“Mr. Futurity” Our Count is a ringer for his dad, but can he run?

“CHICAGO, March 28 (AP) – Reigh Count, winner of the 1928 Kentucky Derby and champion three-year-old that season, has been mated with Anita Peabody, winner of the Belmont Futurity of 1927, at the Leona Stock Farm of John D. Hertz.

Reigh Count ran second to Anita Peabody in the 1927 Futurity in the colors of Mrs. John D. Hertz. Reigh Count made a dazzling record in 1928 and last year was shipped abroad for several important English stake events.

The mating of the pair of racers is rated as one of the most important events in American horse breeding.” (New York Herald Tribune, 03/29/1930)

PHOTO - Our Count (NYT 1931.04.05)

The New York Times, 04/15/1931

“The long anticipated heir of Anita Peabody and Reigh Count, first and second in the $120,000 Futurity at Belmont Park in 1927, has arrived at John Hertz’s Leona farm near Cary. It’s a boy and his name will be Mr. Futurity.

The young fellow, almost an exact picture of his famous daddy, who was the American champion in 1928, was foaled on Monday. He has a coat of rich, deep sorrel, there is a star in his forehead, and he has the short quarters and straight legs of a natural distance runner, the same build, color, and markings of his sire.

No thoroughbred has been produced in American racing with a more picturesque background.”
(French Lane / Chicago Daily Tribune, 02/12/1931)

PHOTO - Our Count (CST 1932.10.23)

Our Count as a yearling (Chicago Sunday Tribune, 10/23/1932).

“Mr. and Mrs. John Hertz debated a long time before they picked the name of Our Count for the first son of Reigh Count–Anita Peabody. Their friends suggested that he be called Mr. Futurity or Futurity King or some other name that would have the word Futurity in it because his mother and father finished first and second in the richest Belmont futurity of 1927.

“What if he should be a bad horse or a bum, as the racegoers would say?” they asked one another. In that case the name Futurity should not be flaunted around by such an animal, they decided. Finally they struck on the name of Our Count, which is proof enough that he is a son of the champion Reigh Count. He possibly will be good enough to be worthy of the name Futurity.” (French Lane / Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/14/1932)

PHOTO - Our Count-Reigh Count (CDT 1932.12.01)

Our Count alongside his sire Reigh Count (Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/01/1932).

“The best looking thoroughbred yearling in America has just arrived in Chicago and will soon begin to dig in for the winter out at the John Hertz farm near Cary, Ill.

His name is Our Count, the first son of Reigh Count and Anita Peabody. For real turf romance the young fellow has something on any young thoroughbred ever produced in the country.

Turn back the pages of the history of the turf. Go back to the great Futurity at Belmont Park in 1927. Thundering down the straightaway at the end of seven furlongs came Anita Peabody in first place and Reigh Count to finish second. Both ran in the Hertz yellow and black jacket and when they finished one-two they accounted for more than $110,000, the richest prize won by one stable out of one horse race.

It was Anita Peabody’s supreme effort. Some months later she was retired. Reigh Count went on to become the American champion in 1928. He invaded England in 1929 and while beaten by a narrow margin for the Ascot gold cup after he had won the Coronation cup, demonstrated that he was one of the great horses of the world.

But this isn’t a story about Reigh Count nor Anita Peabody. It’s about their first son, Our Count, a big upstanding chestnut who looks so much like daddy that in a couple of years not even the shrewdest judges of thoroughbred flesh may not be able to say which is which.

Reigh Count and his son, Our Count, stood side by side out at the Hertz Leona farm yesterday for the first time. Our Count had returned from a summer and fall in Kentucky where blue grass and water from the limestone country in the noted cradle of the thoroughbred were the main dishes on the menu at every meal.

The resemblance was remarkable. Our Count, in color, shape, and size, looked like a chip off the old block. Their heads and necks are almost exactly the same. Their withers and shoulders look alike and some of the horsemen who compared them yesterday said Our Count had more perfect and powerful withers and shoulders than his illustrious daddy.

Both have the same sloping rump which indicates an ability to run fast and over a great distance of ground. Their front and straight hind legs are shaped alike and the back ankles on each have similar white markings. When Our Count quits growing he possibly will stand slightly higher than Reigh Count and may be a trifle longer.

On looks Our Count has passed the test. In his sleek coat of chestnut he looks better than Reigh Count. It might have been the case of a perfectly groomed young fellow outdoing the old man as far as personal dress and appearance is concerned. Our Count paid little attention to Reigh Count, but Reigh Count could hardly keep his eyes off the son, it being the first time they had ever been brought together.

But good looks do not mean so much when a struggle on the race track starts. Reigh Count could run fast and far. Our Count may be able to do it, but he has not been tried for his running ability. Being in Kentucky, he missed the trials of the yearlings from Leona farm more than a month ago.

