Author: Onebytheknows

Photo (ca. 1891) of stakes winner Russell, damsire of Wise Counsellor

Photo of Russell (1888 b. c. by Eolus – Tillie Russell by Scathelock) as published in The Illustrated American (Vol. 86, No. 1891, for the week ending 10/10/1891).


1893: Johnny Huffman thinks Yo Tambien should not have run against Lamplighter and Clifford

“Johnny Huffman, who until recently trained the famous Kendall stable for the noted Western race track plunger Chris Smith, is now racing his own string, which includes Ceverton, Van Buren, known in Chicago as the little “jack-rabbit,” Forest Rose, Voldora and others, at the course across the river. Huffman’s wonderful success with Yo Tambien, Maid Marian, Dollie McCone and the rest of Smith’s flyers established his reputation as one of the very best trainers on the Western circuit.

When he took charge of the Kendall stable the true merit of the great Yo Tambien was almost unknown, and he cannot be given too much credit for developing her. Yo Tambien’s magnificient pedigree, she being out of Marian, the acknowledged greatest broodmare in the world, makes her extremely valuable when her racing days are over. This was well known to Smith when he purchased her and he knew she was a safe investment whether she proved a breadwinner or not. It did not take Huffman long to demonstrate what a high-class mare she was.

If Smith had followed his trainer’s advice he would to-day be as well-fixed financially as he was when his stable was sweeping everything before it at Garfield Park a year ago. That year the Kendall Stable wound up the racing season at the head of the list of winning strings on the Western circuit. Smith’s gambling propensities were too much for him, however, and he had nothing to show for the $60,000 won by his horses. He then mortgaged the stable to Leo Mayer and Joe Ullman, the bookmakers, and their claims are to be settled with the sum received for Yo Tambien, who is now for sale.

Huffman separated from Smith because of Mayer’s interference in the management of the stable. When the settlement took place Johnny offered $3,000 for Maid Marian, after her racing days are over. Smith had soured on his trainer, however, and refused. Gen. W. H. Jackson of the Belle Meade stud made a deal recently with him for the mare on the same conditions, but paid only $2,500.

Huffman thinks Smith made a big mistake matching Yo Tambien against Lamplighter and Clifford. “The mare can defeat them both all right, but she should not have been sent against them after a hard season’s campaign and especially over the Hawthorne track,” said he yesterday. “She never did run well over the going at the Cicero course, while it has been just the opposite with Clifford. Then again, Doggett, who rode the mare, used spurs on her, which I never would allow when she was in my hands. They make her nervous and excitable and, as she is a very high strung animal, it can be imagined what a handicap it was to her, with Doggett continually, no doubt, digging them in. Yes, sir, under favorable circumstances I am positive Yo Tambien could show her hoofs to Tammany, Clifford, Rudolph and Morello in a match race. I may be mistaken, but I think she is the greatest performer of them all.”

Unlike Smith, Huffman is well fixed financially. He owns one of the finest farms around Greenville, Ill., and will divide his time between there and East Side this winter.”
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/18/1893)

Photo of champion Longstreet, ca. 1891

Photo of retrospective 1891 Horse of the Year Longstreet (1886 b. c. by Longfellow – Semper Idem by Glen Athol (GB)), as published in The Illustrated American (Vol. VIII, No. 86, for the week ending 10/10/1891).


November 1929: Obituary of Rose of Sharon

Photo of champion Rose of Sharon (1926 br. f. by Light Brigade (GB) – Rosa Mundi by Plaudit) as published in John Hervey’s Racing in America 1922-1936, written for The Jockey Club.

“VERSAILLES, Ky., Nov. 8. – The American thoroughbred breeding industry and the turf in particular suffered an almost irreparable loss here today when former Senator Johnson N. Camden’s champion filly of the year, Rose of Sharon succumbed to pneumonia.

A winner in ten of her fourteen starts, which included two seconds, a third and unplaced but once, the prepossessing 3-year-old daughter of Light Brigade – Rosa Mundi, was believed destined to rank with Princess Doreen, My Dear and other great stars of her sex had it not been for her untimely end.

Rose of Sharon’s victories during the present year came in the Ashland, Kentucky, Pimlico and Illinois Oaks, Potomac Handicap and Chicago Test, the latter event a race Mike Hall is alleged to have ducked when connection learned of the filly’s nomination.

Her earnings for the year amounted to $64,069. She went amiss at Laurel about two weeks ago and Trainer Dan Stewart immediately threw her out of training. It was during the trip westward that she contracted the fatal pneumonia.

Rose of Sharon did not start as a 2-year-old but made her record in the 3-year-old class. Rose of Sharon was the only filly ever to have won the Four Oaks. Her last win was in the Potomac Handicap. The filly started in fourteen races, finished first ten times, second twice, third once and was unplaced once. Her winnings totaled $64,069.” (The Washington Post, 11/09/1929)


Chart of the week: Beau Purple defeats Kelso and sets course record in the 1962 Man o’ War Stakes

Beau Purple defeats Kelso in the 1962 Man o’ War Stakes (12fT) at Belmont Park, 10/27/1962. Photo as published in Belmont Park, 1905-1968 (The New York Racing Association, 1968).

