THE FOUNDER, BELIEVING HIS RACE A FAILURE, TOOK HIS OWN LIFE. BUT HIS CONTEST SURVIVED HIM, ENDURING SEVERAL BRUSHES WITH EXTINCTION TO BECOME AMERICA’S LONGEST-RUNNING SPORTS TRADITION. IT TURNS 125 THIS SPRING.
When the lives of a failed prizefighter, an aging horsebreaker, and a bicycle-repairman-turned-overnight-millionaire converged around a battered little horse named Seabiscuit, the result captivated the nation and transcended their sport
On a drab Detroit side street in August 1936, two hitchhikers hopped down from their last ride and walked onto the backstretch of Fair Grounds Racecourse.
There was a miraculous and all-conquering horse, a filly, not a colt, who in nine out of ten races broke or equaled speed records that had stood for years and decades, who in fire and presence and appearance was Black Beauty personified, and was, the author of
Dan Patch never lost a race. But that’s not how he made his owner a multi-millionaire. America’s best-loved horse was also perhaps the most shrewdly marketed animal of all time.
In mid-September 1904 Americans reading about Teddy Roosevelt’s conquest of the Republican presidential convention and the decisive Japanese victory over the Russians at Liao-yang came across a brief news item from Kansas: Dan Patch had taken ill in Topeka an
Concerning the long life, fast times, and astonishing fecundity of Man o’ War
In 1920 William T. Waggoner of Fort Worth, Texas, possessed a string of racehorses, hundreds of thousands of acres of prime cattle land dotted with oil wells, and the firm conviction, apparently born of experience, that everything has a price.
One innovation profoundly changed—and prolonged—the culture of the Plains Indians