The Sensational Racing Career of
M O R VI C H
1922 KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER
IAS TOLD BY HIMSELF!
AL. JOHNSON, UP ON MORVICH
INSERT: MR. BENJAMIN BLOCK.
/:) /< y^
Mr. Benjamin Block, Owner of Morvich
of a Horse
BY GERALD B. BREITIGAM
Illustrated with Portraits
Gerald B. Breitigam
Printed in the U.S.A.
THE WONDER HORSE
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
"BILL" HEISLER, Publisher
By Special Permission of the Author
Table of Contents
An Appreciation , 5
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
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.
AL. JOHNSON, UP ON MORVICH
INSERT: MR. BENJAMIN BLOCK
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 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
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.
—WILLIAM T. AMIS.
The Wonder Horse
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
"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
"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
"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
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."
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.
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
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
"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.
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
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-
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.
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
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
"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,
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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
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
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
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.
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
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-
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
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.
JOCKEY EARLE SANDE
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-
TIME BY QUARTERS
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
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.
THE LATE "GEORGIE" WOOLF
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
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
JOCKEY JOHNNY LONGDON
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."
JOCKEY JOHNNY ADAMS
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
JOCKEY TED ATKINSON
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);
JOCKEY JOB DEAN JESSOP
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).
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
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