The native of Fairbury, Nebraska started his career in racing as a jockey and rode the winner of the first race ever run at Suffolk Downs on July 10, 1935. After his riding career, Hanford turned his attention to training. His training career was briefly interrupted by World War II, as Hanford served five years in the Army Remount Corps. But he was best known for conditioning Bohemia Stable’s Kelso. Hanford guided Kelso to 38 of his 39 victories and all 31 of his stakes wins, including five consecutive renewals of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. In 1966, Kelso retired as racing’s all-time leading money earner with a bankroll of $1,977,896.
Hanford was inducted into the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame in 1968; the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in 1999; the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2006; and the Delaware Park Wall of Fame in 2009.
Funeral arrangements are pending.