I’ve noticed for awhile that a previous post I made about Bold Reasoning keeps getting hits. This post was kind of a pointless rambling (though ‘pointless rambling’ could probably apply to this entire blog), so I couldn’t understand why people kept coming to it until I searched his name, and that post came up on the first page of results for various search engines.
That lead me to look into things a bit more, and I found it surprising that there’s not more free, easily accessible information on Bold Reasoning’s life out there. As always, the below is not guaranteed to be comprehensive, but hopefully it can fill in some gaps and place a little emphasis on Bold Reasoning as the race horse, instead of Bold Reasoning as the sire.
Bold Reasoning – 1968 (Apr. 29) dkb/br. h. by Boldnesian – Reason to Earn by Hail to Reason
Breeder: Leon Savage (FL)
Owner: Kosgrove Stable (William Kosnick & Charles T. Hargrove) then Nelson Bunker Hunt
Trainer: Nick Gonzales
Record: (12) 8-2-0 / $189,564
1st: Withers S. (AQU, 1 mi.); Jersey Derby (Garden State, 1 1/8 mi.); 2nd Metropolitan H. (BEL, 1 mi.), WRLB Purse (MP, 1 1/16 mi.)
Established NTR Belmont Park (5/15/1972): 6f in 1:08 4/5
THE EARLY YEARS
Bred in Florida by Leon Savage, Bold Reasoning was purchased for $15,500 at the Hialeah sale of 2-year-olds in training by the Kosgrove Stable, comprised of Detroit automobile designer William “Bill” Kosnick and American Bankers’ Insurance Company of Miami president Charles “Charley” Hargrove, and placed with trainer Nick Gonzales.
While showing talent as a 2-year-old, Bold Reasoning would suffer a myriad of issues that would delay his career debut until March of his 3-year-old season. While in training at Belmont Park during the summer of 1970, an ailing ankle would be blistered and require time off, and once moved to Hialeah for the winter, a safety pin would dislodge from his ankle wrap and embed itself in his hoof, resulting in an infected hoof/ankle.
Now on sound footing, Bold Reasoning would win his career debut, a six furlong maiden race at Gulfstream Park on March 8. He would follow up on the effort by winning a seven furlong allowance by five lengths in 1:22 3/5 at Gulfstream on March 17 and a six furlong allowance by two lengths in 1:09 2/5 at Gulfstream on March 31. The allowance on March 31 would be his first race against future frequent rival Pass Catcher, who would finish seventh in the field of ten.
Moving to Aqueduct for the rest of the spring, Bold Reasoning would win a seven furlong allowance at Aqueduct on April 29 by two lengths in 1:22 4/5.
“He has won four races in less than two months now,” said Gonzales, “and he keeps getting better. There’s no telling how good he could be.” Charles E. Hargrove, his owner, is equally optimistic. “He could be another colt like Hoist the Flag,” he said.” – Thomas Rogers (The New York Times, 04/30/1971)
“You can do anything with this horse,” [Jacinto] Vasquez concluded. “He’s as good as Executioner.” – Gerald Strine (The Washington Post, 06/01/1971)
Undefeated in four starts, Bold Reasoning would move into stakes competition in the Withers Stakes (1 mi.) on May 8. Taking to the sloppy Aqueduct going, he would defeat Highbinder (a brother to Dr. Fager) by two lengths in 1:35 4/5. Salem would take the show, with Good Behaving finishing fourth.
“Both owners agreed they would not send their horse into the Preakness, the second part of the Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. The Preakness, at a mile and three-sixteenths, is to be run at Pimlico next Saturday, and the owners, as well as the trainer, feel it would be too much to send the animal back into a major test with so little rest. All parties agreed, however, they would consider putting up the $5,000 to supplement Bold Reasoning in the Belmont.” – Joe Nichols (The New York Times, 05/09/1971)
While many were still hoping that the undefeated colt would take on Canonero II in the Preakness, Bold Reasoning’s next start would be against allowance competition, where over one mile at Aqueduct on May 18, he would defeat the 4-year-old Protanto by three lengths in 1:35, with 4-year-old The Pruner coming in third.
Following his decisive win against older horses, the conversation began to turn to whether the still undefeated colt would take on the Belmont Stakes.
