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The Sensational Racing Career of 






/:) /< y^ 



Mr. Benjamin Block, Owner of Morvich 


An Autobiography 
of a Horse 


Illustrated with Portraits 

Copyright, 1922 
Gerald B. Breitigam 

Printed in the U.S.A. 



OF 1921 -1922 

Unbeaten as a Two- Year-Old, Winning 11 
Straight Stake Races 

Winner of Kentucky Derby in His First Start 
as a Three- Year-Old 

The Greatest Race Horse Story Ever Written 

Reprinted by 

"BILL" HEISLER, Publisher 

By Special Permission of the Author 

Table of Contents 


An Appreciation , 5 

Dedication 6 

A Tribute to a Horse 8 

Morvich — the Wonder Horse 

Part I— Coithood 14 

Part II — Undefeated 25 

Part III— Derby Day 36 

Part IV— Victory 47 

An Appreciation 

The Author wishes to thank Mr. Benjamin 
Block, owner of Morvich, and Mr. Frederick 
Burlew, his trainer, for their many courtesies. 
His thanks also are extended to The New York 
Globe, in which first appeared the first three 
parts of the Story of Morvich, not only for 
permission to republish but also for the splendid 
manner in which the story originally was pre- 
sented and displayed. To R. H. McCaw, 
Walter St. Denis, Dan Lyons and O'Neill 
Sevier, members of The Globe's staff, thanks 
are herewith given for advice and suggestion 
in the preparation of the material. And to Mr. 
William T. Amis, lover of horses, the Author 
extends his heartiest thanks for the Introduction. 



To my wonderful friend, Mr. Benjamin 
Block, my owner, and whom it is my increasing 
delight to serve, whose courtesies to me in my 
work and travel are without number and un- 
stinted, always introducing me to the politest 
society, the Senators, Governors, Merchant 
princes, and most of all to the most beautiful 
women in the world, whose gracious interest 
and pride in me, I am free to admit have nerved 
me to exert myself and prove my worth; to 
my trainer, Mr. Frederick Burlew, whose 
ceaseless vigilance and untiring effort to keep 
me in the fittest condition, and in it all, not 
forgetting the menu; to my good friend Mr. 
Gerald B. Breitigam who so patiently and with 
such brilliant success took down the copy of my 
autobiography and is now placing it in perma- 
nent form that my friends after me shall know 
my life; to my friends across the street, who in 


the end with unfailing courtesy, like true sports- 
men to the manner born, have struggled fierce- 
ly with me on the track, and who, I may say, 
are worthy of any foeman's steel, but acknowl- 
edged my triumphs; to that vast throng that 
cover, like a carpet of spring flowers, the gal- 
leries and the ground, and whose applause is 
a far sweeter fragrance to me; to the great sport 
of the American Turf, and those who are striv- 
ing to maintain it on the highest plane of the 
true ethics of sport, and to which standards I 
commend that it shall hereafter and forever be 
maintained, so that all of us good racehorses 
may appear in honor before our masters and 
our friends; to my friend Mr. Willam T. Amis, 
who, after taking down these words, gave me 
a big piece of chocolate, patted me gently on 
the cheek and said, "MORVICH, you are a 
great horse and a fine fellow," I herewith 
dedicate this book. 

A Tribute to the Horse 

"The glory of his nostrils is terrible." 

The horse from time immemorial has played 
an important part in the civilization of the 

He stands out pre-eminently the king of all 
beasts. We feel a twinge of regret to call him 
a beast. The proudest moments of man are 
when he is astride his favorite steed. The glory 
of the great generals whose armies have shaken 
continents would soon fade and perish in the 
imagination and romantic pride of the world 
were it not for the magnificent poise and grace 
of the imperishable equine reared aloft on the 
pedestal of fame, his proud mane eclipsed only 
by the golden braid of his master, each typical 
of their respective majesties. 

We never cease to love his handsome form, 
to look upon his confident stride and to wonder 
at his strong and graceful step. 




Then, too, those kind and friendly eyes which 
ever bespeak a willing service and a gentle 
loyalty to his master. 

He is recounted among the marvelous works 
of the Creator. God in his effort to tame the 
proud and defiant heart of disobedient man, 
asks, "Who gave to the horse his strength, and 
who clothed his neck with thunder? He paws 
in the valley and rejoiceth in his strength. 

"He mocks at fear and turns not back from 
the sword. He is not afraid like the grass- 
hopper. He does not give heed to the rattle 
of the quiver, the glitter of the spear and the 
sword. In defeat he will not hear the sound 
of the trumpet. 

"He smells the battle afar off — the thunder 
of the captains and the shouting." 

Is it any surprise that an heir to whole 
realms should exclaim: "A horse, a horse — my 
kingdom for a horse!" 

In this age of motive power when so many 
of the heavy burdens of the faithful horse are 


being lifted, there should be a concerted effort 
on the part of man to exhalt and lift up on a 
higher plane the position of this most wonder- 
ful of all animals. 

Have we not removed from our shoulders 
the weights of former years through the 
marvelous strides of science and invention? 
Have we not in our comforts kept pace with 
progress? Why should we hold in bondage 
longer this our beautiful friend — the horse? 
Will the scorpion lash of the cruel master ever 

The horse has a higher and richer function 
and heritage by the side of man in the process 
of the age. 

It is a source of pride to look upon him 
when he is well kept, sleek and natty. See him 
prance, bite his bits and pitch his proud head, 
and with distended nostrils give vent to his 
feelings of freedom and strength! 

There is not a more appreciative animal in 
the world than the horse. He will respond to 



every kindness and gi\e in return full measure 
and running over. 

You pat him on the shoulder, smooth his 
forehead with gentle stroke and speak kind 
words to him. Two proud hearts in common! 

Then too, there is the nobler breed with 
"all the line of his fathers known," the steeds 
whose pride is in the chase and in the thrill of 
the track. 

The world will never grow so old as to for- 
get the sensation and the glory of the fast mov- 
ing steed, in the heat of rivalry as he "trots 
the air" and causes the earth to sing as he 
touches it with fleet, limbed and beautiful feet, 
racing around the course, bending against the 
rail at the third quarter, mounting as on wings, 
with each lengthened tread, pounding the 
earth as if it were the soft dalliance of the 
king's chariot way, stretching his flaming neck 
as if to nose his challenged right to the goal 
and the gong, coming forth in the last lap in 
the froth and foam and fury of his haste, dash- 



ing over the line a victor in the midst of the 
wild and tumultuous throng rending anew the 
welkin with the din of applause and strident 
but muffled music of the band! 

He comes back before the stand, dancing 
and prancing. He seems to bow and acknowl- 
edge with grateful pause the grand display of 
effulgent praise. His energy is spent. The 
victory is won. The fond caress of his master 
is sweet. 

When the great Creator bestowed on man 
the mastery and companionship of an equine 
so teachable, sympathetic, proud and so glor- 
iously beautiful and graceful, he meant that 
man should enjoy the infinite delectation of an 
estate richly bequeathed but no less a solemn 
responsibilty assumed. The world notes with 
pride that great keepers and trainers of these 
matchless steeds are jealous to protect the 
world's greatest sport from the waste and 
depredation of the race track mongrel of former 
years who not only shamed the world but 



humbled the horse. 