He was on C. C. Van Meter’s farm in Kentucky at the time, thriving in the climate and on blue grass. “He looks like he can run,” Van Meter wrote when he shipped Our Count back to Leona farm a few days ago. Van Meter is a good judge of horses. He seldom compliments a young horse that much. Until next spring when he gets his first running test under fire very little will be known of Our Count’s running ability.” (French Lane / Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/01/1932)

PHOTO - Our Count Illinois Owners H. (CST 1937.09.26)

Our Count wins the Illinois Owners’ Handicap at Hawthorne, 09/25/1937 (Chicago Sunday Tribune, 09/26/1937).

Amassing a record of (97) 17-16-10 and $37,215 in earnings over a five year career (1934-1938), Our Count’s life would come to an end on September 24, 1938, when he would break down in the right foreleg during the Frank J. Donovan (claiming) purse at Hawthorne. It was reported after the fact that this leg had been giving him trouble for several years.

Our Count’s record included:

1934: 1st Ferndale H. (DET, 8.5f), Dallas H. [November edition] (Arlington Downs (TX), 8.5f), Pontiac H. (DET, 8.5f); 2nd Au Revoir H. (DET, 9f); 3rd Governor’s H. (DET, 8.5f)

1935: 1st Sallan Cup H. (DET, 8.5f), Fort Worth H.-NTR (Arlington Downs (TX), 9f), Governor’s H.-NTR (DET, 8.5f), Dallas H. [April edition] (Arlington Downs (TX), 9f); 2nd Wyandotte H. (DET, 1 mi 70 yds); 3rd Waggoner Memorial H. (Arlington Downs (TX), 9f)

1936: 2nd Jim Hogg H. (Epsom Downs (TX), 8.5f)

1937: 1st Hawthorne H. (HAW, 8.5f), Illinois Owners’ H. (HAW, 8.5f)

NTR at Arlington Downs (03/30/1935): 8.5f in 1:43 ⅗  in the Fort Worth Handicap.
NTR at Detroit (09/02/1935): 8.5f in 1:44 in the Governor’s Handicap.

On August 26, 1934, following a ten-day illness which began as a sore throat and grew progressively worse, the nine-year-old Anita Peabody (in foal to Reigh Count) would pass away at Leona Stock Farm. She would produce four foals prior to her premature death:

Our Count (1931 (Feb. 9) ch. g. by Reigh Count): Record aforementioned.

Our Reigh (1932 (Jan. 16) br. g. by Reigh Count): Upon the birth of Our Reigh, the Daily Racing Form of March 16, 1932 reported that Frank S. Hackett, trainer for the Hertz string, stated the colt “is the finest looking youngster he has seen in thirty years’ connection with the sport” and “surpasses in appearance his year older brother.”

Our Reigh raced for seven years (1934-1940), concluding his career with a record of (108) 19-15-19 and $20,675 in earnings. His wins included the Pontiac H. [Class C] (BEL, 8.5f) as a 3-year-old and the Palatine Bridge H. [Class D] (SAR, 10f), Ordinance H. [Class D]-NTR (AQU,11f), Heno H. [Class C] (BEL,9f), and Pimlico Graded H. [Class A] (PIM,8.5f) as a 4-year-old.

Our Reigh would set a new track record at Aqueduct on September 12, 1936, running 11 furlongs in 2:18 ⅖ in the Ordinance Handicap.

Unnamed filly (1933 (Jan. 23) br. f. by Reigh Count): Following a tour of Leona Stock Farm in the spring of 1934, the Chicago Sunday Tribune of April 15, 1934 reported: “The daughter, now a yearling, is just about the best looking bit of horse flesh on the Hertz farm.”

Count Gallahad (1934 (Jan. 16) dkb/br. c. by Sir Gallahad (FR)): A highly regarded juvenile who reportedly “displayed exceptional speed,” Count Gallahad would suffer an injury as a 2-year-old and despite attempts to get him on form, would never make it to the races. He was officially retired at the end of his 4-year-old year, entering stud for the 1939 season at Charles A. Asbury’s Hedgewood Farm in Lexington, KY.

In the breeding shed, Count Gallahad would sire 158 total foals, of which he had 130 starters and 98 winners totaling $1,409,943 in earnings.

A mating with the well-bred Reigh Count mare Risque Reigh, a descendant of the influential Diadumenos (GB) mare Risky, in Count Gallahad’s first season at stud would produce the stakes winning mare La Reigh. Later named a Reine-de-Course, La Reigh would produce, among others, the stakes winning Mahmoud (FR) mare Happy Mood, who was also later named a Reine alongside her stakes winning Northern Dancer daughter Cool Mood. Cool Mood would continue the family tradition, producing the Reines and Canadian Broodmares of the Year Shy Spirit (by Personality), herself the dam of Izvestia, and Passing Mood (by Buckpasser), herself the dam of Daijin, Touch Gold, With Approval, etc.

PHOTOS - Anita Peabody with Our Reigh-Count Gallahad

At left: Anita Peabody with Our Reigh (Chicago Daily Tribune, 01/21/1932).
At right: Anita Peabody with Count Gallahad (Chicago Sunday Tribune, 04/15/1934).


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