“I don’t want any part of a mile and a half, at least not now,” trainer Nick Gonzales said last week. … “It’s not that we’re ducking anybody,” the trainer said. “My horse is doing very well. Eventually, given time, I’m confident he will get a longer distance. Right now, though, the mile and a half would be too much. It would only be his eighth start.” – Gerald Strine (The Washington Post, 05/31/1971)
While Gonzales’ initial plans were for Bold Reasoning to contend the Peter Pan (then run as an allowance) at Belmont on May 28; ultimately his final start for the month of May would come in the Jersey Derby (1 1/8 mi.) at Garden State Park on May 31. Over a “dried out” track rated good, Bold Reasoning would win by a half-length over Pass Catcher in 1:49 3/5.
“While Canonero II was disposing of a mediocre crop of 3-year-olds in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Bold Reasoning was competing in allowance races at Aqueduct. “Sure, you wonder what your horse could have done in those races,” Gonzales conceded this morning as he admired Bold Reasoning. “But I wasn’t going to push him. He wasn’t ready yet for the long distances. But he will be.”
Bold Reasoning will not go in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes next Saturday. “At this stage,” said Gonzeles, “this distance is just fine for him. Maybe later.” Gonzales was supremely confident before the race, claiming that Bold Reasoning had beaten “these type of horses” that Canonero II had defeated.
How good is Bold Reasoning? “I’d like to see him in the Belmont,” said Vasquez. “I’ll tell you this, that Canonero would have to run awfully fast to beat him.” “Yes,” said Charles Hargrove, “it’d be nice if you can beat Canonero some time.” – Charles Eskenazi (The New York Times, 06/01/1971)
Bold Reasoning had been plagued with throat troubles, and after a six week absence from the track – during which time his old rival Pass Catcher would upset eventual fourth place finisher Canonero II in the Belmont Stakes – he would next appear in the WRLB Purse (1 1/16 mi.) at Monmouth Park on July 1. Now undefeated in seven starts, confidence was high in the colt’s chances and he would go off as the resounding favorite.
However, instead of being just another feather in his cap, the WRLB Purse would mark the first loss of Bold Reasoning’s career, when he would finish second by three-quarters of a length to the 5-year-old I Found Gold.
While scheduled to start in the Dwyer Stakes on July 9, he would return to the barn with a cough following his morning gallop on July 8, necessitating a scratch.
Not having started since July 1, Bold Reasoning’s next start would come in the Jim Dandy Stakes (7f) at Saratoga on August 13, where he would finish last in the field of seven. The winner would be Brazen Brother, with the previously undefeated Marshua’s Dancer taking the place. Like Bold Reasoning, Brazen Brother was also sired by Boldnesian, and the colt was in good form, having equaled the track record for seven furlongs (1:21 4/5) at Saratoga the week prior.
“Jacinto Vasquez, explaining the dismal showing of Bold Reasoning, said, “He got tired early. He did not like the track, and he did not level off as he usually does.” – Joe Nichols (The New York Times, 08/14/1971)
After an extended absence, Bold Reasoning would return to the track in a six furlong allowance at Belmont Park on May 15. He would show no rust from his time off, defeating Wildcat Country (typo of his name in chart below) by four lengths in a track record time of 1:08 4/5.
Bold Reasoning’s second start of 1972 would be the Metropolitan Handicap (1 mi.) at Belmont Park on May 29. While Jacinto Vasquez would claim during the summer of 1971 that Bold Reasoning was better than Executioner, the colt by The Axe would get Bold Reasoning’s number in the Met Mile, defeating him by a neck in 1:35 2/5. Canonero II, who had finished second in the Carter Handicap on May 20 after having been out of commission since his fourth place finish in the Belmont Stakes, would finish eighth in the field of eleven.
In what would ultimately be the final start of his career, Bold Reasoning would finish fifth in a 1 1/16 mile allowance at Belmont Park on June 10. Native Royalty, Peace Corps, and Pass Catcher would round out the trifecta.
IN THE STUD
Sold to Nelson Bunker Hunt for $600,000, Bold Reasoning was retired to Claiborne Farm for stallion duties and began his stud career in early 1973, with his first foals arriving in 1974. He would unexpectedly pass away in on April 24, 1975, having sired only three crops at stud.
“He was covering a mare, fell off, and broke his pelvis,” [Seth] Hancock informed. “The impaction of his guts caused the colic. In getting up and down, the cracked pelvis had severed a little blood vessel. One of his legs filled with blood.” – Gerald Strine (The Washington Post, 05/01/1977)
While much has already been said about Bold Reasoning’s career at stud in other sources, briefly: he would sire 64 foals, with 51 starters (80%), 48 winners (75%), and 10 black type winners (16%) for total earnings of $3,726,909. His progeny would include two champions (Seattle Slew and Super Concorde), who would both go on to be successful sires and sires-of-sires.