Under the administration of men whose 
ethics are unblemished and whose honesty is 
unquestioned, the king of all sports will assume 
its place for the season under auspices of good 
omen, with MORVICH to the fore, "whose 
pace is as swift as light," and whose glory is 
in his dark eyes, his flowing mane and tread 
of his noble feet. 





The Wonder Horse 

Part I 

Well do I remember the day when I was 
named. Up to that time I had been merely a 
nameless colt running in pasture beside my 
mother, Hymir. It was a day of shadows and 
sunshine, the winter rains had brought the 
grass of the pasture to a lush green, the ground 
was spongy beneath my feet, the blood danc- 
ing in my veins. 

I know now that I must have seemed an 
awkward sight to the two men who came down 
into the wide pasture. But up to that time the 
stableboys and other humans with whom I had 
to deal had not paid me much attention. I 
was not aware that I differed radically in ap- 


Left to Right: Mr. Frederick Burlew, Trainer 
OF Morvich; Mr. Block 


pearance from other colts running by day in 
that flat country, under the California sun- 
shine, there in Napa County, with now and 
then a strange salty tang from San Pablo Bay, 
not many miles distant, borne on the breeze. 

They came across the pasture, halting now 
and then, while one of the pair would point a 
finger toward one or other of us colts, and the 
other would assign a name. I edged close to 
them, for my curiosity was aroused, and from 
what they said I understood that our owner, 
Mr. A. B. Spreckels, had negleaed to regsiter 
us until the last moment, and that Bill Carroll, 
our trainer, had brought him to the pasture for 
the purpose of naming us. 

"There's a beauty," said Spreckels, indicating 
a brown colt running by the side of Salvatrix. 

"Yes," said the trainer, "sired by Runny- 
mede. Same as that colt yonder." 

He indicated me. Mr. Spreckels regarded 
me quizzically. 

"Not much similarity," he said in a disap- 



pointed tone." "Look at that fellow's lumpy 

"Yes," said the trainer, shaking his head, 
"I'm afraid he's the cull of the stable." 

"Well, name him Morvich," said Mr. 
Spreckels. "I've been reading a Russian novel 
in which the hero, a twisted sort of fellow, 
bears that name. Perhaps the colt, Morvich, 
may come out from behind as the man Morvich 

Old Bill Carroll shook his head doubtfully. 
"He'd have to go some," he said. 

The beautiful colt who had the same father 
as I was named Runstar. That was my first 
indication that I was regarded disparagingly 
by humans. Later I was to have many far 
plainer evidences of it. As for Runstar, who 
had the same father as I, he became the pride 
of Spreckels' stables while I with my lumpy 
knees and my awkwardness, was looked down 
upon more and more. Ah, how I hated him, 
how I yearned to out-do him in some fashion 



or other! 

"Bide your time," advised Mother Hymir. 
"If there is anything in those funny legs of 
yours, your chance to beat Runstar in the only 
way open to a thoroughbred will come. He's 
a good-looking colt, but — beauty is as beauty 

One other consolation I received was from 
Mose, a runty little Negro stable boy, himself 
a cull, who loved me, and used to sneak up to 
me sometimes with a lump of sugar or an 
apple core. 

"No thin' in a name, honey boy," he said 
one day. "Look at dat Johren." 

Johren, it seems, was a colt in Harry Payne 
Whitney's stables at one time, the shaggiest, 
most unkempt colt imaginable. His coat would 
not come out even, nor take a shine. When 
it came time to name him for the thoroughbred 
register Mr. Whitney recalled an occasion 
when he had halted at a roadhouse for water 
for his car. It was a ramshackle place, down- 



at-the-heels, and the proprietor appeared in 
keeping with his hostelry. His name was 

"That colt," said Mr. Whitney, with a dis- 
gusted laugh, "Ho! He's Johren." 

And Johren, Mose added, became one of 
the best three-year-olds of his year. 

"Keep yo' head up, boy," said Mose. "Yo's 
got a strong hea't an' a even disposishun. 'At's 
what yo needs. Yo' jes wait. Yo'll beat 'em 

It was pretty hard for me to keep up my 
courage during the next year and a half, how- 
ever, I can tell you. I was foaled at some 
period during 1919, and automatically became 
a year old the following New Year's Day. 
That's the way it is with us horses. The first 
of the year after our birth makes us yearlings. 
It was the time I was waiting for. Because, 
on becoming a yearling, my training would 
begin. And deep down within me something 
kept telling me: "Courage, my friend. You 



have it in you to win." 

Up to that time not much attention had been 
paid us colts. And, though shghts had been 
put upon me because of my awkward appear- 
ance, yet there had been no great distinaion 
made, for instance, between Runstar and my- 
self. Now, however, I was to feel the iron 
enter into my soul. Ah, you laugh at that. 
But, believe me, my friends, when you see us 
horses come up to the barrier and flash away, 
and circle that track, you see something more 
than machines. You see the most perfea of 
living mechanisms, actuated by indomitable 
will. I have seen the gamesters leaning over 
the rail, avarice, greed, despair in their eyes as 
we flash by, and if they have souls, why not we? 

Now that I was a yearling my dark hour 
really began. For when I was taken out with 
Runstar and the other yearlings, and the trainer 
ran his hands over my legs and chest, my 
shoulders and neck, he snorted with disgust. 

"Well, you can't expect to get a real horse 



every time. Put him in the second stable." 

And into the second stable I went, while 
Runstar went into the first. Is there anything 
more disheartening to a young horse .'^ Here, 
right at the start of his career, he is placed with 
the cast-offs, the geldings, the selling platers, 
the horses that have never won a race in many 
starts or that did not show sufficient fire for 

And there I stayed for a year, receiving scant 
consideration to that lavished upon the promis- 
ing yearlings in the first stable. I was broken 
to saddle. It did not take long. And then 
various exercise boys mounted me and took 
me out on the great track for trials. That track 
was a beauty, as finely kept as any racing 
association track, harrowed continually, cared 
for like milady's complexion. Such tracks are 
the rule at all the great racing stables. And 
around it the boys would send me for a fur- 
long while some one clocked my time. 

I was a disappointment. I could see that. 



The truth is, I tried so hard to please those 
boys, to win their love, prancng and playing, 
that I just could not settle down to business. 
I would do a furlong in 24, and that is no time 
at all. If a young horse does it in 21, then the 
trainer says: "There is a horse. We must con- 
dition him." But if he does it in 24, he says: 
"Nothing to him. We'll sell him presently 
for his keep." 

Runstar was a beautiful chestnut horse by 
now. I could see him, now and then mettle- 
some, flashing through his furlong in 20. Ah, 
how I yearned to beat him. And when I would 
hear the trainer or the stable boys talking about 
Runstar I would quiver all over with determi- 
nation. I would beat him yet. 

At last came the spring of 1921. I was a 
two-year-old now, according to horse age, and 
eligible to race. So was Runstar, the pride of 
the stables. The pair of us, favorite and cull, 
were put in the box cars and started on our long 
journey eastward, over the deserts, over the 



mountains, over the rich, green fields of the 
middle country, to that distant eastern land 
where the thoroughbred was king. 

Because of my defective knees and unim- 
pressive workouts, my masters decided to enter 
me in the Suffolk Selling Stakes at Jamaica on 
the opening day. May 6. They would sell me 
if they could. The betting odds, influenced by 
reports from California about my trials were 
30 to 1 on me, and before the race began they 
went to 50 to 1. Even then, not even for 
sentimental reasons, would any of the Spreckels 
stable connections place a bet upon me. 

