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 • Lexington
 • Fayette County
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Man O' War
Birth: Mar. 29, 1917
Fayette County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Nov. 1, 1947
Fayette County
Kentucky, USA

Racehorse. This big chestnut horse raced in postwar World War I. His brief career was as a two-year and then a three year old. (1919-1920) During this time Man O' War (Big Red) won 20 out of 21 races and set five world records. His one loss was to a horse named Upset at Saratoga in 1919 after being turned around at the starting gate but still managed a second place finish. This super horse won the Belmont Stakes by 20 lengths then went on to easily capture the Dwyer Stakes, the Travers Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. His retirement was literally mandated as he became invincible. Owners refused to enter races when "Big Red" was on the program. The Lawrence Realization Stakes was in jeopardy as no opposition came forward. One brave owner was persuaded to enter a horse named Hoodwink. Man O' War won by an unbelievable one hundred lengths while setting a new world record for a mile and five-eights. American racing during Man O' War's dominance was not yet defined in terms of major races. The Kentucky Derby was already famous, but the three year old was not entered because of a quirk by his owner who disliked Kentucky. Sir Barton had won the first ever triple Crown but at the time the trio of races did not have the prestige and importance placed on the sport when Gallant Fox accomplished the feat later, thus defining it as the major accomplishment in American horse racing. His final start came in Windsor, Canada at Kenilworth Park where he handily won the Gold Cup defeating the aging Triple Crown champion Sir Barton. Handicappers placed unfair weights on the equine to slow him down and give other entries a chance. Disgusted, his owner retired him to stud at Faraway Farm in Kentucky. Due to his young age, he lasted for over twenty five years. Finally a second retirement was in order after a heart condition was detected. A few years later a heart attack claimed the famous horse at age 30. His death was National news. Embalmed, the remains were placed in an oak coffin. Visitors streamed by to get a last look at the old champion. The burial was covered by a live radio broadcast at Faraway Farm's horse cemetery with interment near several of his best offspring. A life size bronze statue was erected over the grave. In the 70's the farm was broken up and sold due to the death of the owner. The area of the cemetery plot was donated to the city of Lexington and was developed into Thoroughbred Park while all the graves were moved to the nearby newly developed Kentucky Horse Park where the entire original burial site was recreated. Legacy...His career as a leading sire far outshines his racing career. The very busy Man O' War produced more than 64 stakes winners and 200 various champions. His most famous offspring were Battleship (1938 English Grand National steeplechase winner) and War Admiral. (1937 Triple Crown winner) Others were Hard Tack, (Sire of Seabiscuit) and War Relic (His most successful sire) The equine was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1957 while Blood-Horse magazine ranked him the number one thoroughbred champion of the 20th Century. Biographies: The classic animal book, "Man O' War" by Page Cooper and Roger L.Treat was published in 1950 and Walter Farley of "The Black Stallion" series of books also wrote a biography. In a bit of trivia...Upset, the winner of the Sanford Memorial Stakes and the one lose for the super horse, popularized a phrase in sports which is still used today. "Upset," a lowly entry which comes forth beating the favorite. (bio by: Donald Greyfield) 
Family links: 
   Fair Play (1905 - 1929)
   Mahubah (1910 - 1931)
  American Flag (1922 - 1942)*
   Crusader (1923 - 1940)*
   Edith Cavell (1923 - ____)*
   Bateau (1925 - ____)*
  Admirald's Lassie (1925 - ____)*
  Clyde Van Dusen (1926 - 1948)*
  Hard Tack (1926 - 1947)*
  Warrior Lass (1926 - ____)*
  Battleship Gray (1926 - ____)*
   Battleship (1927 - 1958)*
  Tug O' War (1929 - ____)*
  Star O' War (1933 - ____)*
   War Lassie (1933 - ____)*
   War Admiral (1934 - 1959)*
   War Relic (1938 - 1963)*
   War Hazard (1938 - 1944)*
  Crest O' War (1940 - ____)*
   War Kilt (1943 - 1956)*
   Mad Hatter (1916 - ____)**
   Mazda (1916 - ____)*
   Man O' War (1917 - 1947)
   Playfellow (1918 - 1943)*
   My Play (1919 - 1930)*
   Mirabell (1920 - 1942)*
   Display (1923 - 1944)**
*Calculated relationship
Kentucky Horse Park
Fayette County
Kentucky, USA
Plot: Man O' War Memorial
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 663
Man O' War
Added by: Donald Greyfield
Man O' War
Added by: Donald Greyfield
Man O' War
Added by: RosalieAnn
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God bless you on all All Hallow's Eve (early). Happy Halloween! Rest in Peace.
- Rick
 Added: Oct. 21, 2017

- Addie ☺
 Added: Oct. 20, 2017

- Nighthawk
 Added: Oct. 20, 2017
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