August102014
Juvenile gelding Demobilize overtakes future champion sprinter Intentionally in the final yards of the 1958 World’s Playground at Atlantic City 
The one-two finishers were both sons of Brookfield Farm’s multiple stakes winning stallion Intent. Demobilize was a modest winner as an older horse, while Intentionally became known as the “Black Bullet” for his sprinting speed, which saw him equaling the world record time for a mile at Washington Park in 1959

Juvenile gelding Demobilize overtakes future champion sprinter Intentionally in the final yards of the 1958 World’s Playground at Atlantic City 

The one-two finishers were both sons of Brookfield Farm’s multiple stakes winning stallion Intent. Demobilize was a modest winner as an older horse, while Intentionally became known as the “Black Bullet” for his sprinting speed, which saw him equaling the world record time for a mile at Washington Park in 1959

2PM
Count Fleet - 1943 Belmont Stakes
"His tout ensemble is racy, striking and indicative of both speed and staying power. In action he is equally striking. He runs with a high head, his stride is slashing, he rises off the ground in his air-flight, has strong finishing capacity and goes at his work with utmost resolution." - John Hervey

Count Fleet - 1943 Belmont Stakes

"His tout ensemble is racy, striking and indicative of both speed and staying power. In action he is equally striking. He runs with a high head, his stride is slashing, he rises off the ground in his air-flight, has strong finishing capacity and goes at his work with utmost resolution." - John Hervey

1PM

Anonymous said: Why do fillies carry less weight in the triple crown?

Fillies and mares receive a weight break in any race where they face males. This is known as a “weight allowance”, and it is usually a five-pound break, in the case of equal ages

Additionally, any three-year-old racing older horses will also receive a weight break, male or female. For example, Rachel Alexandra carried five pounds less than the boys in the Preakness, but received an eight-pound break in the Woodward because she was racing older males

It’s not still done today, but back in the 19th century, geldings also received a weight break when racing colts, usually around three pounds. Vagrant, winner of the 1876 Derby, carried 97 pounds to the colt’s 100 (the other gelding in the field, Parole, also carried 97, as did the two fillies, Lizzie Stone and Marie Michon). It continued through Old Rosebud’s win in 1914, when he and runner-up Hodge (both geldings) carried 114 pounds to the colt’s 117. In 1915, Regret carried 112 pounds, the geldings Sharpshooter and Goldcrest Boy carried 114, and the colts had 117. The first Derby-winning gelding to carry full weight was Paul Jones in 1920, when the entire field had 126 pounds, save for the filly Cleopatra (121)

August82014
Coaltown, dapples and all, at age 4 in 1949
The 1949 season was Coaltown’s best. He was named Champion Handicap horse and Turf and Sport Digest awarded him the Horse of the Year title (although his rival Capot had been chosen Horse of the Year by the Daily Racing Form). In all, he set or equaled six speed records, including setting a world record for a mile in winning the Whirlaway Stakes at Washington Park in 1:34 flat.

Coaltown, dapples and all, at age 4 in 1949

The 1949 season was Coaltown’s best. He was named Champion Handicap horse and Turf and Sport Digest awarded him the Horse of the Year title (although his rival Capot had been chosen Horse of the Year by the Daily Racing Form). In all, he set or equaled six speed records, including setting a world record for a mile in winning the Whirlaway Stakes at Washington Park in 1:34 flat.

8PM

Anonymous said: Did Kincsem even exist? There is no record of her race times and that 54-0 record seems like such an outlier as to be statistically impossible.

Of course Kincsem existed…like, do people actually think she’s made up? Really? 

There’s no record of her race times because, and this is important, she raced in the 1870’s. They didn’t exactly have stopwatches back then. There’s not much info floating around because she raced mostly in her native Hungary, and most of the original documents regarding her have just never been translated into English. 

What is certain, though, is that this “lanky, pot-bellied, and sway-backed” mare did indeed win all 54 of her career races. There is ample documentation of that, because while she was racing, she was a bona fide celebrity all over Europe. When she made her only excursion to England, for the 1878 Goodwood Cup, the media covered every detail of her arrival, appearance, eating habits, anything they could find to print about her. She was incredibly popular, and her deeds were told and re-told by hundreds of thousands of adoring fans. 

54 races may seem like a lot, but note that at least six (and maybe more) were walkovers, because her reputation frightened away any competition. She won 10 races as a juvenile, 17 at three, 15 at four, and 12 at five. She won three consecutive runnings of the Hungarian Autumn Oaks and three runnings of the Grosser Preis von Baden (a race still run today). She was, simply put, just that damn good.

And when she was retired, it made national news:

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When she died, all of Hungary officially went into mourning for three days, with flags at half-mast and newspaper articles bordered in black. They named parks, hotels, a horse track, even a golf resort after her. They built her a statue in Budapest, The bloodlines of her five foals carried across the world, she has descendants in nearly every racing country. 

