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Man O' War


Hold your strength till the barriers fly,
then close with the leaders eye to eye.
Thundering hooves and the mad jammed race,
blood in the nostrils, sweat in the face.
And children, remember wherever you are,
you carry the blood of Man o' War.

Anonymous


Man O' War winning his match race with Sir Barton on October 12, 1920.

Just before midnight on March 29, 1917 Mahubah foaled a beautiful chestnut colt now known as Man O' War. The entry in the Nursery Stud daybook was written as follows:

Mch 29, 1917-- Mahubah foaled ch colt by Fair Play. Star, narrow stripe from right of star down center of nose. Height: 42 Girth: 33

Man O' War's mother, Mahubah, meaning "may good things be with you" had a sweet disposition that was inherited by her father, Rock Sand, winner of Great Britain's Triple Crown. His father, Fair Play, was a large, powerful horse, but was just as temperamental as his father, Hastings.

In 1918, Major Belmont decided to sell all his yearlings, something he had never done before. On Saturday, August 17, 1918 all of the yearlings went to Saratoga. Famed horse owner Samuel D. Riddle bought Man O' War for $5,000, while the average price for the yearlings was $1,107.

Because of his red hair, he was often called "Red", but when he grew over 16 hands, his nickname was changed to "Big Red".

Feustel began the chore of breaking "Red" when they arrived at Glen Riddle Farm in Pennsylvania. Feustel recalls saying "Mahubah's colt, He was a tough horse to break, a tough horse to saddle."

In the spring of 1919 Man O' War was trained at Havre de Grace and Pimlico.

On June 6, 1919 the young colt made it to the racetrack, in a maiden race at Belmont Park. His odds were 3-5. This race was five furlongs long, in which he ran in :59 seconds, winning by six lengths.

Man O' War was a legend before finishing racing in October. There had been a discussion for a long time, which was: Who was the greatest horse of the century- Colin or Sysonby? That was not a question anymore, Man O' War was the best.

Man O' War won the Belmont Stakes by 20 lengths and the Lawrence Realization by an astounding 100 lengths.

This horse had 21 starts and 20 wins. The single blemish on Man O' War's track record was the Sanford Stakes. He was turned sideways when the mash barrier went up, causing him to place second in the race.

This phenomenal colt retired as the greatest money-winning thoroughbred ever. $249,465 (which was at that time a record)

23 years as a stallion, he produced 64 stakes winners, including War Admiral. The Fillies he sired became wonderful brood mares who produced 164 stakes winners.

On November 1, 1947, at age 30, Man O' War died of natural causes at Faraway Farms. He will always be the greatest thoroughbred of the 20th century and the millennium.

He was the first and one of two horses to be buried this way. As many as 2,000 attended his funeral at Faraway Farm, his original burial site.

Lifetime record: 21 starts, 20 wins, 1 second * Races won:

1919 -- maiden special weight, Keene Memorial, Youthful, Hudson, Tremont, United States Hotel, Grand Union Hotel, Hopeful, Futurity at Belmont; 1920 -- Preakness, Withers, Belmont, Stuyvesant, Dwyer, Miller, Travers, Lawrence Realization, Jockey Club, Potomac, Kenilworth Park Gold Cup.

* Earnings: $249,465 (then a record)

* Highest weight carried: 138 pounds at age 3 over 1116 miles (carried 130 pounds six times as a 2-year-old)

* Records: Set five world marks as a 3-year-old, from 1 mile to 1 5/8 miles.

The first pic is of a tired Man O' War taking a sip of champagne from his trophy in the winners circle. The second is of Red with his faithful groom, Will Harbut

These are two more pics of Red and Will Harbut