Glad you found Sun Briar and Exterminator's grave. Sun Briar's son Sun Beau is buried at Meadow Farm, next to Hill Prince and Secretariat's grand dam, Imperatrice. Kate Tweedy told me that when Willis Kilmer died, Chris Chenery leased Sunbeau from the Kilmer estate. Mangohick was an offspring and was the first stakes winner for the farm. I'll have to read the new Exterminator book by Eliza McGraw.
Exterminator, 99: 50-17-17, won his Derby in 1918 and was Horse of the Year four years later, maybe a record for the longest span between the two. I had lunch at Something Different restaurant in Urbanna, Virginia. The table was made of original green, brown and orange stable doors, the distinctive colors of Willis Kilmer's thoroughbred farm. On the wall was a huge painting from 1951 of the quarter mile indoor track that Kilmer built nearby at Remlik, now used for storing hay.
Kilmer also bred Reigh Count, who won the Derby for Fannie Hertz a decade after Old Bones. Time magazine reported in 1929 that Mrs. Hertz had turned down an offer of $1 million for Reigh Count, saying "I think a fellow who would pay $1,000,000 for a horse ought to have his head examined, and the fellow who turned it down must be absolutely unbalanced". Had the offer been accepted, it would have been by far the largest amount ever paid for a race horse.
Clever answer Mary. Coincidentally, the modern Ferdinand's grandsire was the Canadian sire of sires Windfields dynamo. In 1970, the just over 15 hh Northern Dancer led the English sire list, the year Ferdinand's sire Nijinski II won the English Triple Crown.
Agreed, the great geldings who proved themselves year after year were fan favorites. Exterminator ran eight seasons and faced distance, weight (130 or more 36 times), shipping and numerous younger foes. His record of 34 stakes victories (or is Native Diver tied?) may never be broken. Too many of the historic farms have disappeared. It was fun standing in the quarter mile indoor track that Willis Kilmer built a hundred years ago for Old Bones and friends.
As good as this finish looked, cedar, it could have been even faster. Here's Braulio Baeza remembering the race - "The day he set the world record at Arlington Park, he won by ten. I was easing him up at the quarter pole. I looked back and no one was coming. If I knew he was setting the world record, all I had to do was chirp to him and he would’ve lowered the record even more."
Bobby Flay had impeccable timing with his purchase on Wednesday, having the pleasure of leading Creator into the winners circle on Saturday. Yes, three grays in the money, Ruffianlover, and a nice finish for Tapit.
Eddie said the three best horses he road were Secretariat, Cielo and Devil's Bag. The year before, in 2013, there were 1200 fans in that same room to see Penny and Ron Turcotte. It was the last time this duo has been back to Meadow Farm. Standing in line for autographs was a lady in front of me from Washington state and an owner behind me from California. I was lucky as I live just 20 miles away.
I hear what you and Ferrisjso are saying, Mary. Billy Turner does not have the record of Baffert, Jerkens or Whittingham. He hasn't had the many multiple numbers of stakes winners. Czaravich, Gaviola and Punch Line had success, but nothing like the Triple Crown champion. The fact that Turner took Seattle Slew undefeated through the Belmont puts him in select company – himself. I suppose there's satisfaction in knowing that he was the one who under tremendous pressure got the job done.
Billy Turner brought Slew along with patience and care. He did not rush the colt as a two year old, and plotted a brilliant 3 year old campaign to take the Belmont. It would be fitting to see the Turner plaque hanging at the Hall of Fame with his peers.
Kissin' George was brought back at age 10 and 11. His record at 11 was decent at 14: 5-4-1, but his earnings were only $13,383. One of the best sprinters in the country in the late '60's, he was obviously relegated to running in low level claimers. Buster Millerick also trained Native Diver, the first California bred to earn $1,000,000.
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