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Breeders Cup 2015
Kentucky Derby 2017

Collecting Horse Racing Memories

Monmouth Park’s biggest day of the year is the Haskell.  There is great racing and a really big crowd.  A lot of the crowd comes to increase their collection of racing memorabilia with the traditional Haskell Hat giveaway. Monmouth has been giving hats away since at least 1988.


I must admit that I, too, have some racing memorabilia, although my collections cover many areas, the least of which are hats.  I am not sure why, but somehow it is important for me to have racing stuff. 


Certainly my biggest category of memorabilia relates to Secretariat because for me everything in racing goes back to Big Red.  I have got Secretariat pin back buttons, books about Secretariat, the famous Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated magazine covers of Secretariat, Secretariat artwork, Secretariat tee shirts, Secretariat poker chips, and trading cards of Secretariat. I got most of the stuff on Ebay and I can remember getting involved in many bidding wars with another collector named bigred51.  Ebay became our version of the Keeneland yearling sales with bigred51 and I playing the parts of the Sheiks from Dubai and the Coolmore group.  Recently, however, it seems that bigred51 has been dispersing his holdings.


I have a significant collection of Kentucky Derby glasses that began because my wife and I inherited her grandfather’s collection.  There are about 30 glasses, with my favorites being 1973 and 1974 because 1973 was Secretariat’s victory and 1974 was when he first appeared on a glass. Now my tradition is a trip to Monmouth Park on the morning of the first Saturday in May, to make my Derby bets and to buy this year’s issue.


I do love the pin back buttons. Different tracks have issued buttons over the years. The buttons commemorate Triple Crown winners or just a track’s most popular horses.  Who do you like?  I’ve got Forego

Silver CharmReal Quiet, Funny CideWhirlaway, Holy BullSeattle Slew, to name just some, and four of a particular Secretariat button of which I am apparently quite fond. In 2009 I quickly gathered up as many Rachel Alexandra buttons as possible.

Of course one has to have a meaningful racing library.  I have first editions of the Bill Nack and Raymond Woolfe Secretariat books. There are books about famous thoroughbreds, training methods, the artwork of Richard Stone Reeves, and volumes about handicapping.  I used the texts by Andy Beyer to learn how make speed figures in the 1970’s.


Do you the like to collect Sports Illustrated covers because at one time I did?  I have AffirmedGenuine Risk, Spectacular Bid, and Secretariat winning the Derby.  When I had a subscription to Blood Horse magazine they had Zenyatta on the cover counting her consecutive victories.  Make me an offer and they could all belong to you. 


Keep in mind that this is all in good fun and did not require significant expenditures. And please erase that image that you must be developing of my home.  In no way is my house a candidate for the TV show, Hoarders, Buried Alive.  I have all of this stuff neatly packed away in boxes that are out of sight.  I recycle my Racing Forms the next day and do not have piles magazines in my bedroom.


I cannot be the only one out there with a collection of racing memorabilia? What do you collect? Post a comment and let the Horse Racing Nation know.  Maybe we can trade!


ABC’s of the Monmouth Hall of Champions -Today John Henry – The legendary John Henry, who was sold as a yearling for $1,100, raced 83 times earning $6,597,947 from 39-15-6 finishes. He won seven Eclipse Awards including Horse of the Year in 1981 and 1984 at the age of 9. In his career he won 30 stakes races.  John Henry ran at Monmouth Park 3 times winning once in an allowance race on the dirt in 1979. He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1990. John Henry ranks 22 in the Horse Racing Nation 250 Top Horses of All-Time with an 8.89/10 rating.



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Older Comments about Collecting Horse Racing Memories...

