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)

Chart of the week: Roamer wins the Saratoga Special, August 1913

Chart: New York Herald Tribune, 08/10/1913.

“Saratoga, Aug 9 – Andrew Miller’s Roamer won the Saratoga Special from a strong field of two-year-olds at the track here to-day like a colt of highest quality.

Breaking on his toes, Byrne took him right to the front, and this advantage counted, as the colt was good enough to force the pace, withstand a bold challenge from Gainer in the run around the turn and shake off his most dangerous rival inside the last sixteenth, to win by a length and a half in the good time of 1:13 for the six furlongs.

J. L. Holland’s Gainer was second, two lengths before E. R. Bradley’s Black Toney, with Punch Bowl fourth and the others badly strung out.

The start had much to do with the outcome. It was fair considering the size of the field, twelve horses going to the post, but in the scramble for position several suffered, including Early Rose, Punch Bowl, and Imperator, all of which were fancied to win. Captain Cassatt’s Spear Head [sic] was another unfortunate, being cut down in a way which may cause his retirement. Punch Bowl and Imperator were both slightly injured, the former being crowded against the fence.

After the race Andrew Miller was congratulated on all sides, and his delight at winning one of the most coveted stakes of the season was plain to see. He bought Roamer from Woodford Clay at Belmont Park two or three weeks ago for a price said to be $4,000 and would not part with him now for three time that amount. Mr. Clay was quite as pleased as Mr. Miller, but could not help expressing regret that he had parted with the horse before winning the real sprinting fixture of the year and the piece of plate, valued at $500, which is such a prized trophy.

Roamer won a selling race at Belmont Park in which he was entered to be sold for $1,000. At that time Albert Simmons bid him up to $2,200, but Mr. Clay retained him. Since then the colt has not shown enough to indicate that he could beat such a good field as he met to-day, but from now on he must be considered, when racing with the best, Old Rosebud excepted.” (New York Herald Tribune, 08/10/1913)

Chart (and photo) of the week: Superman wins the 1907 Brooklyn Handicap

Chart: New York Daily Tribune, 05/21/1907. Note that Superman won the race “cleverly.”

PHOTO - Superman Brooklyn H. (HW Vol. LI No. 2632 1907.06.01)

Superman (1904. ch. c. by Commando – Anomaly (GB) by Bend Or (GB)) wins the 1907 Brooklyn Handicap at Gravesend.
Photo by N. W. Penfield as published in Harper’s Weekly (Vol. LI, No. 2632), 06/01/1907.

“Started as a forlorn hope, in the face of conditions that seemed overwhelmingly against him, Superman won the Brooklyn Handicap in one of the most remarkable races that a three-year-old ever ran against mature horses. Confronted by a track deep in mud and slush, going to which Superman had shown a strong dislike, James R. Keene, owner of the colt, abandoned all hope of a victory when he arrived at the Gravesend race course yesterday afternoon, and, though Superman had been trained especially for the big event and his stable had considered his chances second to no horse engaged up to the time of the rain Sunday night, Mr. Keene gave orders for Superman to be scratched.

James Rowe, trainer of the Keene stable, alone of the Keene establishment, remained undismayed, however, and to his urgent appeal and argument that in spite of the heavy going, Superman had a good chance, because of his class and perfect racing condition, Mr. Keene yielded, after the report was already in circulation that Superman would not start, and the colt remained in the Brooklyn field, to make turf history by a performance that ranks with the most brilliant victories for the great handicap.

Superman ran a splendidly trained and courageous colt, and, fighting through a long, hard struggle, won the big prize after looking hopelessly beaten six furlongs from the finish. Gallant as was Superman’s effort, Mr. Keene put the victory in a new light to horsemen when he paid tribute to the skill of Jockey Walter Miller, who rode the victor.

Superman ran a superb race under conditions that tried his courage as severely as his speed, and his victory was the sweetest to his owner and breeder of all the four triumphs that have been earned by Keene horses in the Brooklyn Handicap.