Jockey Metcalfe was up. He had ridden me 
once or twice before. I knew him for a cool 
hand, who would not use the whip unless 
compelled to. There was something electrical 
in the situation. What, I did not know. It 
was something that affected me alone. I said 
to myself I would win that race, or die of a 
broken heart. 

Red Tom was the favorite, a chestnut colt 



by His Majesty out of Burlesque, and owned 
by William Daniel. There was a field of 
twelve. Ah, how my heart was afire as we 
nosed up to the barrier. If only Runstar had 
been there. But, failing that, I would beat Red 
Tom. And I kept an eye upon him and sidled 

The barrier lifted. A sharp cheer, a spatter- 
ing of handclapping, and we were off. This 
was a race, the first of my life. It was not play. 
There was no time now for prancing to win 
anybody's heart. I was in a race with eleven 
good horses. Now was my chance. And, 
strangely enough, I seemed to hear the voice 
of Mose, the old Negro runt of my colthood, 
saying: "Yo's got a stout heart. Le's go." 

I went. 

In six strides I had taken the lead from 
them all. Red Tom, the favorite, chased me 
three furlongs, then died on his feet. He 
finished eleventh, next to last, beaten more 
than twenty-five lengths. Brush Boy, Dolly 



Varden, and Superillusion ran a good race. 
But none could touch me. My chance had 
come at last. 

I won by ten lengths. 



Part II 

What pride was mine, what joy, what elation, 
as I returned to the stables after winning the 
Suffolk Stakes that May day back in 1921. 
Victory is sweet in any case, but doubly sweet 
it was to me, who had been regarded as the 
cull of the stables, a horse upon which it was 
not worth venturing a dollar in that race, even 
though the odds stood at 50 to 1. 

Ah, thought I, prancing a little for very 
delight in life, now those humans who were 
my masters would change their opinion of me. 
Now they would no longer regard me as 
awkward, so ungainly, with such great knees, 
that I could never become a racehorse. Their 
eyes would be opened. At the very least they 
would regard me as a freak horse, built not 
on the trimmest lines, perhaps, yet able to run 



just the same. For had I not beaten eleven 
promising colts, won a purse of $3,950 for my 
masters and won by ten lengths? 

Alas, I was to learn that once an opinion 
was formed, humans were slow to change. 
Later, when men took my career as a text and 
gossiped about this trait in themselves, I was 
to hear many stories. Even James Rowe, the 
veteran trainer of Mr. Whitney's stables and 
the greatest in America, I have heard it said, 
let young horses go for the price of their keep, 
which later developed into $50,000 racers. 
And once a man said: 

"Same way in everything. Men can't al- 
ways tell who's going to be a winner. Take 
opera stars. Six years ago Mme. Galli-Curci 
couldn't get an engagement singing at the 
Hippodrome because they said she was too 
homely, and Gatti-Casazza wouldn't pay her 
even $100 a week at the Metropolitan because, 
he said, she had no voice. Today she's one of 
the queens of opera, and he pays her $2,500 a 




But this folly of men's minds was not known 
to me then. I had won. I, the cull of the 
stables. Now they would accord me that re- 
spect, that love, that care so dear to the racer's 
heart. So, thought I, prancing back to the 
stables from my first start, my first victory. 

Instead there was a little self-gratulation on 
having won, but no material change in their 
attitude toward me. I was a poor horse in 
their opinion. My victory merely made it pos- 
sible to get a little better price for me. For to 
sell me they still were resolved. And two days 
later I was sold from the Spreckels' stables to 
Max Hirsch, an owner and trainer, for $4,500. 

That was a bad time for me. For, look you, 
m.y friend, one cannot be wounded in his self- 
respect and take delight in it. Indeed, I moped 
a bit. Yet hardly had I been moved from one 
stable to another, there at the Jam^aica track, 
than I was sold again, without having run a 
race for my second owner. And this time, too, 



I became more deeply despondent. Why not? 
I knew from stable conversation that there is 
a race of men who deal in race horses as in 
stocks and bonds, for speculative purposes only. 
I had won a race; it was worth gambling a bit 
upon me. And so I was sold to Fred Burlew 
for $7,500. 

And yet when this newest owner sent me 
to the barrier there at Jamaica May 16, ten 
days after my first race, there was nothing in 
my heart except once more a desire to win, to 
prove myself anew, and so, perhaps, to earn 
that master's love for which I craved. Jockey 
Ensor rode me. And I was off to a long lead 
and never let down. A month later, June 17 
to be exact, I ran again under Jockey Keogh 
at Aqueduct, outclassed the field, and won 

So far I had run against only indifferent 
horses. They were beautiful, some of them 
possessing all the graceful lines I was said to 
lack. But they were not the class of racers, 





and I yearned to try my mettle against the 
stars. Ah, if I could only match myself against 
Runstar, that pride of the stables where my 
colthood was spent, that picture horse upon 
whom was lavished every care, while I went 

The chance was to come, but not yet. 

Meanwhile my race in the Greenfield Stakes 
had made a strong impression upon a man who 
never before had owned a horse. This was 
Benjamin Block, my present owner, who always 
had been interested in racing, but merely as a 
spectator. He bought a half interest in me 
from Mr. Burlew, and later acquired full con- 
trol, retaining Mr. Burlew as trainer. 

I have heard him say he was attracted to me 
by the way in which I ran the Greenfield. On 
a slow track, I dashed to the front after being 
beaten away from the barrier, and won by five 
lengths from a speedy field, just galloping at 
the end. 

"I have always wanted to own a horse," I 



have heard Mr. Block say, "but I did not want 
one on my hands who was not a real racer. I 
had many chances to become an owner, of 
course, but never accepted them until I saw 

Ah, but that was what I needed. That was 
the kind of talk to ease me of the growing 
bitterness so foreign to me. For, naturally, I 
am of a sunny disposition, and with such talk 
in my ears how I did run after that. The next 
three races, all unimportant, I took without 
the least bit of trouble. They were an ordinary, 
over-night condition affair at Aqueduct, July 2; 
the Sparkhill Purse at Empire City, July 9, and 
a condition race at the same track, July 20. 

The next month I was taken to the Saratoga 
track. This time I travelled as a thoroughbred 
should travel, with trainer, exercise boy and 
special detective. I was becoming a horse of 
some importance. My races had been only 
ordinary ones so far, but my owners had high 
hopes of me. So high, indeed, that on the eve 



of my first important race, the United States 
Hotel Stakes, Mr. Block bought out his partner's 
half interest at a reported price of $35,000. I 
was a $70,000 horse. I, the cull. What 
would Runstar say to that? And where was 
he? Would I meet him at Saratoga? Ah, if 
I could only find him in a race against me. 

Before that race, the United States Hotel 
Stakes, began, the odds on me in the betting 
books opened at 8 to 5 and went to 2 to 1. In 
this liberal price there was an implied slight 
on me. At least my owner so considered. He 
resented it. Never a heavy bettor, he now bet 
$10,000 on me at 8 to 5. When he heard the 
price had gone to 2 to 1 he sent his commis- 
sioners another $10,000, but before it could be 
placed the price was shortened. 

"Bet the money at whatever price you can 
get," ordered Mr. Block. "I'll teach 'em to 
recognize a good horse when they see him." 

