Photographs

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)

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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.

Schreiber & Sons photographs of Asteroid, Australian (GB), Canary Bird, Eltham Lass (GB), Enquirer, Hester, Idlewild, Lavender, Leamington (GB), Lexington, Longfellow, and Planet, ca. 1860s-70s

In 1874, the Schreiber & Sons photography studio released Portraits of Noted Horses of America, a collection of photographs of select Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds of the day. The prescient purpose of this collection was stated in the book’s preface:

“In offering to the public the first book of this kind ever published, we are carrying out the suggestions of several eminent breeders who have examined our collection of photographs, and who have declared them to be the best pictures of horses ever produced. This is a point on which each admirer of good horses may judge for himself. The pictures are all taken from life, and present every animal just as they actually appear when at rest, which is the posture every horseman desires to examine a horse in when studying his various points of form.

The value of such pictures as these is not alone in the pleasure and profit they afford to the present, but will increase with years, indefinitely, becoming an interesting part of history that can be relied on as perfectly accurate.”

The notable Thoroughbreds included in the collection were the stallions Asteroid, Australian (GB), Enquirer, Leamington (GB), Lexington, Longfellow, and Planet, and the mares Canary Bird (dam of Harry Bassett), Eltham Lass (GB) (dam of Kingfisher), Hester (dam of Springbok), Idlewild, and Lavender (half-sister to Lexington and dam of Baden-Baden and Helmbold).

Click on each photo to enlarge, and then click again to enlarge even further.


STALLIONS

Enquirer (1867 b. c. by Leamington (GB) – Lida by Lexington)

The beautiful Enquirer, who was reported to have been a blood bay in color.


Leamington (GB) (1853 br. c. by Faugh-a-Ballagh (IRE) – Pantaloon Mare (GB) by Pantaloon (GB))


Lexington (1850 b. c. by Boston – Alice Carneal by Sarpedon (GB))

Lexington’s blindness is apparent in the photo.


Longfellow (1867 br. c. by Leamington (GB) – Nantura by Brawners Eclipse)


Planet (1855 ch. c. by Revenue – Nina by Boston)


Australian (GB) (1858 ch. c. by West Australian (GB) – Emilia (GB) by Young Emilius (GB))


Asteroid (1861 b. c. by Lexington – Nebula by Glencoe (GB))


MARES

Canary Bird (1860 ch. f. by Albion (GB) – Penola by Ainderby (GB))
Dam of Harry Bassett


Eltham Lass (GB) (1859 b. f. by Kingston (GB) – Maid of Palmyra (GB) by Pyrrhus the First (GB))
Dam of Kingfisher


Hester (1866 b. f. by Lexington – Heads I Say by Glencoe (GB))
Dam of Springbok


Idlewild (1859 b. f. by Lexington – Florine by Glencoe (GB))


Lavender (1855 ch. f. by Wagner – Alice Carneal by Sarpedon (GB))
Half-sister to Lexington and dam of Baden-Baden and Helmbold

1937: 2-year-old Tiger and his toothache

“Ever hear about this Tiger, the 2-year-old, and his toothache?” queried Mr. [Francis P.] Dunne; “it just goes to show that it might even pay to look a gift horse in the mouth now and then, though this Tiger isn’t exactly a gift horse.”

Photograph of Tiger (1935 br. c. by Bull Dog (FR) – Starless Moment by Night Star (GB)) as published in the Daily Racing Form, 04/21/1938

“Anyway, I think it was in his second race, this Tiger ran out and finished maybe fifth or sixth. They figured something was wrong. Something had bothered the colt or he never would have run like that. With some horses it may be blinkers or bandages – they run better with them on or off, as the case may be. Or it may be your horse has suddenly come down with dyspepsia, hookworm, housemaid’s knee or cholera morbus. You have to look into such things.

Well, they look this Tiger over and found he had a toothache, a violent one, according to all accounts. So they led him to a dentist and had the tooth yanked and he hasn’t lost a race since.”

