Home Horse Racing Underappreciated Horse Racing Stars of twentieth Century: Cavalcade, Granville, and Myrtlewood

Underappreciated Horse Racing Stars of twentieth Century: Cavalcade, Granville, and Myrtlewood

Underappreciated Horse Racing Stars of twentieth Century: Cavalcade, Granville, and Myrtlewood


Few a long time resonate nonetheless within the consciousness of sports activities, but most of the names and faces of the Thirties stay well-known to this present day. From Lou Gehrig to Jesse Owens to Joe Louis, that 10-year interval gave us Seabiscuit, Struggle Admiral, Gallant Fox, and extra.

As states authorised racing and parimutuel wagering to assist struggle the financial deficits of the Nice Melancholy, the game expanded from sea to shining sea and an extended checklist of star racehorses got here with it.

Alongside stars like Omaha and Discovery had been three horses who additionally made historical past within the Thirties. A feminine proprietor of notice, a dominant secure, and a famous person racemare all had been a part of the wealthy tapestry of the last decade that introduced the game improvements just like the beginning gate and the photograph end digital camera, an thrilling introduction to the game as 21st century followers understand it.

Cavalcade (1931-1940)

Very like Remorse, Cavalcade was technically a New Jersey-bred, however his route there was a relatively circuitous one. His dam, Rapidly, was an unraced daughter of Hurry On, an English stakes winner and stallion, who went on the public sale block at Newmarket in December 1930. In foal to Derby runner-up Lancegaye, she fetched 1,100 guineas from American breeder F. Wallis Armstrong, who introduced her again to his Meadowview Farm in Morristown, N.J. There, Rapidly foaled a brown colt with two quick white socks on March 24, 1931, the colt who would finally be named Cavalcade.

As a yearling, Armstrong offered Rapidly’s colt on the Saratoga Yearling Sale for $1,200 to coach Robert Smith, who was shopping for on behalf of his employer, Brookmeade Secure. Within the Thirties, an period that noticed improvements just like the beginning gate and historic firsts like Mary Hirsch’s coach license, Brookmeade was one other of these notables: it was owned by Isabel Dodge Sloane, Dodge Motors heiress and sportswoman who performed each golf and tennis and owned a stellar secure of steeplechase and flat racehorses.

Within the Brookmeade colours, Cavalcade’s 2-year-old season was certainly one of almosts, the place he completed second in races just like the Sanford Stakes and Japanese Shore Handicap and positioned in three different stakes whereas additionally profitable the Hyde Park Stakes at Arlington Park. In his 3-year-old season, although, he took Sloane’s success on the flat to a different degree.

At 3, he gained the Kentucky Derby over future Corridor of Famer Discovery and Peace Likelihood, who would go on to win the Belmont Stakes that 12 months. Then he adopted that with a second within the Preakness after which victories within the American and Detroit Derbys and the Arlington Traditional. At 12 months’s finish, he was thought of the nation’s finest horse and helped make Sloane the game’s main proprietor, a primary.

1 / 4 crack within the latter half of his 3-year-old season sidelined Cavalcade till the next 12 months. He began solely twice in each 1935 and 1936, lingering points making him more and more tough to coach. Sloane retired him to stud at her Upperville, Virginia farm, the place he stood for 3 seasons. In October 1940, she transferred Cavalcade to Shandon Stud close to Lexington, Ky., however he contracted “transport fever,” or a respiratory sickness that probably triggered pneumonia, and died two weeks later. Sloane buried the Derby winner at her Virginia farm.

Cavalcade wouldn’t be the one horse Sloane would ship to the Derby, however he turned her solely Derby winner, alongside her different basic wins, with Excessive Quest within the 1934 Preakness and Sword Dancer within the 1959 Belmont Stakes. He additionally turned certainly one of Brookmeade’s three Corridor of Famers in 1993, becoming a member of each Bowl of Flowers and Sword Dancer on the checklist of racing’s finest horses.