I ran that race, worth close to $10,000, 
with a similar resolve in my heart. I, too, 



would teach them to know a good horse when 
they saw him. There were some good horses 
against me, Kai-Sang, Oil Man and Sir Hugh, 
the best of the lot. Pegasus and Sunreigh also 
were excellent. As I have said, it was my first 
important race. And, though, I got away well 
from the post, yet I was so much on edge, so 
eager to win, not to make a mistake, that I 
took things easy at first, too easy, perhaps, the 
stands might have considered. I was slow to 
begin. Ah, but they did not know me. With 
the field ahead, I came up like a thunder-bolt 
on the inside, drove through the ruck, took the 
lead and fought out the last furlong neck-and- 
neck with Kai-Sang, who had the great Jockey 
Earl Sande up. Kai-Sang held on well, but I 
stood the long drive gamely and won. 

A week later came the Saratoga Special, 
worth $9,500, and again I won. It was a repe- 
tition of the former race. Then, for more than 
two weeks, there was no racing for me. I was 
being conditioned for the great race of the meet, 



to be held Aug. 31, the closing day, the Hopeful 

The day of the great race dawned bright and 
clear, but the track was reported slow. That 
was the first sign of luck in a day that was 
filled with them, for while some racers break 
their hearts on a slow track I have the wind 
and the heart to plough through. Call it game- 
ness, call it what you will. I run my best when 
there are obstacles to be overcome. And, on 
this point, too, I have heard men talk outside 
my stall, saying it was so with humans, that 
those travelled the farthest who travelled the 
hardest roads in their youth. 

Another sign of luck was the shortening of 
the price against me to 6 to 5 and 13 to 10. 
But, greatest sign of luck of all, was the an- 
nouncement that Runstar would be entered 
against me. At last. At last I would have my 
chance to fight it out with that young fellow 
whose handsome graces had won the hearts of 
the stables where I was born, that favorite of 



the family in which I had been the ugly 

There were other good horses against me 
for this race carried a purse of $34,000. Kai- 
Sang was in again and I must not neglea to 
identify him as the pride of Mr. Harry Sinclair's 
Rancocas stables and a fine horse. And there 
were Bunting and Whiskaway from the 
Whitney stables; Sunreigh, the Kilmer stable 
pet; Violinist, Mr. Bud Fisher's best — good 
horses all. But Runstar! Ah, he was the only 
horse in the race for me. The others might 
as well not have been present. 

I started with a terrific pace, and a great 
roar went up from the stands. There should 
be no dallying here, no delay on my part while 
the field went ahead that I might look them 
over. A terrific pace, and I never drew up. I 
was never headed, and won easily, galloping. 
And when I passed the judge's stand Runstar 
was ten lengths behind. 

My racing season was nearing an end. We 



travelled south in style and on Sept. 211 won 
the $7,000 Eastern Shore Handicap at Havre 
de Grace and Nov. 5, at Pimlico, scored my 
eleventh and last victory in the Pimlico Futuri- 
ty, winning $42,750, which brought my total 
winnings for the season to $115,285 in eleven 

Runstar during the same period started nine 
times, won three races, was third in one, finished 
unplaced in five. He won a total of $5,301. 
Compare our records for the season, my friend, 
those of the pride of the stable and cast-off, the 

But, as I have said, man does not always 
know beforehand who will be the winner. If 
he did, why, there would be no race horses. 



Part III 

This is the eve of Derby Day. 

I am stabled at Churchill Downs, not far 
from the city of Louisville, Kentucky. This 
is the very heart and capital of all the Blue 
Grass Region where since Daniel Boone and 
his fellow pioneers first followed the Wilder- 
ness Trail through Cumberland Gap from the 
Eastern Shore, the horse has been king. Through 
all the dark years when the breeding and rac- 
ing of thoroughbreds languished in other parts 
of the country, when legislatures and purity 
leagues combined to close the great tracks, 
racing has been kept alive here. For fifty years 
the annual American classic of the turf, the 
Kentucky Derby, has been run here. Tomor- 
row it will be run again and — I will be out to 
win it. 



I, Morvich, the Awkward, the cast-off, the 
cull of other days. 

Where are the others? 

Where is Red Tom? Where is Kai-Sang? 
And, above all, where is Runstar? There is 
no answer to that question. There can be none. 
Those picture horses have been left behind in 
the race. It is I, the cull, who have gone up. 

I tell you, my friend, my feelings are rather 
varied on this occasion. As I stand in my 
stall, here on the edge of this vast race course, 
where tomorrow all the fashion and beauty of 
the South will be gathered under the sunshine, 
but which tonight is empty and dark and 
tenanted only by the ghosts of great horses of 
the past who have run their course and gone 
on, here I am inclined to solemn thought. 

I have no fears for the morrow. I shall run 
to win. That is all that counts. If there is a 
better horse than I, he will know at least that 
he has been in a horse race. But there is a 
nameless something stirring in me. I know 



not how to describe it. Yet I suppose all fight- 
ers experience it on the eve of great battles — 
the veteran of the ring, the soldier in the 

Ah, how I thank my stars tonight for the 
blood that is in me, for from it in all likelihood 
I derive the equable disposition which has 
brought me unshaken through all the stress of 
a tumultuous though brief career. With us 
thoroughbreds, you know, there is always the 
danger of too close inbreeding. The great 
strains are not many. Breeders must watch 
very carefully to keep them far enough apart, 
else will the foals be fractious, excitable, prone 
to sickness of one kind and another, unbalanced. 
But, fortunately for me, my sire, Runnymede, 
and my dam, Hymir, were further apart in re- 
lationship than most. 

And I need all that balance, all that 
equanimity which marks me, now. Up at 
Jamaica, some ten days ago, when I was being 
given my early workouts on the track, some 



stories of the Derby reached me. For one 
thing, it was common talk among horsemen 
that the race was too early in the year for three- 
year-olds, and that those who ran a great race 
in the Derby broke afterward and were little 
good for racing again. For another it was said 
the distance of a mile and a quarter was too 
much for me. It is true I have never raced that 
distance but my final workout before we left 
Jamaica a week ago was over a distance of a 
mile and a furlong and I did it in 1:58. 

As for the statement that the three-year-olds 
break after the Derby that is not as true as 
mJght be. Great three-year-olds, if they return 
to the track for further racing, arc placed under 
increasing handicap. Each race they win, the 
handicap grows. Rather, therefore, than per- 
mit them to be broken by carrying grievous 
weight, owners frequently withdraw great 
horses in order to put them to stud and thus 
perpetuate the strain. 

But, as I look through the wire screen of my 



stall, upon which is the brass plate, bearing 
my name and those of my dam and sire, out 
over the silent downs, vast and shadowy and 
deserted with the great stands looming large 
beneath the moonlight in the distance, I take 
heart of hope from a reflection or two. And, 
principally, I am thinking of what little Mose, 
that little darky stableboy of my early days, 
used to whisper to me: "Yo-all's got de stout 
hea't, Honey Boy. Dat's wot wins de race." 

Ah, how true that is. Perhaps you who 
watch the horses run are of the opinion that 
the speediest horse wins, other things being 
even. That is not true. The race is not always 
to the swift. A racer has got to have speed 
and endurance, of course, but above all else he 
must have class. And class is naught more or 
less than stoutheartedness. 

