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Who was Man O’ War

Man O’ War was a horse that had the nickname “Big Red” and knows to thousands as one of the greatest thoroughbreds in the US. This horse was not easy to break but had a unique personality and ate up ground so fast it would make your head spin.

He was the favorite in all of his 21 races and was only beaten one time as a young two year old when he had a bad start but this was a time when there were no starting stalls. His jockey made a big blunder as well not helping the young stud at the age of 2. This horse never actually ran in the Kentucky Derby because his owner did not like the race being held so early in the season. He did race in the Belmont and the Preakness with many victories and was never challenged really in any of his races.

In his three year old career along he broke seven track records and took the horse racing industry by storm. He won the Lawrence Realisation at Belmont Park from Hoodwink by 100 lengths which was a mind blowing performance. He beat John P Grier in the Dwyer Stakes which was a very popular race and the horse carried 18 more pounds.

Man O’ War was born in 1917 by August Belmont the founder of Belmont Park. He was by Fair Play whose grand sire Spendthrift was the son of an Australian horse and Triple Crown winner in 1853. In 1918 Man O’ War was purchased for $5000.

When Man O’ War retired from horse racing the stud farm restricted the number of mares that were sent to him. Even with the restrictions some amazing daughters such as War Admiral and War Relic both Triple crown winners.

In 1947 Man O’ War died and there were thousands that attended his funeral with a broadcast over the radio. He is buried now in Kentucky Horse Park where he has a heroic statue of “America’s Mostest horse that ever was.” Man O’ War remains a figure in racing for amazing finishes, record breaking races and the reputation of the horse that does not lose.

 

 

There will be many horses that will come in and go in the future. Some of the horses such as Rapid Redux and Zenyatta have broken some long standing records. Its a different age in horse racing and with the medicine and ability to understand what can help a horse race faster has been developed throughout the years. Man O’ War was from a period where it was more raw talent than anything that won the races.

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