1919 SIR BARTON
Money made this horse and money killed him. He entered the Kentucky Derby a maiden, without a race at 3, carrying Ross's $250,000 bet and Jockey Johnny Loftus. He won by five lengths and then took the Belmont and Preakness with ease. As a 4-year-old he was matched with Man o' War at Kenilworth Park and was beaten by seven lengths. He died in 1937 on a dreary U.S. remount ranch in Douglas, Wyo. Ross gambled away $10 million and was buried at sea off Montego Bay in 1951, almost forgotten.
1930 GALLANT FOX
Gallant Fox was the color of mahogany, with a thin blaze of white on his face. He raced under the white-and-red-spotted silks of Woodward's Belair Stud. He was sired by the French stallion, Sir Gallahad III, trained by the then 55-year-old Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons and ridden by Earl Sande, who came out of retirement to do so. As a 3-year-old he raced only in stakes, won nine of 10, always as the favorite. It took a 100-to-l shot (Jim Dandy) to beat him. He sired mighty Omaha in his very first crop.
This colt made Woodward the first man to own the winners of two Triple Crowns, and had Johnstown been able to win the 1939 Preakness, he would have had three. For 20 years he was Chairman of the Jockey Club. His son, William Jr., continued the Belair colors until 1956 and won two-thirds of a Triple Crown with Nashua. Omaha is still alive at the age of 25, standing 55 miles from the Nebraska city for which he was named. Plans are afoot to bury him in the Ak-Sar-Ben infield upon death. Willie Saunders rode him.
1937 WAR ADMIRAL
Samuel D. Riddle
Perhaps no man could be expected to remain unchanged after owning two such horses as Man o' War and War Admiral. But Sam Riddle did. He mingled and raced and rode with the highest society wherever he went but kept his special affections for his horses. War Admiral was Man o' War's most famous son. He ran eight times at 3, won all eight. He had to defeat 19 horses in his Derby and only six dared try him in the Belmont. Riddle died at age 89 at Glen Riddle, Pa. War Admiral has sired the winners of over $6 million.
Warren Wright first started a horse in the Derby in 1935, and his rider was a boy of some promise named Eddie Arcaro. Six years later these two connected with Whirlaway, a horse that captured the public heart with his long, bushy tail and tremendous stretch runs. It was Whirlaway who won the first of two Wright-Arcaro Triple Crowns. "Mr. Longtail" ran 60 races, and was only four times out of the money. He was 5 to 2 in the Derby, 6 to 5 in the Preakness and 1 to 4 in the Belmont. Ben Jones trained him.
1943 COUNT FLEET
Mrs. John D. Hertz
In 1928 Mrs. Hertz entered her first Kentucky Derby with Reigh Count, and he won by three lengths. Fifteen years later she entered again with a son of Reigh Count named Count Fleet. He, too, won the Derby by three lengths, then the Preakness by eight and finally the Belmont by 25. He won all six of his races as a 3-year-old and his odds were never higher than 2 to 5. Johnny Longden rode him and has called him the best horse he has ever ridden. The colt suffered an injury in the Belmont and was retired for good.
Robert J. Kleberg Jr.
Bred and owned by the King Ranch in Texas, Assault was known as the little chestnut with the deformed hoof. As a weanling a thorn injured him, and it took all the patience of his trainer, canny Max Hirsch, to get him to the races. He was an 8-to-1 long shot in the Kentucky Derby and won by eight lengths; took the Preakness by a scant neck and then won the Belmont by three lengths. Kleberg's brown silks with the rolling W are still active in American racing. Warren Mehrtens rode him in the Big 3.
It takes a lot of horse to be the greatest horse Calumet Farm ever had. But Citation was, and justly so. He won 19 of 20 races in 1948 and was held at 1 to 20 in one, 1 to 10 in five and odds-on in the rest of them. He won his Derby in slop, his Preakness in mud and his Belmont over a fast track. In 1951, a year after Wright's death, he became racing's first millionaire. Eddie Arcaro and Wright collaborated again, and father and son, Ben and Jimmy Jones, were the trainers for Citation's Triple Crown.