And if you're wondering how or why a son of Tom Fool is given the name of Tompion you'd never guess in a million years. Last fall, when this colt was outshining his stable-mates during the annual yearling trials at the Whitney Farm in Lexington, his owner found himself using the familiar phrase traditional among horsemen who have just timed an exceptionally fast workout: "He broke the clock." Some research on clocks and watches revealed to Whitney that one of the world's foremost clockmakers was an 18th century Englishman named Tom Tompion.
"I really must be pretty lucky," said Whitney after Tompion's first major victory. "First I have all that success with my fillies, Silver Spoon and Bug Brush, and just as soon as they lose form I come up with a colt like this." He looked up the track as Tompion was being led away. And, in a deadly serious tone, he added, "This colt finishes like a real runner. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he isn't the best colt I've owned since Equipoise."
Incidentally, Equipoise, the old Chocolate Soldier, knew something about breaking clocks, too.