The race proved disappointing in everything else than the achievement of Superman, for the condition of the track was such that the field originally announced to start was badly cut up by scratches, and the very conditions that caused the best of the older horses to be scratched induced owners to add two horses which were supposed to be favored by the heavy going. The rain in the night, followed by more rain in the morning at Gravesend, left the course with a surface of liquid mud covering an under stratum of sticky loam, and the trainers of six of the horses named on the programme had only to glance at the track to decide that their horses should remain in the stable. Among the horses scratched were Arcite, though favorite for the Kentucky Derby, passed that race by on account of a muddy track; Dandelion, and Tokalon, the Brooklyn Handicap winner of a year ago. Other horses scratched were Salvidere, Accountant, and Blandy, the six withdrawals reducing the original field of fifteen to nine.

It was known early, however, that because of the mud Trainer Henry McDaniel had decided to add Good Luck to the Brooklyn field, and it was in no sense a surprise when August Belmont’s three-year-old gelding Okenite, always at home in muddy going, was another added starter, bringing the number of runners up to eleven. In spite of the popular interest in the great race, the rule put in force at Belmont Park of holding back the official announcement of the starters until ten minutes before the time set for the race was observed, and all the horses had been through their warming-up gallops and were in the paddock again before the crowd knew what were to be the starters and who the riders were.

The ten minutes rule for betting resulted in a terrific crush in the rings, but even in the limited time permitted for speculation there were some quick changes in the ruling odds, Go Between, Suburban winner of a year ago, which was the opening favorite, being backed down, while on their reported dislike to the mud the three-year-olds Superman and Sewell both went back in the betting. The speculation in the meantime uncovered two “tips” in Buttling and both the Western horse Beacon Light, both of which were heavily backed as good things, Buttling starting second choice to Go Between, while Beacon Light, against which was as long a price as 100 to 1 was laid, went to the post at 30 to 1, though layers were not eager to offer that price.

The warming-up moves were of a perfunctory nature, because of the deep going, but most of the better-backed and more prominent horses cantered through the stretch. Go Between attracting the most attention because of his known ability to race well in mud, and his conspicuous place in the betting.

The parade to the starting post was made with Sewell absent, Sewell, by special permission, having been led to the post in advance of the field. Go Between, the top weight, led the line to the post, the other horses following in the order of the weights, except for the added starters, of which Good Luck was the rear guard. In the chute, at the head of the stretch, the starting point for the mile and a quarter, the horses took their positions with rare docility, and were abreast and facing the barrier, ready for the send-off, so quickly that the start was made with the watching crowd unprepared for it. The Winter campaigner Nealon had the rail, with Okenite next to him, Go Between, Sewell, Buttling, Oxford, Beacon Light, Good Luck, Flip Flap, and Beauclere ranging out in that order from the inside and Superman on the extreme outside.

The barrier was lifted to a perfect start within a few seconds after the horses reached the post, and the field went away as one horse, Superman being the first to break the line and show in front, with Okenite second, Beacon Light third, Nealon fourth, and the others well bunched, with Beauclere last. In the same order they came to the stand the first time at a swift pace in spite of the mud, and a struggle on even at that early stage of the contest, Superman going on to hold the track, while Okenite rushed after him in a desperate effort to wrest the lead from him, Beacon Light in the meantime racing out just behind Okenite, with the same wish for the first place.

Mud showered on the trailers, as the leaders began the first turn opposite the paddock, Superman swinging to the rail there, and Okenite being forced to go around him, while Beacon Light hung just at their heels. Around the turn to the back stretch Superman and Okenite raced as if they already were finishing, and as Okenite, outrunning Superman, showed his head in front as they rounded into the back stretch there arose first a murmur, then a shout, that Superman was beaten. The Keene colt actually was sprawling in the heavy and slippery mud and Okenite drew away from him and went on clear in front as the run through the back stretch was began, and then, as Miller took hold of Superman to steady him, Beacon Light went past and then Nealon showed before the Keene colt.

Still further back on the trailers Superman went in the run down the back stretch, but he never dropped out of his place, though Okenite, Beacon Light, and Nealon went further and further away from him in the run to the far turn, while Go Between, far back in the crowd, and running in the deepest part of the mud on the rail, already looked beaten and out of the contest, along with Buttling and Sewell. Going to the far turn, Nealon made a move for the lead and swiftly closed on Okenite and Beacon Light, the three horses running lapped as they rounded the turn, with Superman still fourth, and for the remainder of the race these were the only contenders.