Probably it was a lesson to the Milky Way 2-year-old. He thinks that if he loses another race they will take him to a dentist and have another tooth yanked. Plenty of humans would run pretty fast under the same spur.” (John Kieran / The New York Times, 08/31/1937)


Upon retiring to the stud in 1941, the stakes winning Tiger would sire the stakes winning Siama, 1960 Broodmare of the Year and dam of One-Eyed King and Bald Eagle.

Photo of Elf (GB) and Sylvabelle (GB), dam and granddam of Broomstick

 1893 photo of Broomstick’s dam Elf (GB) and granddam Sylvabelle (GB) as published in Memories of Men and Horses (1924) by William Allison.

August 1947: Quarter horse Barbra B defeats Fair Truckle (GB) in a 2 furlong match race at Hollywood Park

Quarter Horse Barbra B defeats Thoroughbred Fair Truckle (GB) in two furlong match race at Hollywood Park on August 4, 1947. Two months later, Fair Truckle would go on to set a new world record for six furlongs (1:08 2/5) at Golden Gate Fields in October 1947. In the stud, Fair Truckle would become the damsire of Soldier Girl, who equaled the world record for five furlongs (:56 2/5) at Del Mar in August 1964. Photo available from historicimages.com, part number neb63238.


“INGLEWOOD, Calif., Aug. 4 (AP) – Barbara B [sic], champion quarter horse of the Arizona-New Mexico bush tracks, stepped out of her class today and handed a proud thoroughbred, Fair Truckle, a fancy whipping in a quarter-mile dash for a winner-take-all purse authoritatively reported to be $100,000.

The little brown four-year-old filly, bred as a cow boy pony, simply was too fast for the expensive importation from Ireland, owned by the wealthy turfman Charles S. Howard. A wild cheer went up from an estimated 5,000 spectators, as Barbara B [sic] sprinted over the finish line two and one-half lengths in front in 21 3-5 seconds.

It was a colorful crowd, from the southwestern cow country, which walked through the open gate to watch the seldom-if-ever saga of the tracks. Clad mostly in wide-brimmed hats, boots and overall trousers, they occupied the boxes where last Saturday a fashionably dressed movie crowd helped close out the Hollywood Park season.

Aboard Fair Truckle, four-year-old son of Fair Trial by Truckle, was the veteran Johnny Longden. Up on Barbara B [sic], a not so costly importation from the Arizona ranch country, sired by a cheap thoroughbred and whose dam was a $30 mare, was Tony L. Licata, who has been riding Arizona tracks.

Barbara B’s [sic] owner, Roy Gill, of Tucson, was a spectator, but an attack of influenza kept Fair Truckle’s boss, C. S. Howard, in bed. His son, Bob, did the honors for the family.

Melville Haskell, president of the Quarter-Horse Racing Association of Arizona, apparently settled on the $100,000 nature of the purse. “I know it’s $100,000,” he declared, “but I guess the owners didn’t want too much said about that and we of the Quarter-Horse Association don’t either, because we look on this as more of a sporting proposition.”

The elder Howard earlier had spiked reports that his share was $50,000, describing it as “much less.” Each owner had posted a $10,000 forfeit.

Sporting proposition or no, there was plenty of cash in sight. Many of the visitors, from Arizona, New Mexico, and as far distant as Texas, were literally bulging with coin and greenbacks. Thousands of dollars in side bets changed hands. There was no pari-mutuel betting.

Hollywood Park officially took no part in the event, beyond leaving the gate open. The event had been advertised as closed to the public and otherwise the crowd might have been larger.

The race was set from a regulation starting gate set back forty-five feet from the quarter pole, a condition agreed upon because Barbara B [sic] wasn’t used to fancy gates. Before today, her trainer Lyo Lee, had claimed a time of 22 3-5 seconds for her over the quarter, but told reporters he feared the change in altitude from the New Mexico tracks where she had been running might tell on her.