We are out there, racing. One horse leads. 
Another thunders up behind him. "Come on, 
boy, come on!" The roar from the stands 
sweeps out across infield and track. The heart 



of the leading horse, an animal so sensitive 
that he thrills to the touch of a lady's glove, 
beats suffocatingly. That shouting from the 
stands; that thunder of hoof beats behind. Ah, 
he cannot stand this! He must pull up. And, 
speedier though he may be, the stouter-hearted 

And I remember what I once heard of that 
famous race between Man-o'-War and John P. 
Grier. Until he met the latter, Man-o'-War 
had never been given a real race. But when 
he ran alone against Mr. Whitney's great 
horse, they thundered neck and neck around 
the rail and started neck and neck down the 
home stretch, with not so m.uch room between 
the tips of their noses as would show daylight. 
Yet, Man-o'-War won. Speedier? Perhaps. 
More likely he was merely the stouter-hearted. 

Well, I have the class — the stout heart. 
Never yet have I become fractious or excitable 
in the paddock before a race. Never have I 
gone on the track that I did not come to the 



barrier without giving my jockey any trouble. 
I have pranced a little at times. Who would 
not, out there in the sunshine, with the band 
playing, and amidst that gay scene? 

Gay scene? It is quiet enough here now. 
Here and there a light gleams in the dark en- 
shrouded stables. Along the stalls come the 
occasional snores of exercise and horse boys. 
Outside I can hear the low voices of my Charley 
White and little Al Johnson. They are talking 
about me, I know, though I cannot hear what 
they say. But let them talk. There is nothing 
but love in their hearts for me. Charley is my 
assistant trainer, the man who brought me in 
a box car from Jamaica to the Downs a week 
ago. He is a light-colored Negro, and, oh, how 
he knows and understands a horse. 

"Morvich, run!" I heard him say the other 
day. "Huh. He could beat de Sperits." 

As for little Al, he rode me in the Pimlico 
Futurity, my last race last fall. I know him. 
He knows me. He is not a jockey with a great 



name as yet, and for that I am thankful. When 
we run the Derby tomorrow, my friend, I do 
not want upon me a jockey of thirty years who 
has made his quarter million. Such a one 
hears little voices whisper to him when there 
comes a little hole in the ruck ahead. "TuU 
wide, pull wide," these little voices say, 'you 
have made your name and fortune. Live to 
enjoy them. Why take a chance at this late 
day on being spilled and put out of the game 
for life?" So he pulls wide, and the race is 
lost. The horse was willing, but not the boy. 
No; give me the ambitious youngster, with all 
the world ahead, name and fortune to be made. 
He will send me into that hole, his heart as 
stout as mine, and we will go through. 

Their voices die away; naught comes now 
but an occasional snore from a stableboy, or 
the movement of some horse in his stall; the 
scattered lights in the stables go out one by 
one; the night grows late; it is time for me 
to give over these reflections and get some 



sleep against the morrow. 

Tomorrow? It will be the greatest day of 
my career. Whether I climb the heights or 
go down fighting, I shall run the greatest race 
there is in me. That I know. 

I have never seen a Derby Day, but I know 
what to expect, for naught else has been talked 
of this week in the stables. The great folks 
from all the South, from Mobile, Richmond, 
New Orleans, Charleston — from all the manors 
of the Eastern Shore and the baronies of Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky, where great horses are 
bred, will come by motor car and special train. 
All day long today the sportsmen of the East 
and West and North, likewise, have been 
rolling into Louisville. Every hotel room is 
filled, every boarding house. Private homes 
have thrown open their hospitable doors to 
guests. There is feasting and revelry in Louis- 
ville tonight. 

And tomorrow all these humans will pack 
the stands, surge through the paddock, and 

Mr. Burlew and Mr. Block at Morvich Victory 


crowd the outside rail. Upon the warm and 
languid air the bands will pour out their mad- 
ness. The stands will look like a great and 
living bouquet, with color running riot. In 
the boxes of the clubhouse gallery will be the 
most beautiful women in America. Women 
and horses — ah! the South knows the combina- 
tion. Thousands of motor cars will be packed 
in the outfield, the dust of many States upon 
them, for they will have come a long way to 
Derby Day. And the infield, the prettiest in 
America, with its blooming flower beds, will 
bear in flowers, opposite the judges' stand, the 
name of last year's Derby winner: "Behave 
Yourself." Will it be "Morvich" next year? 
What do I care how great the horses I shall 
meet? It is I who go in as favorite. I, Morvich, 
the cull, the California horse — the first from 
the Far West to come East and perform well, 
thus violating the Eastern tradition that Cali- 
fornia climate cannot produce great horses that 
can stand the heavier air of these low, hot 



lands of the East — I go in the favorite. 

The hour is late. Battle comes with dawn. 
Wish me luck. I shall sleep upon my arms. 



Part IV 

The tumult and the shouting have died 
away. It is all over. The great Kentucky 
Derby has been run. And I am back in my 
stall. Ah, my friend, but you should have been 
with me in that race. 

Day dawned clear and warm, and the track 
at Churchill Downs was reported lightning- 
fast. I could see it out there, all brown and 
smooth, harrowed and picked clean. Beyond 
it lay the infield. All were deserted in the 
early morning hours, but during that period 
there were other matters to think about. The 
stables where we thoroughbreds entered to run 
in the Derby and the races preceding were 
housed, were all astir with bustling horse boys, 
feeding, watering and grooming us; trainers 
examining us critically for possible injuries 



needing attention; owners and others loitering 
in knots and talking of the coming race. 

The race? Yes, for there was only one 
discussed — the Derby. The entries finally had 
come down to ten. Some of the best horses 
were said to be out of it, horses picked to give 
me the hardest competition. Ah, but is it not 
always like that? When one has done his best 
and won, they say: "Yes, but it would have 
been different, there would have been another 
tale to tell, if Thus and So had been opposed." 

Yet, of the ten of us left, we were the class 
of three-year-olds. And it was I who was the 
favorite — I, Morvich, the ugly duckling of the 
stable where I was born. Favorite, indeed; 
yet still men could not bring themselves to be- 
lieve in me because of my thick foreknees and 
overlengthy hind legs. "No, he has won his 
races so far through some freak of fate;" they 
said, "now he will meet the classiest horses of 
the American turf. This will be different." 
And so, favorite though I was, I was held odds 



on in the betting, at 4 to 5 or even money. 

Of this I learned through Mr. Block, my 
owner, and Mr. Burlew, my trainer. They 
spoke of it outside my stall. 

"All my money is on him to win," declared 
Mr. Block. "And today, throughout America, 
wherever there are hearts that beat for game- 
ness, they are betting on Morvich. I venture 
to say there are millions bet upon him. This 
will be the greatest moneyed race in history. 
The ugly duckling is out to win, and those 
who love the man who comes from behind 
are betting on him." 

And Mr. Burlew replied: "He'll win." 

Ah, there is a trainer. In conditioning me 
for this race, he had violated many traditions. 
Only once, and that a few days before, had he 
run me the Derby distance of a mile and a 
quarter. For the ease of my training he had 
been criticised. And wise and shrewd judge 
of horses though he is, I knew he was under 
great strain as the Derby hour approached. 



There is ben\'een sensitive horses and sensitive 
men a kinship that transcends the need for 
language. What one feels is known to the 
other. It was so with us. 

Presently, then, the motor cars began ar- 
riving, the stands to fill up. And then we were 
taken to the paddock. The lesser races were 
run. Of them I knew nothing, except that 
horses departed from the paddock, sharp cheers 
rent the air, the thud of hoofs came back from 
the track, a gong clanged, and horses returned. 

