False Hope’s aborted attempt at freedom, March 1951

While heading to the gate in the 5th race at Bay Meadows on March 21, 1951, the 3-year-old Mahmoud (FR) colt False Hope would toss jockey Johnny Longden and then hit the road, a trip which ultimately ended in him hung up on the outside rail. Both horse and jockey were none the worse for wear after the incident.

False Hope’s dam Peace Dust was a half-sister to the stakes winning juvenile Red Rain (1933), a highly touted colt who for a time was considered by his connections to be the next Equipoise. Red Rain’s form would begin to fall off once he became a sophomore, and he was later repurposed for the jumps, becoming a stakes winning steeplechaser. Perhaps False Hope himself wanted to see if he had what it took as well.

False Hope is astride the rail after throwing jockey Johnny Longden, center, while being led to the starting gate for the fifth race at Bay Meadows, San Mateo, Calif., March 21, 1951.  Attendants attempt to free the horse, which was scratched from the race.  (AP Photo)

False Hope demonstrating that he did not inherit the jumping abilities of his uncle, Red Rain (AP Photo).

While False Hope would never face the jump course during his race career, the rail incident wouldn’t harm him any. He would continue to race for another two years, retiring with a record of (53) 3-9-5 and earnings of $12,670.

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