Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sir Barton: Four-Year-Old Season

  The year after effortlessly winning the Triple Crown(the three races weren't actually called that until the 1930s), Sir Barton returned to the racetrack, running his first four-year-old race at the Havre de Grace track. He placed fourth behind Billy Kelly. Then he returned victorious in the next handicap race. Next, in the Marathon Handicap, Barton was forced wide and ended up placing third behind Wildair.

 He then went on to win the Rennert Handicap at Pimlico by one length, despite the fact that he carried 132 pounds. After that, Barton, carrying 129 pounds, defeated Exterminator, an older champion. Then he easily won the Dominion Handicap. He then ran mile and three-sixteenths in 1:55 3/5, setting a new American. Barton was irrefutably a champion when racing against older horses, but a younger horse was beginning to take his place as champion: Man o' War.

 Man o' War was defeating any horse at any track, and almost everybody was afraid to race their horses against him. It was beginning to get hard to find him competition. Then a plan was preposed: Man o' War and Sir Barton, the two great horses of the time, would match race in the Kenilworth Gold Cup in Canada.
Sir Barton running in one of his races(photo credit).

 Man o' War, who was carrying six less pounds than Barton, easily beat Barton by seven lengths, breaking the track record at the same time. After that, things began to look down for poor Barton. He lost the Laurels Stakes, ran third behind Mad Hatter and Billy Kelly in Pimlico's Fall Serial #2, and finished second behind Billy Kelly in Pimlico's Fall Serial #3. He was retired to stud at Audley Farm, Virginia after that.

 Then, in 1933, he was mysteriously sold U.S. Remount Station in Front Royal, Virginia. He later ended up in Robinson, Nebraska, as a stud horse with the meager fee of $10. J.R. Hylton, owner of a few racehorses, bought the old horse and cared for him until he passed away on October 30, 1937. He was buried near his paddock, with a simple sandstone block as a headstone. Later, in 1968, he was moved to Washington Park in Douglas, where he still lies today, a generic fiberglass horse statue marking the site.

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