“The simple tactic of going to the front and staying there all the way resulted in victory once more for Jack Dreyfus’s Beau Purple yesterday.

The New York Times, 10/28/1962.

The 5-year-old son of Beau Gar, overlooked in such illustrious company as Kelso and Carry Back, thrilled a getaway-day crowd of 33,026 at Belmont Park by winning the mile-and-a-half Man o’ War Stakes by two lengths in record-breaking time.

A field of 12 competed in the $114,800 race, including a pair of campaigners from France. Bill Boland, riding Beau Purple, didn’t get a look at any of his opposition as he sped along in first place.

Finishing second was the highly favored Kelso. It was just these two at the finish, for the third horse, The Axe II of the Greentree Stable, was 6 ½ lengths farther back. Carry Back was fifth, back of Wise Ship.

Carrying 126 pounds in the weight-for-age test, Beau Purple covered the distance on the soft turf in 2 minutes 28 3/5 seconds. This knocked 3/5 of a second off the track mark made by Amber Morn as a 4-year-old, under 118 pounds, two years ago. In contributing the upset, Beau Purple rewarded his packers with a $43.30-for-$2 payoff in the straight wagering.

Beau Purple’s opposition, or rather the trainers of his opposition, refused to believe the “book” on the Dreyfus colt. He has a history of going to the font and staying there, contrary to all expectation.

He did the same thing in the Suburban Handicap, when he upset Kelso, and in the Brooklyn Handicap, when he finished well ahead of the fourth-place Carry Back. And last week, in the Gold Cup at Hawthorne, he did it again, on a sloppy track.

His fractions in the Man o’ War were 0:34 4/5, 0:49, 1:14 2/5 and 1:39 1/5. The one big “knock” against Beau Purple was that he had never been on the turf before, but he demonstrated that any footing suits him.

Ismael Valenzuela, aboard Kelso, contributed an even enough performance after getting away in fifth place. He gradually picked up those in front of him and when the field reached the stretch he had only Beau Purple to beat. The favorite players had only the smallest hope that Kelso could do it, though, for Beau Purple was moving with assurance and gave no indication of weakening approaching the wire.

As for Carry Back, he did not do any better than the betting board indicated he would. Sent off at 9 to 1, this 4-year-old colt owned by Mrs. Katherine Price moved in the pack all the way, improving only from seventh to fifth and just failing to get into the purse payoff. He was ridden by Johnny Rotz.

The winner’s share of the purse was $47,620. Kelso, as the runner-up, earned $22,960 for his owner, Mrs. Richard du Pont. A 5-year-old gelding, Kelso was the horse of the year for 1960 to 1961. The other purse payoffs were $11,480 to The Axe II, who was ridden by Bill Hartack, and $5,740 to Wise Ship, who was guided by Heliodoro Guistines.

Raymond Guest, the owner of the English Derby winner, Larkspur, made the presentation of the trophy to Dreyfus, while Boland and Hal Jerkens looked on. Jerkens is the 32-year-old trainer who has been so successful with Beau Purple. Dreyfus, 48, is the head of an investment firm.

The race was started from the gate, with all the contestants leaving from it. Val de Loir, one of the two French representatives, propped at the getaway, but managed to wind up in 10th place, ahead of Nasomo and Monade.

The last-named entrant, a 3-year-old filly, is also a French import. The order of finish after Carry Back was Honey Dear, Guadalcanal, T. V. Lark and Harmonizing.

Boland gave a plain enough description of Beau Purple’s performance: “I just let him run early and he went to the lead like he likes to do. He was going easy on the backstretch and into the far turn. I hit him coming into the stretch when Kelso came along and I thought Kelso would eat him up. But I kept hitting him and he kept running and Kelso never got there.”

Jerkens said: “Boland knew the horse and I left it up to him what to do out there.”

Dreyfus and Jerkens said that they would be glad to send Beau Purple into the Washington, D. C. International at Laurel on Nov. 12, “if he is invited.” There is no reason to believe that the horse will not be asked to the $125,00 race.

Beau Purple’s 1962 record shows eight victories in 19 starts, with earnings of $342,205. The 5-year-old horse is a Kentucky home-bred, whose mare was Water Queen.”
(Joseph C. Nichols / The New York Times, 10/28/1962)


Photos of Singing Wood, ca. 1936

Just a few photos of the multiple stakes winning/placing Royal Minstrel (GB) horse Singing Wood, winner of $126,090 in five years of racing (1933-1937).

Photo of then 5-year-old Singing Wood at Santa Anita Park taken shortly after he won the Santa Margarita Handicap (7f) in January 1936. Photo: Los Angeles Daily News Negatives Collection, Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Photo of then 5-year-old Singing Wood at Santa Anita Park taken shortly after he won the Santa Margarita Handicap (7f) in January 1936. Photo: Los Angeles Daily News Negatives Collection, Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Undated photo of Singing Wood as published in John Hervey’s Racing in America, 1922-1936, privately published for The Jockey Club.