I have a small collection of stines (John Henry, Ferdinand, Chris McCarron: all limited edition, Oak Tree, Santa Anita)1988-1997 if anyone's interested, e-mail me: shannon_saltz@yahoo.com
I have a couple of items from lesser claimer horses and everything else autographed pictures or tshirts from derby winners or other major stakes horses. If anyone has anything from any of this years derby crop i would be very interested.
I have several collectable pieces from The Horse of the year 1967 Damascus , trophy from the Belmont, pictures, saddle, helmet, boots,whips from exercise boy,if interested please contact me ( raven99227@aol.com)
I’ve got an absolute mint condition $2 winning ticket bet on Secretariat in his last race, the Canadian International Championship. In those days they had separate win, place, show and cash windows. The ticket is blue and in honor of Secretariat the Ontario Jockey Club printed Bid Red across the top of it. I’ve also got tons of forms and memorabilia going way back.
One of my favorite items is a bronze plaque commemorating the building of Aqueduct Race track and a stall plaque from Armed, Calumets great champion of the 40s. I also have a large collection of card decks with famous race horses pictures, like Citation, MOW, Ponder, Capot etc and also from racetracks like Tanforan, etc
I collect glasses and have at least one glass or other item from every track in North America. My Derby glasses start from 1940. I also have racing programs starting with MOW and Upset.
I have several collectable pieces from The Horse of the year 1967 Damascus , trophy from the Belmont, pictures, saddle, helmet, boots,whips from exercise boy,if interested please contact me ( raven99227@aol.com)
Good stuff - Every time we move my wife "asks" that I consolidate my # of boxes. I'm 38 (born in the year of the great horse) and started collecting around 1990 with Lil E. Tee/Pine Bluff programs at Oaklawn Park. I occassionally find a winner's trophy from a quarter or T'bred race at antique shops.
John Henry broke his maiden at JnD-Jefferson Downs??? Is that right? It was May 20, 1977.
  • micetic · His first four races were at Jefferson Downs, then one at Evangline, before moving UP to the Fairgrounds. I stand by my statement that it pretty unlikely John Henry's maiden program will be found...althouh I did mistakenly say Spectacular Bid. ;) · 2118 days ago
Yes, a Support Group would be a great idea. If anyone here is on FB, Please add me as a friend :)
  • micetic · I looked back trying to find your name to add you on facebook but must have got rid of those notes. Feel free to add me or send an email tp rmicetic@hotmail.com. Ron · 2118 days ago
Bigred51...(Jim Settembre) is more of a dealer than a collector, however, it brings up an interesting thought to who has the best collections. I can really only speak to program or glass collectors. I think the best program collection is probably a family of lawyers in NYC. It was started by a judge who use to send his baliff out to the track everyday to pick up a program. They have 20 of the 22 races Man 'o War ran in. That's a pretty good start. ;)
@andyscoggin...I was thinking of John Henry's maiden. Getting old is not all it's cracked up to be.
Micetic, thanks for your insights about those sellers. Bigred51 must have an amazing collection.
Anyhow, I thought it was a nice piece of memorabilia. I find my posts to be bothersome to some, so, I'll bow out. I've been out of work for 2 years, and, the end is near. I really did enjoy rapping about horses, and sometimes being defensive over my beliefs. I hope you all enjoy nothing but success. Hope you make it to the Winner's Circle.
Spectacular Bid had his maiden win at Pimlico. Mike in SB, Derby Doug does not do his auctions anymore, sorry.
Mike in SB - I've got the 1977 Keeneland September Yearling Sale book, in which Spectacular Bid was listed.
@ Mike in SB...have never heard of a Spectacular Bid maiden program. I think it was at Jefferson Downs, and will be a hard one to find. Actually think it may be easier to find a War Admiral maiden (at least of seen 2 of those) than Spectacular Bid's. @rockybudgetboa, the only large collection of ARMs I recall buying was from a very nice lady in Toronto. Was that you?The only large group
For what it's worth I'm not a big fan of Doug Felkins. have dealt with him in the past and will never do so again. Inmo, Jim Settembre who is bigred51 on eBay is the best horsracing dealer around. dealer in
Thanks Andy, I will try Derby Doug
Mike in SB, have you tried Derby Doug's Horse Racing Collectibles? He has a very large quarterly auction.

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