“Between races at Aurora yesterday a horseman revealed how narrowly Insco, sire of the Kentucky Derby winner Lawrin escaped being “humanely” destroyed long before he had a chance to send a son of Lawrin’s running ability to the races.
Insco, so the story goes, had been purchased from the late Admiral Cary T. Grayson by Griffin Watkins, a shoe manufacturer of Alton, Ill., for $30,000. Watkins’s trainer, the veteran, C.E. [Boots] Durnell, had recommended the colt to his boss.
Immediately Insco showed so much ability that he had a royal chance of becoming the big money winning 3 year old of the year. Watkins fell completely in love with the colt and was able to insure him for $75,000.
Fractures Bone in Ankle
Next came the race in which Insco fell and fractured a bone in his ankle. Had he been a cheap horse he would have been destroyed immediately. The insurance company holding the policy on his life however, called in numerous veterinarians. Finally it was decided to endeavor to save the horse’s life instead of destroying him.
This brought weeks of suffering for Insco. He had to be bandaged and strapped to a pulley which hung from the roof of his stall. He had to hang in this uncomfortable position until the broken bone knitted and healed.
His racing days were over, but the insurance company saved the life of the horse which now has become the sire of a Derby winner.
Sells Insco for $500
With his pet horse gone as far as racing was concerned, Watkins sold his turf holdings. Insco went for $500. He’s still hale and hearty. Opportunities to sire great horses were not numerous since he was located near Parnell, Mo., far away from where most of the choice brood mares of the country are placed. Watkins is no longer in racing. Durnell, his trainer, is conditioning horses in the far west.” (French Lane / Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/10/1938)