‘Doc’ McClain

Members of John “Doc” McClain family stand underneath the announce booth at the Fairgrounds after the new all-weather track was officially named in his honor.
Horses get ready to race as the pace car starts to pull away the starting gate during the state finals held at the Clinton County Fairgrounds Saturday. Photo courtesy of Skip Davis.

The Indiana Standardbred Association for harness racing held its state finals Saturday for 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers at the Clinton County Fairgrounds.

Before the event, there was a special ceremony held to dedicate the new all-weather track in honor of a long-time harness man here in Clinton County John “Doc” McClain.

“He had Hot Dog Farms and raced for years and years and years,” said Clinton County Fair Council Board Member Nancy Elsea. “Doc was very community minded. He graduated from Kirklin but he was a Frankfort Hot Dog fan because he called his farms Hot Dog Farms. He raised harness horses, raced harness horses and trained them.”

In addition, McClain was a 30-year member of the Fair Board. He attended Dartmouth, Tufts and Butler Universities before graduating from Purdue University’s School of Agriculture in 1949 with a bachelor of arts degree. He earned a doctorate degree from Ohio State University Veterinary School in 1953 and returned to Clinton County to begin his veterinary practice.

He served in the U.S. Navy in the Philippines during World War II. He passed away December 2, 2003, at the age of 80.