The three horses in front were struggling on still lapped, when in the middle of the turn Superman began to pick up the pacemakers again, and then, coming to the second run through the stretch, shot up and joined in the contest anew, at the moment that Okenite weakened and began to fall back. As Okenite went back there still were three horses abreast, and Superman was one of the three. Nealon showed in front for just a moment, then gave place to Superman, which, going around on the outside, was in front as the horses straightened out for the final run down the straight.

In that move the Keene horse brought both Nealon and Beacon Light to the last resort, the whip and under the punishment the older horses hung beside him for the next furlong. Then Superman began to draw away. It took his best effort though, and, hard ridden to within a stride or two of the post, Superman came on and won a gallant race by a length from Beacon Light, with the tired Nealon third.

The time of the race was 2:00, exactly the same figure which was made when Conroy, in 1901, racing for the same owner, and in a blinding rainstorm, earned the distinction of being the first three-year-old to win a Brooklyn Handicap, though Superman is the third three-year-old now that has won the big event. The fractional time showed a singularly good pace, a killing rate of speed, in fact, for such going, as the first quarter was done in 0:23 3-5, the three furlongs in 0:35 4-5, the half mile in 0:48 1-5, the five furlongs in 1:01 1-5, the six furlongs in 1:14, the seven furlongs in 1:28, and the mile in 1:42.” (The New York Times, 05/21/1907)

Chart of the week: Altawood wins the 1924 Pimlico Cup in a blinding snowstorm

The Washington Post, 11/16/1924.

“Running right back to his victory in the Bowie handicap last Tuesday, Altawood, bearing the scarlet and white striped colors of J. E. Widener, the Philadelphia sportsman, was a galloping winner yesterday in the sixth annual renewal of the Pimlico cup, the feature of the closing-day program, which was run off in a snowstorm for the first time in the history of the sport in Maryland.

The Belair stud’s Aga Khan, who was beaten a head by Altawood in the Bowie, finished second to him again yesterday though he was whipped more decisively. The Lilane stable’s Sunsini was third, while the Salubria stable’s My Own, the only other starter, who essayed the 2 ¼ mile journey, was pulled up at the head at the head of the stretch and finished a bad last.

The storm, which began with a drizzling rain in the early morning, became so heavy during the early part of the afternoon that it was impossible to distinguish colors in the backstretch or at the upper turn during the first three races, but it had abated somewhat by post time for the feature event and the subsequent races and the crowd, which was exceptionally large considering the mean weather, had no trouble following the running during the rest of the day.

The rain and snow left the track in a treacherous state of mud and slush, which the favorites for the most part had difficulty in negotiating, though in the races where there was any semblance of class the choices ran through it all right.

The Pimlico cup was run in much the same fashion as the Bowe except that Johnny Maiben allowed Sunsini and My Own to make the pace instead of going to the top with Aga Khan as he did on that occasion, while Ivan Parke, as usual, dropped Altawood in behind his field.

They maintained this order for the first mile and a half with Marinelli steering Sunsini wide all the way in the better going, as he has no particular fondness for mud. At the far turn there was a general closing up and My Own bore out almost to the middle of the track before Babin could straighten him out, while Aga Khan and Altawood moved up on the leader.

Circling the bend it was apparent that Altawood would be the winner as he was running at Aga Khan’s throat latch with Parke still having him under restraint. As they swung into the stretch he bounded away from the Omar Khayam colt without trouble to go on to a three-length victory, without ever being fully extended.

Aga Khan ran his customary honest race, and had no trouble trimming the tiring Sunsini for the place. There was some who contended that if Maiben had not made the pace in the Bowie with him he would have beaten Altawood yesterday’s performance convinced them that he is no match for the son of Master Robert – Crestwood Girl over a distance of ground.

After bearing out on the far turn, My Own ran almost to the outside fence at the head of the stretch and finished next to the rail with Babin easing up. It was at first thought that he had broken down by William Brooks, his trainer, announced that he had pulled up sound. The presence of My Own in the race occasioned no little surprise as his aversion to anything but a hard track is known to all. His trainer was against starting him, but Admiral Cary T. Grayson, owner of the Salubria stable, insisted on it.

