Louis B. Mayer

Walter Wells misses his chance on Alibhai (GB)

“Walter Wells doesn’t want for money, but he smiles a bit wryly when he recalls the miscue that cost him Alibhai.

Wells, former president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, once could have purchased Alibhai for $1250. His top offer was $1150.

Last summer Louis B. Mayer sold the 10-year-old stallion to a Kentucky syndicate for $500,000, the record in this country.

Wells had his big chance eight years ago, when Alibhai was 2. In the breeding game at the time, Wells figured it might be a good idea to add Alibhai to his stud, being as how the youngster was a son of Hyperion, and he could use some of that blood.

Alibhai had disclosed terrific speed in training, but he broke down and Trainer Van Dusen had to retire him to the Marwyck Ranch, the current Perris ranch of Mr. Mayer being in the nebulous state. It was at Marwyck that Wells carried on negotiations with Harry Hart, but missed a $500,000 deal by a $100 whisker.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 11/14/1948)

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Your Host at Circle S Ranch, 1951

Your Host – 1947 ch. c., Alibhai (GB) – Boudoir (GB) by Mahmoud (FR)
Breeder: Louis B. Mayer
Owner: William Goetz (during racing career)
Trainer: Harry L. Daniels

Record: (23) 13-5-2 / $384,795
1949: 1st California Breeders’ Champion S., Del Mar Futurity; 2nd Salinas H., Homebred S., Premiere H.
1950: 1st San Felipe S., Dick Welles S., Santa Anita Derby, Golden State Breeders’ H., Sheridan H., Kent S.; 2nd Premiere H.; 3rd Arlington Classic, American Derby
1951: 1st Santa Catalina H.; 2nd San Carlos H.

Established NTR at Keeneland (1950): 7f in 1:22.40
Established NTR at Santa Anita (1951): 1 ⅛ mi. in 1:48.20 (Santa Catalina H.)

Early in his four-year-old season, Your Host would clip heels and fall in the 1951 San Pasqual H., fracturing his right shoulder, upper right foreleg, and lower right foreleg (in four places). While his connections wished to euthanize Your Host due to the extent of the injuries, insurer Lloyd’s of London purchased the horse and sent him to George Stratton’s Circle S Ranch for an attempt at recovery. After a long period, Your Host would recover and begin stud duties in California. Eventually he would move to New Jersey, where he would sire Kelso in 1957. He would remain in New Jersey until his death in 1961.

The below series of photos were taken of Your Host, groom Jack Straka, and George Stratton while in recovery at Circle S in August 1951.

Your Host (1) - with Jack Straka 1951 Your Host with Jack Straka at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (2) - with Jack Straka 1951 Your Host with Jack Straka at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (3) - 1951 Your Host at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (4) - 1951 Your Host at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (5) - 1951
Your Host at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (6) - with George Stratton - 1951 Your Host with George Stratton at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (7) - with Jack Straka-George Stratton 1951 Your Host with Jack Straka and George Stratton at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (8) - with George Stratton 1951 Your Host with George Stratton at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (10) - 1951 Your Host at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (11) - with Jack Straka 1951 Your Host with Jack Straka at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (12) - with George Stratton 1951 Your Host with George Stratton at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)

Your Host (9) - with George Stratton 1951 Your Host with George Stratton at Circle S Ranch, August 1951.
Photo: USC Digital Library (Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961)