Sept. 1941: 8-year-old cow pony Pecos Lad wins at Pomona

“POMONA, Sept. 25. – A unique story of the turf was unfolded here this afternoon when the 8-year-old Pecos Lad won the second race at $43.30 to thrill more than 15,000 Los Angeles County Fair racing fans.

Consider the facts. It was the first start of Pecos Lad on a recognized track despite his advanced years. He wasn’t even registered with the Jockey Club until six years of age – at a cost of $150. Pecos Lad appeared as a 4-year-old in Madison Square Garden in the calf-roping contests as a mount for a hard-riding Utah cowboy.

Later, he was sent to the races around the “bull rings” of Utah and Texas, and won 42 races, but none of them further than four and a half furlongs.

This same horse, with no recorded form, shipped into Pomona, and at first asking whipped such as Cal-Neva and the odds-on Testa, stuck a full five and a half furlongs to win by one length. He was in front all the way and, although weakening in the stretch, managed to stick under the urgent handling of the apprentice, Billy Strange.

Pecos Lad is by the government sire, Giblon. He started life as a cow pony despite his swanky breeding (swanky for Utah, anyway) and became so superlative at the roping business that he was exhibited in open competition at Madison Square Garden rodeos.” (Oscar Otis / Los Angeles Times, 09/26/1941)

CHART - Pecos Lad (LAT 1941.09.26)

Los Angeles Times, 09/26/1941

An all-around athlete, Pecos Lad would ultimately race for six years (1941, 1943-1944, 1947-1949) on sanctioned tracks, retiring at the age of sixteen with a record of (36) 14-7-0 and earnings of $4,359.


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