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).


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).

March 1899: Obituary of Tremont

Tremont, known in his racing days as ‘The Black Whirlwind,’ is dead at Belle Meade. In some unaccountable manner, he broke his stifle Thursday, and yesterday when the veterinarian looked at him, it was decided best that he be destroyed to put him out of his misery.

Tremont, was bred at Elmendorff [sic] stud, by the late Daniel Swigert,  and was by Virgil, son of Vandal, out of Ann Fief, by Alarm. He ran eleven races as a 2-year-old, winning them all, and earning the title given him above. Early in his 3-year-old career and before he had faced the flag, he developed a ring-bone. He was the property of the Dwyers, and his career had been such a phenomenal one that Mr. Swigert paid $25,000 for him and took him back to Kentucky. At the Elmendorff [sic], disposal sale, some years later, Gen. Jackson bought the unbeaten stallion, paying $17,500 for him. Since that time he has been domiciled at Belle Meade.

Tremont’s get were numerous, but the best of them were Dogonet [sic] and Lovelace. El Telegrafo also gave promise at one time of being a wonder.

The dead stallion was of a highly nervous temperament. He was almost unmanageable, often kicking his barn until he was exhausted. It is presumed he met with the accident which cost him his life during one of these tantrums.” (The Nashville American, 03/04/1899)


Photo of Lamplighter

Photograph of Lamplighter (1889 br. c. by Spendthrift – Torchlight (GB) by Speculum (GB)) as published in Types and Breeds of Farm Animals by Charles Sumner Plumb, 1906.


1940: Old Equipoise lives again in Carrier Pigeon

“Belmont Park, N. Y., March 23. – Up in horse heaven (wherever that may be) a liver-colored old stallion is keeping a weather eye cocked these spring days on the antics of one of his sons, and likely as not doing a powerful lot of wishful thinking.

Photo: The Michigan Daily, 04/19/1940.

He’s a battle scarred veteran of the turf wars himself – none other than the indomitable “Chocolate Solider” – and Biblical Bimelech or no he may have a hunch that this son is going to come along and freshen up pa’s famous footsteps.

Anybody with half a memory can thumb back to the racing things that counted in the early ’30s and remember how Equipoise was winning ’em the hard way coming through and around from behind, no matter what the distance his tail straight out as a tight string. A sort of flag, it was, for him to flaunt in the noses of the vanquished.

Well, this son of his, Carrier Pigeon, has the same habits (smack down to the straight out tail), and he’s the spittin’ image, so they say, of his daddy. He hasn’t been really tried as yet, starting only twice as a juvenile, but both times he put away everything that went up against him. It wasn’t any fault of his that the competition turned out to be just so-so.

The sort of talk going around now about Bradley’s Bimelech would indicate that colts and fillies of consequence which he hasn’t licked are scarcer than dollars in a panhandler’s pocket. So, speaking like a lawyer in court for the moment, we beg to take an exception – Carrier Pigeon. He hasn’t eaten any of his dust – yet.

This may come with the Derby, Preakness or Belmont, but remember, you can climb out on a limb with Bimelech, too. and have it sawed off short, just the same as with any other fragile thoroughbred.

C. V. (Sonny) Whitney owns Carrier Pigeon an even a Kentucky Hardboot or a Vanderbilt either, cant sniff at his breeding. Three generations of finding out things by experience and mistakes are behind his royal pedigree.

His isn’t any sprint breeding. All through the pedigree names of stayers stick out, horses and mares that could run all day. And don’t forget that Man o’ War came from a blending of the Rock Sand and Fairy Gold blood. It’s the type of breeding you could muse over for days.

Sonny Whitney, modest young millionaire that he is, won’t give Carrier Pigeon’s well-wishers too much comfort. He has been disappointed before this. He can’t forget, either, that he has another colt of fine promise – Flight Command – in the 3-year-old field. He’s by Peace Chance–Top Flight, by Dis Donc. Remember Top Flight? A fleet filly, she was, indeed, and she earned more money than any other member of her sex.

Flight Command started four times, was once first, once second. But Carrier Pigeon is our story. He won both of his starts with ridiculous easy, the second by eight lengths with the boy looking back and taking it easy like he was in a rocking chair.

Photo: The Washington Post, 03/24/1940.

Let Whitney tell about that second start:

“He was off last. He came around the field and won galloping. He runs with his tail straight out behind him, just like Equipoise. You know, he’s got those funny spots on him. They’re supposed to be a great thing – the bend or spots.”

There have been a good many stories about what happened to Carrier Pigeon as a 2-year-old, why he never went to the post after the two outings at Saratoga.

The answer, simply, is this: He bruised a heel in the second start.

“I’ll tell you what happened,” said Whitney. “He apparently stepped on a stone in that last race. It would be the same as a stone bruise on the heel of a human being. I was pointing him for the hopeful (Bimelech won that one) and we felt he needed a hard work first. A veterinarian was there, the best one I could find, and all of us thought the bruise hadn’t healed enough. I could have got him ready for the futurity (Bimelech won that one, too), but decided to just put him aside. I thought it best to let up on him.”

