Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Man o' War: His Early Life

Man o' War, like Secretariat, is probably one of the greatest racehorses that ever set foot on the racetrack. Out of 21 races, he won 20, and holds three world records, two American records, and three track records. That means he holds more records than Secretariat! No wonder he is often considered the racehorse of the century. 

 On March 29, 1917, the gangly Man o' War was foaled by Muhubah. His sire was named Fair Play. Right from the day he was born, his breeder, August Belmont Jr., knew that the foal had inherited his grandsire's (named Hasting) spirit. Also included in the mix was just enough calmness from Muhubah's  sire, Rock Sand, to balance his temperament. August Belmont Jr. believed the horse was special.

Man o' War as a young foal.(click here for original site)

Yet he was forced to sell the special colt. Not long after Man o' War was born, Belmont Jr. was recruited to serve his country during World War I, and had to sell all his new foals at the Saratoga Yearling sale. He kept the brood mares to continue the breeding operation, but Man o'  War, named by his wife, had to go. Man o' War was sold to Samuel Riddle for $5000, about half of what the horses he would later beat had been sold for.

 At the time, no one expected the colt to amount to anything. But he did. And in the process he became one of the greatest racehorses the world has ever known.

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