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This Date in History

Rachel Alexandra, War Admiral, Seabiscuit,. Man O' War - November 1st

Racing returned to Hollywood Park after a three-year hiatus, which followed the attack on Pearl Harbor. ~1944
 
Rachel Alexandra beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Sara Louise in the Pocahontas Stakes(G3), 1 mile, at Churchill Downs. ~2008
 
Triple Crown winner and reigning Horse of the Year War Admiral - son of the great Man o' War-met the rags-to-riches people's horse, Seabiscuit, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD in front of a crowd of 40,000.  George Woolf had the ride on Seabiscuit in the winner take all match race with a purse of $15,000.  Seabiscuit would go on to be the Horse of the Year and the world's leading money winning Thoroughbred. ~1938
 
The Great Man O'War died of a heart attack at Faraway Farm in Kentucky.  Ironically, this was only a few days after the death of his beloved caretaker Will Harbut.  It was said that Man o' War was the first horse to be embalmed.  He was given a military funeral with full honors.  Thousands of people, obscure and famous, paid their last respects by lining up along the funeral route.  Millions more listened to the memorial service on national radio.  A life-size statue of the great horse stands over his grave, which is located in the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky.  Offspring buried nearby include champion War Admiral, leading sire War Relic and stakes winner War Hazard.  Brushup, dam of War Admiral, is also buried at Man o' War's feet.  During his racing career he won 20 of 21 races, with earnings of $249,465.  His only loss came in the Sanford Stakes, where he finished second to Upset.  He carried 130 pounds in 6 of his 10 races as a 2yo. As a 3yo he carried as much as 138 pounds, conceding up to 32 pounds to other horses, he equaled one track record, set three track records and amazingly set 5 world records - setting world records from 1 mile to 1 5/8.  He became so feared as an opponent that it got so that not many connections would race their horses against him - 5 times he only faced one opponent(not including the match race with Sir Barton), 4 times only 2 opponents, and twice he faced 3 others.  Despite the low quality of mares available to Man o' War (Riddle saw no reason to spend more than $200-$500 for a mare and allowed few "outside" breeders the opportunity to breed their mares) the big red horse sired 64 stakes winners from 379 foals.  At stud, Man o' War sired champions Maid at Arms, Edith Cavell, Florence Nightingale, Bateau, Scapa Flow, American Flag, and Horses of the Year Crusader and War Admiral.  War Admiral is one of only eleven horses to win the Triple Crown.  In addition to those, Man o' War justified his owner's conviction that he had jumping ability by siring three-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner Blockade, Grand National-Aintree winner Battleship and repeating champion show jumper Holystone.  When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were looking for a "hunter type" stallion to revitalize their horses' bloodlines, they chose a black grandson of Man o' War to stand as sire.  Many of the black horses presently used by the Mounties are descended from Man o' War.  Man O'War was inducted into the HOF in 1957 and was ranked #1 in Blood Horse's top 100 Thoroughbred Champions of the 20th Century. Many honors were heaped on Man o' War during his lifetime. When a number of his offspring in the United States Cavalry were killed in World War II he was given the military rank of "major".  ~1947

 

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Older Comments about Rachel Alexandra, War Admiral, Seabiscuit,. Man O' War - November 1st...

Almost a year old thread, but I agree, she could have titled the song, Isn't It A B.
It isn't ironic that Man o' War died less than a month after Will Harbut. It is merely an interesting happenstance. I blame Alannis Morissette for people not understanding the word "ironic".
from what i have seen of the filming of that pimlico special, seabiscuit basically toyed with the tc winner. he set him up and then ran away at the end.
Ummm--Man O'War never raced as a four year old. His match race with Sir Barton was his last race. Mr. Riddle contacted Walter Vosburgh, New York's weight setter for handicap races asking for what impost he would give Man O'War -- Mr. Vos burgh 's reply was that he would not start Man O'War in his first out at a pound less than 140. Mr. Riddle retired Man O'War immediately.

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