But at length, after long waiting, the Derby 
hour struck. It was late, nearing five o'clock. 
But the air was warm, the sun bright. 

Ah, my friend, how describe to you the 
feeling that animated me as little Al Johnson, 
my jockey, rode me to the barrier? Beautiful 
women filled the club house boxes. The stands 
were densely packed and ablaze with many 
colors, for these Kentucky women are not afraid 
to put on gaiety at a fete. And as we moved 
along the track, it could be seen there were 



dense masses of men packing the outer rail to 
and beyond the quarter pole. In the infield 
were thousands upon thousands of lesser folk. 
Indeed, someone said there were 50,000 there, 
and that Governor Morrow of the State was 
taking the occasion to address them upon 
naught other than the subject of myself — my 

Ah, but when I appeared on the track, you 
should have heard the clamor. It seemed to 
me it would rend the heavens above, or shatter 
my ears. Sweeter music was never heard. How 
now expect the Governor to hold attention. 
"Morvich! Morvich!" was the cry from all 

And up in the clubhouse, in his box, sat Mr. 
Block, cold to all outward appearance, but a 
gleam in his eye all the same. And somewhere 
near was Mr. Burlew, surrounded by friends, 
and the one glimpse I caught of him showed 
him far from cool, though keeping himself in 



That parade to the post. How describe it? 
One must see such things to know what they 
are Hke. There were ten of us, thoroughbreds, 
the class of the turf, and let nobody tell you we 
did not know it. What beautiful things they 
were, those other horses. I could not help 
admiring them, even envying them a little, 
their grace and perfection of form. Yet it was 
I who was Morvich, the Unbeaten; I, the least 
well-favored of them all. Ah, well, so it goes 
often in life, I have heard men say. 

Ahead of us out of the paddock moved the 
crimson-coated trumpeter. Behind him went 
John Finn, a great horse, then the filly, Startle, 
then My Play, then I. My Play? Yes, full 
brother to the great Man-o'-War, the Wonder 
Horse of 1920, with whom my name has been 
coupled. And to myself I said: "If you cannot 
have Man-o'-War to race against, at least you 
shall have his full brother, and we will see 
what can be done." 

What a horse was My Play to look upon. 



He filled the eye. He pranced, knowing well 
the import of his family name. Busy American, 
heavily bandaged on the nigh foreleg because 
of a bowed tendon, yet prancing, full of spirit; 
Surf Rider, so fractious he had to be led to the 
post — ah, we all knew we were to be in a race. 
As for myself, I was not at all nervous, I knew 
what was expected of me, and with teeth 
crunching the bits, pulling for my head, I went 
soberly along. 

Yet, at the post I wanted to be off at once. 
This would not do. There had to be perfect 
alignment. Several times I darted forward. 
Finally, one of the starter's assistants took my 
head, and held me thus until the barrier lifted. 
We were off! 

"Boy," said little Al, leaning forward to my 
ear; "they want us to ride this race to win." 
He had to hold me in. 

Yet the race was won in the first hundred 
yards. For in that distance I was free and clear 
of the field, I had the rail, and there could be 



no jam or piling up on the turns. 

I covered that first furlong in a little under 
eleven, killed the field at the start, and took 
the fight and heart out of all those picture 
horses. First one and then another of the field 
would forge ahead and try to come up with me. 
But each who thus bid for fame held on but a 
little while, then fell away. Behind, I could 
hear whip being plied as we came into the 
stretch, and I knew those beautiful horses were 
being given whip and spur in the endeavor to 
force them up to my race. But no whip ever 
touched me. And I would have run faster had 
it been necessary, but little Al never let my 
head out, even in the stretch, but always held 
me in. Perhaps he will be criticised for not 
trying to break the Derby time, but he had 
orders to ride a "win race" and that he did. 

As for breaking records, many a horse has 
been driven to do that, and has never run 
again. Last year John P. Grier at the Aque- 
duct, I have heard it said, was ridden at a 



terrific pace in his race with Man-o'-War. On 
the home stretch there was a time even when 
he got his nose ahead of the greater horse. 
But he has never raced since. That pace is 
kilhng on a racer. 

And so I came home, just galloping, at the 
end. I had taken the lead, I was never headed, 
and I won by two lengths. 

That is all. It is over now. Whatever else 
I shall do, whatever laurels I shall receive in 
other races, cannot compare to this: 

That I, the ugly duckling, the horse sold four 
times before an owner could be found who 
would put faith in me, ran undefeated through 
a season and won the Derby crown. 




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Publisher's Note — Morvich was retired in 1922 
and from the outset of his career in the stud was 
remarkably successful. He sired a very high per- 
centage of Stake Winners. 

Morvich stood at Haylands Farm, in Kentucky, 
near Lexington. He held court there for 17 years. 
He was under the care of Miss Elizabeth Dainger- 
field, who also cared for Man-o*-"War. 

Morvich, a Kentucky 
Derby Winner, Dead 

Los Angeles, Jan. 27, (AP) — ^Morvich, 
California -bred horse which won the Kentucky 
Derby in 1922, died yesterday at the Ad Astra 
ranch in nearby San Fernando valley. At stud 
for the last six years, Morvich was 27 years 
old. He was owned by Arthur Mosse. 
Last February we received a letter from Mr. 
Arthur Mosse of Van Nuys, California, and among 


other things he wrote is the following: 

"Now I will put you right about the ownership 
of Morvich. 

"I did not own the horse. He was still owned 
by the man who raced him, Benjamin Block. Mor- 
vich had been for some time in the care of Miss 
Elizabeth Daingerfield of Lexington, Ky. Miss 
Daingerfield used to be in charge of Man-o'-War, 
and as she knew my daughter, Justine, she asked her 
if she would not like to bring Morvich to California 
so he could end his days on his native heath. Justine 
therefore went right back about Christmas, 7 years 
ago, with a heavy trailer hitched to a light car and 
hauled Morvich out here in the snow and ice, some- 
times only making 40 miles a day, but unloading 
the horse every night. 

"I took care of the old horse most of the time. 
He was the sweetest stallion I ever saw. I could put 
my arms around his head and my cheek on his fore- 
head. He was very happy here, and when I took 
him in and out with only a halter on him, he would 
frisk around like a colt. 

"He did just that his last morning. He felt fine. 
I could always tell that from the way he acted. 
However, he used to roll in a certain spot every 
morning, and it hurt him to do so. Made him groan. 
I was sitting in the house one morning, after having 


all my work done, and all the horses out there eating 
hay. I heard Morvich groan, and when he kept on 
groaning, I hurried out to see what the trouble was 
and there he was all stretched out in his favorite spot. 
I just got there in time to hold his head while he 
drew his last breath. 

"I sure felt then, and still feel that I had lost one 
of the family. 

"Someone in Kentucky had fed Morvich mouldy 
clover hay, and he had the heaves. That will, as a 
rule, kill a horse in a short while. But Morvich 
was a horse with a great heart and he had the will 
to live. Of course he had the best feed we could 
give him, and we got the heaves down so he breathed 
easier, but he was living on borrowed time for years. 
Morvich died on Saturday morning, January 26, 

Sincerely yours, 







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Unusual Happenings in 

At Saratoga, on September 1, 1934, in the seventh 
race, Anna V. L. caused a jam at the start. Noble 
Spirit swerved into Semaphore, who in turn fouled 
Anna V. L. All three were disquaUfied, after finish- 
ing in the order named. The race was awarded to 
Just Cap, which had finished fourth. A triple 

Two of the longest priced winners of 1933, or 
any other year, were ridden by Jockey V. Wallis. 
At Agua Cahente, on January 8, he piloted King 
Jack to victory with a payoff of $820 for the usual 
$2 investment. On February 24, at the same track, 
Wallis won with Augeas, which paid $840 for $2. 
Only one ticket was sold on the latter horse, D. L. 
Harris of Oklahoma being the only backer of the 
neglected racer. 

