“Graduation ceremonies, slightly modified as far as the popular concept is concerned, were in order at Santa Anita yesterday. Ed Janss’ Boxthorn was promoted from a Class C to a Class A horse in Mr. Racing Secretary Webb Everett’s latest book on graded handicaps.
Boxthorn never was a Class C thoroughbred from the time Col. E. R. Bradley attempted to win his fifth Kentucky Derby with the Blue Larkspur colt in 1935, but Boxthorn bowed a tendon that summer and went out of circulation.
The chances being only one in twenty that a horse ever recovers from such an ailment to become a topnotcher again, you cannot hold it against Mr. Everett that in the first issue of his grades Boxthorn was found with the C boys and girls.
And in addition to the fact that he hadn’t run for eighteen months Boxthorn was purchased by Janss to become a stallion on his Conejo ranch. He was going into stud. He was supposed to be through with the race track.
But what does this $5000 bargain do but thrive on our “unusual” Southern California weather. He gets to running like the dickens again, wins a Class C six furlongs by six lengths in 1:11 over a dull track, and follows this up with an easy victory in the $3500 San Felipe Handicap, beating some of the best horses at the track. Time, 1:23 3/5 for seven furlongs.
So in the third issue of the graded handicap list which Everett changes periodically Boxthorn has gone to the top of the list occupied by only fourteen others at Santa Anita – Accolade, Firethorn, Indian Broom, King Saxon, Mr. Bones, Ned Reigh, Red Rain, Rosemont, Seabiscuit, Singing Wood, Stand Pat, Time Supply, Top Row and Where Away.
Boxthorn, which has come out of his two races in splendid condition, will now be pointed for one more engagement before his test in the $100,000 added Santa Anita Handicap on February 27.
The $7500 San Antonio Handicap, a mile and one furlong race, will be the test of Boxthorn’s route running ability.
As a 3-year-old the former Bradley color bearer never indicated a desire to go beyond a mile. He raced rankly in the Kentucky Derby after setting some of the early pace, and in the Preakness he was away out in front until the field moved around the far turn. He had nothing left for the last quarter.
After that the Bradley connections placed him in sprint races, and he did well, his best score being made in the Commonwealth Stakes. It was following this victory that he bowed a tendon and returned to the Idle Hour Farm. But now that he’s older Trainer Grayson Philpott believes Boxthorn will run farther.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 01/26/1937)