Man o’ War

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

August 1930: Visitors barred from seeing Man o’ War, Bubbling Over, North Star (GB) due to fire risk

“LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 2 (AP) – The most popular horse in the world, Man o’ War, will receive no more visitors until Kentucky’s drought is ended. Danger of dried grass in the famed thoroughbred’s pasture being ignited from carelessly thrown cigarette stubs was given as the reason for the order, issued by Miss Elizabeth Daingerfield, manager of Faraway Farm.

A recent fire at Colonel E. R. Bradley’s Idle Hour Farm, which destroyed a barn, caused a similar rule to go into effect there. Bubbling Over, Derby winner, and imp. North Star 3d, leading sire until Man o’ War captured his laurels, have been permitted no callers for a week.”
(The New York Times, 08/03/1930)

1927: Elizabeth Daingerfield maintains confidence in Man o’ War

“Elizabeth Daingerfield, manager of Man o’ War and the Kentucky breeding farm on which he is located, is not alarmed at the turf failures of the sons and daughters of the superhorse last season.

In reply to a query as to what was wrong with the Man o’ War 2 year olds that got to the races this year, she said: ‘Most of these young horses belonging to Samuel D. Riddle and Walter M. Jeffords had distemper at the time they were shipped east last fall as yearlings. This retarded their growth and threw them far back in their training. But they will prove their greatness as 3 year olds.’

Veteran Kentucky breeders attribute other causes to their failure. They say every great sire has his off years. They point out that the Man o’ War colts and fillies were wintered in Maryland for the first time and that Mr. Riddle changed trainers when they were in the midst of early conditioning work.

Miss Daingerfield uses her effeminate expression of ‘simply gorgeous’ in describing Man o’ War’s crop of yearlings which will get to the races as 2 year olds next season. ‘I believe they are the best lot ever sent out of Kentucky,’ she said.” (French Lane / Chicago Daily Tribune, 12/18/1927)


The two crops in question (foals of 1925 and 1926) would ultimately include (among others): two-time champion Bateau (1925); stakes winner Genie (1925); Reine-de-Course mare Valkyr (1925), herself the dam of champion and Reine mare Vagrancy; Reine-de-Course mare Warrior Lass (1926), herself the dam of Reine mare Marching Home; War Woman (1926), herself the dam of two-time champion Mata Hari; Kentucky Derby winner Clyde Van Dusen (1926); and Hard Tack (1926), himself the sire of Seabiscuit.

Comparative measurements of Man o’ War, Gallant Fox, and Equipoise

As originally published in William H. P. Robertson’s The History of Thoroughbred Horse Racing, listed below are comparative body measurements for Man o’ War, Gallant Fox, and Equipoise.

Comparative measurements of Man o' War, Gallant Fox, and EquipoiseAs published in William H. P. Robertson’s The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America.

1931: The stallions of Faraway Farm

The below is an advertisement for Faraway Farm’s 1931 stallion roster, featuring stallions Big Blaze, Crusader, and Man o’ War.

Faraway Farm ad (TB Record, Vol. 113 No. 5, 1931.01.31)

The Thoroughbred Record (Vol. 113, No. 5), 01/31/1931