Bob Wade, carrying 122 pounds at the age of four 
stepped ^ of a mile in 2 1 ^ seconds, at Butte, Mon- 
tana, August 20, 1890. 

That is still the world's record for the distance. 



6th Race at Aqueduct, N. Y., June 10, 1944 

Brownie on rail; Bassuet in center; Wait a Bit on the outside 

A Triple Dead Heat 

The only triple dead heat in the history of the American turf. 

Phar Lap, winner of the Agua Caliente Handi- 
cap in 1932, was bred in New Zealand and sold for 
$800 at the yearling auction sales. He won 51 races 
and $332,250. 

Gay World sold for $250 at a Texas yearling sale. 
In 1933 he won thirteen races, including the Chicago 

The filly Genesta, owned by R. T. Wilson and 
piloted by Jockey Woolf, won the first race on the 
day the Havre-de-Grace track was opened, August 
24, 1912. 

H. D. "Curly" Brown built the Laurel track, 
and threw it open to the public on October 2, 1911. 
Royal Onyx, owned by M. Utterback and ridden by 
Joe Byrne, won the first race on opening day. 

The first race over the Saratoga track, in 1863, 
was won by Dr. Welden's mare, Lizzie W., with 
Jockey Sewell in the saddle. The race was run over 
what is now known as the Horse Haven track, used 
only for training. 


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At Agua Caliente on March 13, 1934, no straight 
mutual tickets were sold on either Old Kickapoo or 
Patricia Grey, starters in the fifth race. Old Kicka- 
poo won. Those who held place tickets on him 
received $230.40 for $2. 

In 1870, when racing was resumed over the 
Pimlico track after an interruption caused by the 
Civil War, the first race was at two miles, over the 
hurdles, and was won by the mare Biddy Malone, 
Jockey Gaffney up. 

The original Santa Anita track was opened De- 
cember 7, 1907. The first race was won by the 
popular campaigner. Magazine, owned by R. F. 
Carman and ridden by Guy Burns. 

Walter Miller, a great Jockey of 40 years ago, 
brought home 3 88 winners in 1905. That is an 
American record for riding the most winners in a 
single year. 

Mary McFadden, a two-year-old, and Laura 
Booter, a three-year-old were full sisters. They won 
the first and second races respectively at Grasham 
Park, Portland, Oregon, on July 22, 193 5. Both 
races were at five and one-half furlongs; the of- 
ficial time for both races was the same (1:10); both 


ROAMER. Jockey Jimmie Butwell up 

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"Tod" Sloan, the most brilliant jockey who ever sat on a 
horse (on the right), and "Skeets" Martin. This photograph 
was taken at Morris Park on the day before they first decided 
to sail for England. 

started from Number Five post position; both were 
ridden by Jockey H. Scurlock; both were bred by 
Senator J. N. McFadden; both were owned by H. 
W. Ray; both were trained by J. Simpson, and both 
were maidens when they went to the post. 

In the running of the Adirondack Handicap of 
1932 at Saratoga, New York, Speed Boat, Barn 
Swallow and Enactment finished in the order named. 
The same horses finished in the same order over the 
same track in the Test Stakes in 1933. 

Blitzen won ten races in 37 days in 1893, be- 
ginning November 7. He finished second on six 
occasions, annexed the show end of the purse once 
and was unplaced once. Running eighteen races in 
37 days, he raced practically every alternate day. 
Jockey H. Jones rode him in seventeen of his eight- 
een races. 

Here's a sermon in a sentence: An old horseman 
broke his leg. He was poverty-stricken. All his 
friends said they were sorry for him. John E. Mad- 
den said nothing — but he sent the unfortunate man 
a check for one thousand dollars. 


The Great Negro Jockey 

He was the first American jockey to ride 
in England. 

Simms won the Kentucky Derby on Ben 
Brush in 1896, and on Plaudit in 1898. 

George Odom, the trainer, was a leading jockey 
forty years ago. He made a great reputation when 
he rode for W. H. Clark, owner of the great racer, 
Banastar. Mr. Clark built the Empire City race 
track, which was acquired by the late James Butler 
and now is operated by his heirs. 

Roseben, owned by Davy Johnson, started 41 times 
in 1906, to win 27 races, place 11 times and take 
the short end 5 times. On only 5 occasions did he 
finish outside the money. The preceeding year he 
had gathered 19 out of 39 starts, being second 5 
times, third on two occasions and among the "also 
rans" on only 3 occasions. 

Roseben's first start over a California track was 
at Oakland, on November 26, 1908. Ridden by 
Jockey Holmes, he was favorite at 4 to 5, and won 

"Little Pete," the Chinese plunger was prominent 
at all California tracks 50 years ago. He set it in 
when he felt he was right, but he liked to have an 
ace in the hole and "fixed" many races. When they 
caught up with him, on March 26, 1896, he was 
ruled off for life, along with three jockeys — Jerry 
Chorn, Francois Chevalier and Arthur Heinrichs. 



Sande won 3 Kentucky Derbys. On Zev 
in 1923, Flying Ebony in 1925 and Gallant 
Fox in 1930. 

The Four Fastest Derbies 

When Old Rosebud, owned by H. C. Applegate, 
ran the Derby distance of one mile and one-quarter 
in 2:03 2/5 in 1914, he established a record that 
stood for seventeen years. Twenty Grand, owned by 
Greentree Stable, lowered the Derby mark to 2:01 
4/5 in 1931, after having set a new American time 
record of 1:36 for two-year-olds the preceding fall 
in the Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. 

Twenty Grand's record stood for ten years, until 
1941 when Calumet Farm's Whirlaway bettered it by 
two-fifths of a second, running the mile and one- 
quarter in 2:01 2/5. While he did not set a record 
himself, Glen Riddle Farm's War Admiral is the only 
other Derby winner to better the record set by Old 

Whirlaway's record for the race is within one and 
two-fifth seconds of the sum of the five fastest 
quarters run in the races won by Whirlaway, Twenty 
Grand, and War Admiral. The sum of those five 
fastest quarters is 2:00. 

Below are the fractional times for the four fastest 
runnings of the Kentucky Derby at one and one- 
quarter miles: 


G . 


U O 


.9 o 


1941 Whirlaway— 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th (Mile) 5th Race 

23 2/5 23 1/5 25 25 4/5(1:37 2/9)24 =2:012/5 

1981 Twenty Grand— 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th (Mile) 5th Race 

23 1/5 24 1/5 24 3/5 25 2/5 (1:87 2/5) 24 2/5 = 2:014/5 

1937 War Admiral— 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th (Mile) 5th Race 

23 1/5 23 3/5 25 3/5 25 (1:37 2/6) 25 4/5 = 2:03 1/5 

1914 Old Rosebud— 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th (Mile) 5th Race 

23 3/5 24 1/5 25 1/5 25 4/5 (1:38 4/5) 25 1/5 = 2:03 2/5 

Whirlaway's Record 

1941— WHIRLAWAY— a colt. After winning 
Derby in record time of 2:01 2/ J, won eight in a 
row, including Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, to 
become fifth to win "Triple Crown." Campaigned 
as 4-year-old in 1942, he established world's record 
for earnings by a race horse. Retired to stud in 
mid-season 1943 in perfect condition. 

