And, of course, if Kincsem never existed, then who the hell does this skeleton belong to? It’s on display in the Hungarian Agricultural Museum:

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So, in summary: Yes, Kinscem was a very real, extremely kick-ass racemare 

5PM
“There’s only two types of horses: Those that have something wrong with them, and those fixin’ to have something wrong with them.” Hall of Fame trainer Ben Jones
3PM

Greatest Filly in American Racing History? That debate has been going on for a loooooong time

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"Than Imp, no greater mare ever was sadded on this continent…Imp is the queen of the equine queens - a perfect racing machine; one of the best thoroughbreds ever has been the good fortune of American Turfmen to look upon. She is something more than the best mare in training. She has earned a higher honor - that of being the best thoroughbred, horse or mare, now racing in America.”  
- New York Press, 1899

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"Of trainers who spent more than a half-century racing or racing against good fillies, James Rowe Sr, John W Rogers, R Wyndham Walden, Green B Morris, A Jack Joyner, Tom Healy, and Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons each declared Miss Woodford the best filly of them all.”   
- Kent Hollingsworth, The Great Ones (1970)

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"Miss Woodford was a sturdy mare of the masculine type, but Firenze, in my opinion, was a greater performer. Firenze could run all day.”
- Jockey Jimmy McLaughlin, who rode both of the great mares

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"The performance was so brilliant that it caused her to be proclaimed the greatest racer of her sex that had ever graced the American Turf, for it came as a climax after a wondrous previous career."   
- John Hervey, on Beldame's 1905 Suburban Handicap

August72014
Undefeated 19th century Standardbred totting mare Nancy Hanks 
Dat rump…dem legs…damn gurl 

Undefeated 19th century Standardbred totting mare Nancy Hanks 

Dat rump…dem legs…damn gurl 

August62014
Hey folks! Meet the original Afleet Alexandra!
Daughter of Northern Afleet, out of Just Call Me Angel. Won the 2008 New York Oaks and was placed in several stakes races at Finger Lakes

Hey folks! Meet the original Afleet Alexandra!

Daughter of Northern Afleet, out of Just Call Me Angel. Won the 2008 New York Oaks and was placed in several stakes races at Finger Lakes

7PM
Hall of Fame trainer Samuel Hildreth with the horse he called his “pet”, Stromboli
Bred and owned by August Belmont, Jr., Stromboli came from one of the very first crops of Fair Play. For many years, until the coming of Man o’ War in 1919, Stromboli was considered the best of Fair Play’s sons. Racing under Belmont’s colors, Stromboli won a laundry list of prestigious American races during his three and four-year-old seasons. He defeated Hall of Fame gelding Roamer in winning the 1914 Baltimore Handicap, and achieved the rare feat of winning both the Metropolitan Mile and Suburban Handicap in 1915. 
From those highs, the gelding Stromboli began a long, painful, and inglorious downslide. Various injuries kept him on and off the track, and by the time he was sold with the majority of August Belmont’s racing stock in 1918, he was well past his prime. That’s where his trainer, Sam Hildreth, stepped in
Hildreth payed $1,000 for the 7-year-old gelding. He later recalled: “Poor old Stromey had given his best for the Belmont colors and it had cost him dearly. He had broken down under the rigors of a career spent in fighting it out with the best horses of his day…But it wasn’t for racing him that I wanted Stromey; it was because he had a big place in my heart and I couldn’t think of anything finer than to have this honest son of a great sire as a saddle-horse.”
Unfortunately, Hildreth’s plan to keep the old warrior as a saddle-horse didn’t last long. In early November 1918, Stromboli was entered in a bottom-level claiming race at Pimlico. A few days later, he competed in the Bowie Handicap, with nearly fatal results. Stromboli finished 10th of 15, but following the race he had to undergo an emergency surgery to relieve the “strangulation of the glands of the throat”
Hildreth cared for his horse deeply, but he could not let go of the idea that his much-loved old gelding would make a triumphant comeback. The racing community, and even his close friends, joked about it and advised Hildreth to retire his “broken-down” horse. Hildreth later recalled: “When I’d go out to Stromey’s stall I’d rub his nose and say, ‘Old-timer, just one more good race out of you, just one more, and then we can tell the whole bunch of ‘em to go to plumb hell.’”
Eventually, Hildreth was vindicated. In 1921, the 10-year-old Stromboli made his reappearance in a “mile conditioning race”, facing “horses that hadn’t even been foaled when he was at the top of his career”. Carrying 123 pounds “as though it were a feather”, the oldest horse in the field went right to the front and stayed there. He won easily, and his owner/trainer was beyond thrilled.
Stromboli raced twice more, and ended his career winning a sprint race. He was finally retired at the age of 10, a grizzled old warrior held together by the love and faith of one man. Hildreth “took a place near the Rancocas Farm in New Jersey, he named it Stromboli Farm, where the old gelding was turned out to live his last days in peace, idleness and horse luxury.”

Hall of Fame trainer Samuel Hildreth with the horse he called his “pet”, Stromboli

Bred and owned by August Belmont, Jr., Stromboli came from one of the very first crops of Fair Play. For many years, until the coming of Man o’ War in 1919, Stromboli was considered the best of Fair Play’s sons. Racing under Belmont’s colors, Stromboli won a laundry list of prestigious American races during his three and four-year-old seasons. He defeated Hall of Fame gelding Roamer in winning the 1914 Baltimore Handicap, and achieved the rare feat of winning both the Metropolitan Mile and Suburban Handicap in 1915. 