The reason for the concern and careful handling?

“He is prospectively too valuable as a stallion to me,” Whitney continued. “In my way of thinking he is the right size for a 3-year-old. He stands about 16 hands.”

This chestnut colt with the funny spots and liver-colored coat is like his famous daddy in another respect. John Hervey, who writes as “Salvator,” once said that Equipoise required little strong work or severe training and never once before his 50-odd starts ever ran a trial in any way remarkable.

The young sportsman who owns him must have been thinking of something like that when he talked about Carrier Pigeon, for a faint and fleeting smile of pleasure softened his face. “He (Carrier Pigeon) isn’t a good morning horse,” he said, nibbling at the stem of his pipe, “and he only gives what is wanted. He’s very much like his sire, and he’s going to look just like him.”

This, then, is the story to date of the best son “The Chocolate Soldier” has sent to the races, and only two more crops remain, for Equipoise died suddenly in 1938.

It’s no simple task to touch his record: Fifty-one starts in six years, 29 wins, 10 seconds and 4 thirds. Winnings: $338,610. He went a mile once at Arlington in Chicago in 1:34 2-5, packing 128 pounds. Nothing was within three lengths of him at the finish line.

This huff-puff about Carrier Pigeon may be just so much whistling in the dark, but a wise old man who sits back in the necessary seclusion of a racing secretary’s office backs us up. There isn’t a partisan or biased opinion in John B. Campbell’s mind. He handicaps for the jockey club and weight goes on for merit, not fancy theories.

Even Sonny Whitney was ore than a mite surprised by what this sage veteran of the turf thought of Carrier Pigeon. The jockey club’s experimental handicap for 2-year-olds in which juvenile form is the sole guide had Bimelech on top, of course, with 130 pounds to pack. But in the second hole, and rated at 126 pounds, was the son of Equipoise.

Through the years that Campbell has rated the coming 3-year-olds he never once has put a colt over 126 pounds, with the exception of Bimelech. To our way of thinking that would make Carrier Pigeon the equal of any top 2-year-old of other seasons.

Perhaps Campbell doesn’t figure that he didn’t beat much. He saw how he did it, and it’s better than even he remembered “The Chocolate Soldier” charging up from behind with his tail straight out, winning with his ears pricked.

Carrier Pigeon, Flight Command and Whitney’s highly regarded juvenile colt, Sky Raider, a son of Man o’ War–Top Flight, came in the other day from Kentucky where they spent the winter resting up for the campaign ahead. Trainer E. L. Snyder has been legging them up for some weeks with long gallops, either on the outside mile track when weather permitted, or inside on cold, snowy days.

Not many days will pass before the horse parks will be bubbling over with gossip from the regulars on how fast this colt or that one worked in a trial. Carrier Pigeon probably will keep on about his business, and let Andy K and Bimelech and the others crack watches for the clockers. Maybe he knows you don’t pick up any cash money in the misty morning hours, and that the cash register rings only in the afternoon.” (Max Hill / The Washington Post, 03/24/1940)


December 1902: Articulate’s parentage in question

Articulate parentage headline (CDT 1902.12.28)“The running of the Christmas day handicap was responsible for a bit of turf gossip leaking out that will interest Chicago racetrack followers, because it relates to Articulate. The statement is made on authority that Articulate is in all probability not a son of St. Andrew, as he is registered, and as he is believed to be by all but a few persons, but is really a son of Barney Schreiber’s noted young sire, Sain.

Colt Looks Like a Sain
As the story goes, Utter, the dam of Articulate, was first bred to Sain and afterwards, under the impression she was not in foal, was sent to the stable of St. Andrew. For some reason W. C. De Lopez, who bred the colt, did not think it worth while to register Articulate as by “Sain or St. Andrew,” as colts in such cases usually are registered, but accredited the youngster to St. Andrew. The facts in the case, however, are known by some horsemen, and now most of those so informed feel convinced that the colt which won so many successive races at Washington park last summer is in reality a Sain, and that his successful career should go to swell the brilliant list of performers that carry the blood of the imported Australian horse.

The thing in the Christmas day handicap that brought the story to the surface was the remarkable resemblance presented by Articulate and Corrigan as that pair came down to the wire together leading the field at the end of the first quarter of that mile and a quarter race. If ever two horses looked alike in actions and markings these two did upon this occasion, as they strode along side by side, and a turfman of national prominence who had heard the story of Articulate’s breeding said:

“There is not a particle of doubt in my mind that Articulate is by Sain. His resemblance to Corrigan is sufficient to establish that fact.”

The horseman refused, however, to allow his name to be used in connection with the story, explaining:

“If the mistake made in registering Articulate should become known it would vitiate all the earnings of the horse up to the present time.”

It may be stated that the horseman was not Barney Schreiber and that he was not speaking in the interests of Schreiber’s breeding farm. For that matter, Schreiber has more than 100 mares on his farm in Missouri and he is probably not looking for outside engagements for his most successful stallion.” (Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/28/1902)