$ 77,275 































Jockey Woolf was the leading stake and 
feature- winning jockey, according to the 
amount of money won in 1942. Amount 
won, $341,680. 1944 — Amount won, 

Interesting Stories of the 
Kentucky Derby 

1884 — Pressure had to be applied to Isaac Murphy, 
the great Negro jockey, to get him to ride Buchanan 
in the Derby of this year — which Buchanan won. 

Few horses were ever wilder at the post, or more 
erratic during the running of a race, than Buchanan. 
From the time he entered the paddock, until he re- 
turned to the judge's stand — and even after that — 
his actions were unpredictable. 

Murphy had ridden Buchanan at Nashville. After 
going through rodeo tactics at the post, Buchanan 
broke with his field, then went on a bolting ram- 
page. He was all over the track, and because of 
this, Murphy announced at Louisville that he would 
not ride Buchanan in the Derby, as he had promised. 

Messrs. Cottrill and Guest, owners of Buchanan, 
then sought out the officials at the Downs, who 
ruled that if Murphy did not ride Buchanan, he 
would not be permitted a mount in the Derby. 
When there was talk about the possibility of Murphy 
being barred from riding during the entire spring 
meeting, he became worried, and told the officials 
that he had changed his mind, and would ride 



Longdon was the leading stake and fea- 
ture-winning jockey, according to the 
amount of money won, in 1943. Amount 
won, $290,222 ; and in 1945 — Amount won. 


After booting Buchanan to a two-length victory 
in the Derby, Murphy followed up a few days later 
by riding Buchanan to triumph in the Clark Stakes. 

1891 — Turf writers referred to the Derby of this 
year as the 'Tuneral Race," because the time turned 
in was the slowest in Derby history. The frac- 
tional time: :33% for the first quarter, 1:05/4 at 
the half, 1:35^ at the three quarters, the mile in 
2:01, and the full distance in 2:52% — as compared 
with Spokane's record of 2:34%. 

Kingman was the odds-on favorite; Balgowan was 
the horse feared by Kingman's owners. Each jockey 
had orders to let the other horse take the early lead. 
Neither would. They travelled nose and nose, with 
each jockey checking down in the hope of tricking 
the other into leadership. 

The riders on the other two horses kept step with 
Kingman and Balgowan for a mile, and the quartette 
moved along in cavalry formation. Going into the 
last quarter, Isaac Murphy flecked Kingman and he 
moved to the front. Overton, on Balgowan, started 
to move, too. Kingman had taken a one-length 
lead, and won by that margin. After the race, 
Dudley Allen, half owner of Kingman, said: 

"I told my jockey to walk, if Balgowan walked, 
and he mighty near did it." 



Johnny Adams was the leading jockey 
in number of winners ridden in 1937, with 
260; 1942 with 245 winners, and 1943 
with 228 winners. 

1889 — After Spokane, opening at 10 to 1, defeated 
Proctor Knott, the 1 to 2 favorite, in the Derby, 
the admirers said Spokane was a far inferior horse; 
that his victory was due to Proctor Knott's bolt to 
the outer fence, at the turn for home. 

About a week later, they met again — in the 
Clark Stakes — over the one mile and a quarter route, 
the Derby having been a mile and a half. They then 
carried even weights, and the finish was an exact 
duplicate of the Derby; Spokane first. Proctor Knott 
second, and Once Again third. 

Their third meeting was about ten days, or two 
weeks later — in the American Derby. For the third 
time, Spokane was winner, with Proctor Knott out 
of the money. 

In their fourth meeting. Proctor Knott did defeat 

Fastest Derbies — 

Mile and a half. Spokane 2:3472 (1889); mile 
and a quarter, Whirlaway, 2:01 2/5 (1941). 

Two winners of the Derby later became leading 
money winners. Zev, winner of the Churchill 
Downs classic in 1923, later became the leading 
money winner, a distinction now held by Whirlaway, 
winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1941, whose 



Ted Atkinson was the leading jockey in 
number of winners in 1944, with a total of 
287 winning mounts. 

earnings of $561,161 are the greatest ever amassed 
by a Thoroughbred. 

Exterminator, winner of the Derby in 1918, is 
considered by many to be the greatest Thoroughbred 
seen in America in the present century. Extermi- 
nator raced for eight seasons, won fifty races, was 
seventeen times second, seventeen times third, and 
earned $2 52,996. Weight, distance, and condition 
of the track made little difference to the horse 
affectionately called "Old Bones." Exterminator 
died September 20, 1945. 

Jockey With Most Winners — 

Tied at 3: Isaac Murphy (Negro) in 1884, 1890 
and 1891; Earl Sande, 1923, 1925 and 1930. Eddie 
Arcaroin 1938, 1941, and 1945. 
Jockeys With Two Winners Each — 

Willie Sims (1896, 1898); Jimmy Winkfield 
(1901, 1902); Johnny Loftus (1916, 1919); Albert 
Johnson (1922, 1926); Linus McAtee (1927, 1929); 
Charlie Kurtsinger (1931, 1937). 
Jockeys Winning Two Derbies In Row — 

Isaac Murphy (1890-1891); Jimmy Winkfield 
(1901-1902). Both were Negro boys. 
Negro Jockeys Winning Derbies — 

O. Lewis (1875); Billy Walker (1877); Babe 
Hurd (1882); Isaac Murphy (1884, 1890, 1891); 



Finished the year of 1945 with 290 win- 
ners, to lead the riding field. 

Erskine Henderson (188 5); Isaac Lewis (1887); 
Alonzo Clayton (1892); Willie Simms (1896, 
1898); Jimmy Winkfield (1901, 1902). 

Concentrated Derby 

The Winners — 

The 72 runnings of the Kentucky Derby (1875- 
1946, inclusive) have been won by 64 colts, seven 
geldings, and one filly. 

The only filly to win was Regret in 1915. 

The seven geldings which won were Vagrant 
(1876), Apollo (1882), Macbeth II (1888), Old 
Rosebud (1914), Exterminator (1918), Paul Jones 
(1920), and Clyde VanDusen (1929). 

Only imported horse to win the Derby was Omar 
Khayyam (1917). 
Oumer of Most Winners — 

E. R. Bradley, four: Behave Yourself (1921), 
Bubbling Over (1926), Burgoo King (1932), Brok- 
ers Tip (1933). 
Trainer of Most Winners — 

H. J. ("Dick") Thompson, 4: (1921, 1926, 1932, 
1933), all owned by E. R. Bradley. 


"Triple Crown^^ Winners 

In this country only seven three-year-olds 

have won the "Triple Crown" since 1875, 

seventy-one years ago, when the Kentucky 
Derby was established. 

Following are the "Triple Crown" winners 
in this country: 


Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont 

Year Horse Owner 

1919 Sir Barton ... J. K. L. Ross 

1930 Gallant Fox William Woodward 

1935 Omaha William Woodward 

1937 War Admiral . . Samuel D. Riddle 

1941 Whirlaway Warren Wright 

1943 Count Fleet . . . Mrs. John Hertz 

1946 Assault Robert J. Kleberg