Horse Racing Greatness, Man-o-War versus Sir Barton

Horse Racing Greatness: Man-o-War versus Sir Barton!


 Glad you enjoyed the letter, and kudos to your reference to Sir Barton, won the Triple Crown the year before Man-o-War. In fact the under-card race to this year's Belmont was the Sir Barton Stakes. Sir Barton, (Star-Shoot-Lady Sterling, by Hanover) went to the Derby post a maiden, with his stable mate Billy Kelly running second, the first such result in Derby history. He was never out of the money in his 13 starts in 1919 of which he won 8. The term “Triple Crown” was not in use in America in those days. It had originated in England with the 1-mile Two Thousand Guineas, 1 ½ mile Derby and 1 3/4 St.Leger Stakes. With Man-o-War, (Fair Play-Muhubah, by Rock Sand) and regarding his loss in the Sanford Stakes up at Saratoga, the big chestnut had beaten Upset before the Sanford and had beaten him five times afterward. In their match race for $80,000 at Kenilworth Park in Canada, Man-o-War crushed Sir Barton, and though it was claimed that such a crushing defeat indicated that Sir Barton was off form, he had just come off four impressive victories. After that disaster Sir Barton never won again though he raced credibly in all the Maryland fall handicap races. Man-o-War didn't just break records he shattered them! He won the Lawrence Realization by 100 lengths and lowered the previous world record by 6 4/5 seconds. In the Keniworth Cup he lowered the track record by 6 2/5 seconds, and in the Belmont Stakes his time was 3 1/5 seconds faster than the former world record. Race-trackers have four classic criteria to evaluate a horse: how fast could he run, how far could he go, how much did he carry, and who did he beat? The  “Big Red” could run fast and far is obvious. In all his starts he either carried or shared the highest weight on the scale, except his 2nd race where the assignments were equal but one of his opponent's jockey was1 1/2 overweight. And of course he beat all 48 horses that faced him in his 21 races.




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