She has been racing only a year, Gill picking her up for $3,000 after her original owners had decided she might be worth more racing than for calf roping. Each horse carried 110 pounds.

Contrary to appearances from the grandstand, Fair Truckle was out of the gate first, but Barbara B [sic] within a few strides grabbed the lead and Licata said he knew the race was in the bag from then on.

Longden was more specific.” (New York Herald Tribune, 08/05/1947)


“A recent composition in this corner dealt with the famous match race of a few years back when the quarter horse Barbra B outlegged the thoroughbred Fair Truckle two days after a regular Hollywood Park meeting.

It was a noteworthy event, for the late Charles S. (for Seabiscuit) Howard put up $50,000 in the belief that his Fair Truckle could fly a quarter of a mile faster than Barbra B, owned by Roy Gill of Arizona.

The cover that concealed the monetary problems attendant to a match race of such fiscal magnitude was pried off for us by Ralph W. Bilby, a well-known Tucson who is attorney and corporation director for the Gill brothers – Roy, Emmett and Adolph, successful and prosperous cattle ranchers.

Fair Truckle had been regarded as the forerunner of jet propulsion. Hailed as the fastest thing on four feet for a quarter of a mile, the Howard charger’s fame spread until it reached the ears of Roy Gill. A few discreet inquiries revealed that Howard was prepared to back his speedster with 50 grand against anything the quarter horse people could come up with short of a motorcycle. Gill promptly cranked up Barbra B.

Scores of Arizona cowpokes and ranch owners immediately beseeched Gill for a piece of his action. He retained $30,000 for his own interests, and let the rest of it out in bets ranging all the way from $50 to $500.

The day before the race Gill telephoned Bilby, who was vacationing in La Jolla, asking him to help him get the bets squared away.

“So I did,” Bilby explained. “Roy handed me a bundle of currency about a foot high. Did you ever try to count out $50,000 in 5s, 10s, 20s and nothing bigger than a century note? Don’t do it unless you get backed into a corner.

I’ll bet I counted that stuff 40 times trying to make it come out even Finally I was satisfied there was $50,000. I took it out to Hollywood Park with me and went over to an armored car we had hired for the occasion.

Pretty soon Mr. Howard’s emissary showed up. He was a suave, sophisticated, well-dressed gentleman who looked as if he had just stepped out of the U.S. Mint. I handed him my bundle. He counted it carefully and finally said, with great dignity, ‘I make 50.’

Then he extracted a thin envelope from his inside coat pocket. In it were 50 new, crisp $1000 bills. I determined not to let this guy make me look like a big hayshaker from Arizona, so I made a neat pile of them and replied, ‘I, too, make 50.’

As you know, Barbra B won by about two lengths. Outside was the armored car with $100,000 in it. I figured we’d leave it right there. But the moment the race was over, most of the people who had a chunk of Roy’s bet came up and demanded their money.

So out to the truck we went and I counted out what each man had coming to him. In the meantime, the armored wagon had departed and I had about $65,000 left. I put it in an envelope, stuck it in my pocket and we made for the nearest establishment specializing in liquid resuscitation. Well, one revitalizing led to another. Heaven only knows how many different spots we checked size and quality, but I recall we reached our hotel about 3 a.m.

Early the next morning I opened one eye. It was quite a trick, all things considered. Then panic set in and I hit the floor with both feet, grabbed for the light switch and tried to think what I’d done with the 65 grand. You know where it was? In an envelope on top of the dresser about eight feet from a door we’d forgotten to lock. I died a thousand deaths waiting for the bank to open so I could deposit it to Gill’s account in Tucson.

But if my nerves were a little quick then, you should have seen them when I picked up the morning paper. On the front page was a story about a grocer who had been killed that very night for a lousy 500 bucks. What do you suppose they would have done to me for $65,000?”
(Ned Cronin / Los Angeles Times, 05/09/1955)