“I know he can’t run in the mud, but maybe he can in a snowstorm,” said the Admiral, and My Own was sent to the post.

Altawood paid 1 to 2 in the mutuels and his victory was worth $7,950 to Mr. Widener. Aga Khan earned $2,00 by running second, Sunsini $1,000 and My Own $500. Mr. Widener bought Altawood about a month ago at a reported price of $40,000 and his triumphs in the Bowie and Pimlico cup have already netted him about half that sum. If he continues to go on next year, there is no question but that he will prove a big bargain for the Quaker City sportsman.”
(Harry Stringer / The Washington Post, 11/16/1924)

Photo: the four-star Ace Admiral at Santa Anita, June 1949

Ace Admiral (1945 ch. c. by Heliopolis (GB) – War Flower by Man o’ War) at Santa Anita, 06/27/1949.
Photo: Los Angeles Public Library, Item 00115936, Valley Times Collection.

One month after this photo was taken, the Travers, Lawrence Realization, and Santa Anita Maturity-winning Ace Admiral would go on to set a new world record for 1 ⅝ miles (13f) in the Sunset Handicap at the Hollywood Park at Santa Anita meeting.

Under a 122 lb. impost, Ace Admiral’s time of 2:39 ⅘ took a full second off of the previous record of 2:40 ⅘, which was held co-jointly by his grandsire Man o’ War, set in the 1920 Lawrence Realization at Belmont Park under 126 lbs., and Historian, set in the 1946 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park under 121 lbs.

Ace Admiral’s record would be lowered by Swaps (2:38 ⅕ under 130 lbs.) in the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park in July 1956, a record which still stands today.

Los Angeles Times, 07/24/1949

Chart of the week: Double Jay wins the 1948 Idlewild Handicap

The New York Times, 04/10/1948

“Ridgewood Stable’s Double Jay, which won no races and $35,600 at Santa Anita last winter, won one race and $4,905 at Jamaica yesterday, as he spread-eagled the field of the Idlewild Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth. He was the third consecutive favorite to win, gave Eddie Arcaro another double, and paid $4.30.

William Helis’s Elpis, which also campaigned at Santa Anita last winter, trailed the field for nearly six furlongs, then ran past the others to be second, four lengths behind the winner, a bit more than a length ahead of Sunshine Stable’s Lets Dance. Bug Juice and Reckon completed the field as named.

The field finished into a stiff wind which held the time to 1:47 ⅖, and held the crowd to 23,124. The race began with Lets Dance sprinting away to lead by daylight around the first turn, but Arcaro and Double Jay never let him get far away, took him when it was time to go and had nothing to beat off in the stretch.

Double Jay, four-year-old son of Balladier, was bred by John W. Stanley, who bought his dam, Broomshot, privately for $800, a few minutes after Ed Janss, of California, had bought her at auction for $700. He sold Double Jay privately to the Ridgewood Stable – James Boines and James Tigani, of Wilmington – for $30,000, and a year later sold his full brother, the recent winner, Jet Black, for $26,000 at auction.

The first race of record for Double Jay came when he was a yearling. He was running in his paddock near Lexington when one of Stanley’s peacocks came into the enclosure. Double Jay raced it to the fence, won, got most of a peacock’s tail as a trophy. But officially he did not start until Feb. 22, 1946, at Hialeah. Next Monday is his actual fourth birthday.

At two he won four stakes, going up to a mile, and in the Free Handicap of his year he was rated at 126 pounds, in a tie for first place with Cosmic Bomb and the filly First Flight. Last year he won four stakes, including the Riggs Handicap, and was placed in six others. This came after a shaky start since he trained badly for the pre-Derby races. For the first year and a half he was trained by the veteran Walter (Duke) McCue, but for about the last year has been handled by Claude Veitner.

Last winter he did not win in five starts at Santa Anita, but was third in the $100,000 Maturity Stakes and Santa Anita Handicap, and second in the San Antonio. Through yesterday his record included thirty-three starts, thirteen victories, and earnings of $213,130.” (Joe H. Palmer / New York Herald Tribune, 04/10/1948)