1885: Lucien Appleby misses out on the horse of a lifetime

“It seems that there is bound to be a story of ‘what I might have done’ connected with the early life of every racer and some disappointed horseman who failed to purchase the wonder. The romance of Kingston is worth relating. At the sale of Spendthrift yearlings in New York in 1885 the well-known bookmaker, Mr. [Lucien] Appleby, found himself wavering between a chestnut colt, since known as Stockton, and a brown with a faint star, subsequently famous as Kingston.

Mr. Snedeker, the trainer, had trained an elder sister of Kingston, then a two-year-old, and naturally Mr. Appleby went to him to know if she was any good. The shrewd Snedeker replied that the filly was ‘a delicate thing.’ This shook Mr. Appleby’s faith in the Spendthrift strain and he stopped bidding at the $1,500 point and the colt was knocked down at $2,200. It was Mr. Appleby’s mortification to see that Trainer Snedeker was the purchaser.

The two-year-old sister was not a delicate thing, but had proved to be such a wonder in her private trials that Snedeker had not started her for fear she would win, thus raising the price of the Spendthrift-Kapanga colt. So much for the diplomacy of the turf. How many times has Mr. Appleby sighed as Kingston added fresh laurels to his owners stable: ‘Oh, if I had only purchased the colt.’” (Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/10/1893)

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