From those highs, the gelding Stromboli began a long, painful, and inglorious downslide. Various injuries kept him on and off the track, and by the time he was sold with the majority of August Belmont’s racing stock in 1918, he was well past his prime. That’s where his trainer, Sam Hildreth, stepped in

Hildreth payed $1,000 for the 7-year-old gelding. He later recalled: “Poor old Stromey had given his best for the Belmont colors and it had cost him dearly. He had broken down under the rigors of a career spent in fighting it out with the best horses of his day…But it wasn’t for racing him that I wanted Stromey; it was because he had a big place in my heart and I couldn’t think of anything finer than to have this honest son of a great sire as a saddle-horse.”

Unfortunately, Hildreth’s plan to keep the old warrior as a saddle-horse didn’t last long. In early November 1918, Stromboli was entered in a bottom-level claiming race at Pimlico. A few days later, he competed in the Bowie Handicap, with nearly fatal results. Stromboli finished 10th of 15, but following the race he had to undergo an emergency surgery to relieve the “strangulation of the glands of the throat”

Hildreth cared for his horse deeply, but he could not let go of the idea that his much-loved old gelding would make a triumphant comeback. The racing community, and even his close friends, joked about it and advised Hildreth to retire his “broken-down” horse. Hildreth later recalled: “When I’d go out to Stromey’s stall I’d rub his nose and say, ‘Old-timer, just one more good race out of you, just one more, and then we can tell the whole bunch of ‘em to go to plumb hell.’”

Eventually, Hildreth was vindicated. In 1921, the 10-year-old Stromboli made his reappearance in a “mile conditioning race”, facing “horses that hadn’t even been foaled when he was at the top of his career”. Carrying 123 pounds “as though it were a feather”, the oldest horse in the field went right to the front and stayed there. He won easily, and his owner/trainer was beyond thrilled.

Stromboli raced twice more, and ended his career winning a sprint race. He was finally retired at the age of 10, a grizzled old warrior held together by the love and faith of one man. Hildreth “took a place near the Rancocas Farm in New Jersey, he named it Stromboli Farm, where the old gelding was turned out to live his last days in peace, idleness and horse luxury.”

6PM
6PM
He’s one that needs no introduction…but he gets one anyways XD

He’s one that needs no introduction…but he gets one anyways XD

4PM

Mr. Prospector attached his name to a breeding dynasty reminiscent of the one created by the brilliant, speed-producing stallion Domino a century ago. Domino’s influence in racing and breeding lasted well into the 20th century, and there is not a single doubt that Mr. Prospector’s influence as a stallion and broodmare sire will endure at the highest levels well into the next century.”

- David Schmitz, The Blood-Horse Magazine

2PM
Cochise Comes Home
4-year-old grey Cochise, a son of imported British stallion *Boswell, embarked on a grueling cross-country campaign in 1950. Starting at Jamaica in April, he visited Havre de Grace, Belmont, Suffolk Downs, Arlington, and Saratoga, racking up wins and near-misses along the way. But in the midst of his travels, he returned to his home track at Delaware Park for the $25,000 Sussex Handicap on June 17. Even Hollywood could not have imagined a more glorious homecoming 
Cochise was on a hot streak - he had “blown apart” the Massachusetts Handicap only weeks earlier, and that feat earned him the highweight of 125 pounds in the Sussex. His competition was good, the field including Whirlaway Stakes winner Curandero, defending Sussex champ (and stakes record holder) Flying Missel, and veteran handicapper Loser Weeper. With jockey Ovie Scurlock up, Cochise dominated the race. He rushed straight to the lead and “turned back repeated bids on the turn and throughout the stretch” to win by almost a length from Curandero, with Royal Governor third
(In photo: Cochise in front, behind comes {from the rail out} Curandero, Flying Missel, Double Brandy, and Loser Weeper)

Cochise Comes Home

4-year-old grey Cochise, a son of imported British stallion *Boswell, embarked on a grueling cross-country campaign in 1950. Starting at Jamaica in April, he visited Havre de Grace, Belmont, Suffolk Downs, Arlington, and Saratoga, racking up wins and near-misses along the way. But in the midst of his travels, he returned to his home track at Delaware Park for the $25,000 Sussex Handicap on June 17. Even Hollywood could not have imagined a more glorious homecoming 

Cochise was on a hot streak - he had “blown apart” the Massachusetts Handicap only weeks earlier, and that feat earned him the highweight of 125 pounds in the Sussex. His competition was good, the field including Whirlaway Stakes winner Curandero, defending Sussex champ (and stakes record holder) Flying Missel, and veteran handicapper Loser Weeper. With jockey Ovie Scurlock up, Cochise dominated the race. He rushed straight to the lead and “turned back repeated bids on the turn and throughout the stretch” to win by almost a length from Curandero, with Royal Governor third

(In photo: Cochise in front, behind comes {from the rail out} Curandero, Flying Missel, Double Brandy, and Loser Weeper)

1PM