Belmont Park

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 (and photo) of the week: 27-horse field at Belmont, August 1945

On August 7, 1945, the fourth race at the wartime Saratoga at Belmont meeting masqueraded as a cavalry charge when twenty-seven colts and geldings took to the starting gate for a 5 ½ furlong maiden event.

The race was won by Top Flight’s cousin Our Bully (Bull Lea), who scored by a half-length over Uncle Mac (Rhodes Scholar (FR)), with Count Fleet’s full brother Count Speed (Reigh Count) next back in third.

The New York Times, 08/08/1945

27-horse maiden race at Belmont Park (08/07/1945), won by Our Bully.
Photo available from (Part number: nes42227).

Chart of the Week: 22 horse maiden race at Belmont, July 1943

At the wartime Saratoga at Belmont meeting on July 31, 1943, the first race of the day was a 5 ½ furlong maiden for colts and geldings, comprised of a robust field of twenty-two.

Won by Dustman (Blenheim II) by a head over Ariel Game (Ariel), the field also included the Sickle colt Sickletoy, a half-brother to Bolingbroke (Equipose), Thataway (Polynesian), and Whiffenpoof (Bull Dog), among others. While moderately successful on the track, Sickletoy is mostly of note for ultimately siring two foals – one being the champion mare Sickle’s Image – prior to his premature death in 1950 (more on Sickletoy here).

Also of note, future Hall of Famer Stymie is listed among the scratches for the race.

CHART - 22 horse maiden SAR (NYT 1943.08.01)

The New York Times, 08/01/1943

Chart(s) of the week: the 1951 & 1967 Suburban Handicaps

Going off as the 15-1 sixth choice, the 4-year-old filly Busanda (War Admiral) defeated the 5-year-old Isolater (GB) horse Lone Eagle (himself at 96-1) by 1 ½ lengths to take the 65th edition of Suburban Handicap (10f) at Belmont Park

CHART - 1951 Suburban (NYT 1951.05.31)

The New York Times, 05/31/1951

With the Suburban temporarily moved to Aqueduct, Busanda’s 4-year-old son Buckpasser (Tom Fool) kept the race in the family when defeating the 4-year-old colt Ring Twice (Gallant Man) by a half-length to win the 1967 edition of the race.

CHART - 1967 Suburban H. (NYT 1967.07.05)

The New York Times, 07/05/1967

Beginning with Busanda in 1951, the La Troienne (FR) branch of Family 1-x has won eight Suburban Handicaps (Busanda-1951; Buffle-1966; Buckpasser-1967; True Knight-1974; Easy Goer-1990; Pleasant Tap-1992; Mineshaft-2003; Frost Giant-2008).

1917: The Coaching Club American Oaks, a new filly classic

CCAO ad (TB Record, Vol. 85 No. 3, 1917.01.20)

The Thoroughbred Record (Vol. 85, No. 3), 01/20/1917

“The Westchester Racing Association is issuing blanks for a new serial stake which will undoubtedly prove one of the classics of America. The race is for three-year-old mares. In 1917, it will be run at the spring meeting of the Westchester Racing Association as a handicap; $3,000 guaranteed cash value, 1 ⅛ miles; in 1918 at this Association as a handicap, $4,000 guaranteed cash value, one and one-quarter miles, and 1919 at the spring meeting as a condition race, guaranteed cash value $5,000, one mile and three furlongs, and this last race will be known as “The Coaching Club American Oaks.”

These races will all close with the Secretary of the Westchester Racing Association on February 5, 1917. The 1917 race being for then three-year-olds; the 1918 race for then two-year-olds, and the 1919 race for then yearlings. To these races the Coaching Club of America will add the historical old Singleton Cup, to become the property of the owner winning the race three times, not necessarily consecutively, and will also add to each race a silver trophy to become the property of the winning owner of that year.

The Singleton Cup is a trophy donated in 1820 by the South Carolina Jockey Club, to be raced for over its Washington Course at Charleston, South Carolina, “to be liable for challenge hereafter, and must be won by the same gentleman three consecutive years or remain unchallenged during that period, before his property in it is complete.” This race was at two mile heats, weight-for-age, and was won by Colonel Singleton’s “Sally Taylor,” which was bred by Col. Singleton, and was by his famous horse “Kosciusko,” which had as a four-year-old won this race at three mile heats in 1819.

Such races as the above for mares is a thing very much needed at the present time on the American turf, as the question of elimination for breeding purposes is a much vexed one, and this race will eventually be known as “The Oaks” and the owner of the winner can point to the victories of the matron in such races with the same pride that the Englishman does to the winner of their female classic –their Oaks.” (The Thoroughbred Record (Vol. 85, No. 1), 01/06/1917)

1917 (as the Coaching Club Handicap): Won by Wistful (she would also win it again in 1949)

CCAO 1917 chart (DRF 1917.06.17)

Daily Racing Form, 06/17/1917

1918 (as the Coaching Club Handicap): Won by Rose D’Or

CCAO 1918 chart (DRF 1918.06.16)

Daily Racing Form, 06/16/1918

1919 (as the Coaching Club American Oaks): Won by Polka Dot

CCAO 1919 chart (DRF 1919.06.08)

Daily Racing Form, 06/08/1919


The greatest three days in racing history: Belmont Park, July 4-6, 1975

The New York Times, 07/04/1975