Granville (1933-1951)

Belair Stud is likely to be finest recognized for its two Triple Crown winners, the father-son duo of Gallant Fox and Omaha, however William Woodward’s secure had extra than simply these two champions within the barn of coach “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons. The 12 months after Omaha’s journey by means of the Triple Crown classics, Granville, one other colt sired by Gallant Fox, turned a star for the white with pink polka dots.

At 2, Granville wanted 5 begins to interrupt his maiden, lastly getting his first win at Aqueduct in September 1935, his solely victory that season. He then began his 3-year-old marketing campaign with an allowance win earlier than ending second by a nostril within the Wooden Memorial. He adopted his sire’s path by means of the Triple Crown, a lot as Omaha had accomplished the 12 months earlier than, however the identical degree of success eluded him. He dropped rider Jimmy Stout in the beginning of the Kentucky Derby, dropping his likelihood to be Woodward’s third winner, after which completed second by a nostril to Derby winner Daring Enterprise within the Preakness.

Two weeks after the Preakness and every week earlier than his flip within the Belmont, Granville confronted older horses within the Suburban Handicap, once more ending second by a nostril to Firethorn, who had completed behind Omaha in two of the three classics the 12 months earlier than. He then captured the Belmont Stakes, giving Belair its fourth victory in that race in lower than a decade. Following his sire’s path by means of the second half of his 3-year-old season, Granville would take the Saratoga Cup, the Arlington Traditional, the Kenner Stakes, and the Lawrence Realization. He even did Gallant Fox one higher and gained the Travers Stakes.

An ankle harm after his Lawrence Realization win meant the tip of Granville’s racing profession, however his stellar 3-year-old season earned him the primary official title of Horse of the Yr in addition to 3-year-old champion. With Gallant Fox already at stud and Omaha quickly to affix him, Woodward opted to lease Granville to Kenneth Gilpin, who stood the Belair stallion at his Kentmere Farm in Virginia. He moved twice extra, ultimately changing into part of the Remount Service stallion band in New Mexico.

Myrtlewood (1932-1950)

All the pieces about Myrtlewood, from her pedigree to her proprietor to her carriage, spoke royalty. A daughter of Blue Larkspur, Belmont Stakes winner for Colonel E.R. Bradley, she was recognized for her pace, setting or equaling 5 observe information and a world report for six furlongs. She was finest at distances from six to eight furlongs and counted rivals like Seabiscuit among the many horses she vanquished. Even greater than her affect on the racetrack was what she did within the breeding shed.  

She was bred by Brownell Combs, whose household’s affiliation with the game dated again to his grandfather Normal Leslie Combs, who had served as president of the Lexington Affiliation observe, the predecessor to Keeneland. He counted Daniel Swigert of Elmendorf Farm, breeder of the nice Spendthrift, as an ancestor. Amongst his broodmare band was Frizeur, a daughter of 1912 Two Thousand Guineas winner Sweeper II out of Frizette. The mating of Blue Larkspur and Frizeur produced Myrtlewood, a tall bay filly who was “strong and highly effective, however of nice traces and proportions,” in accordance with racing historian John Hervey.

Myrtlewood had simply 4 begins at 2, profitable twice and coming in third behind fellow filly Nellie Flag within the Kentucky Jockey Membership Stakes. At 3, she raced principally within the Chicago space, making the rounds of Arlington, Hawthorne, and Lincoln Fields. She set a world report for six furlongs that season, reducing the mark to 1:09 2/5 at Arlington Park. That subsequent season, she gained a sequence of handicaps, together with the Eager Handicap at Keeneland, and the Ashland Stakes whereas setting two extra observe information that season. She even confirmed her heels to horses like Discovery and Roman Soldier in her three seasons on the observe.

Past these 22 races and her wins and information, Myrtlewood stands amongst one of many nice broodmares of the 20th century, producing 11 foals. As Spendthrift Farm’s basis mare, she foaled horses like Miss Dogwood, winner of the 1942 Kentucky Oaks who later turned the third dam (maternal great-grandmother) of breed-shaping sire Mr. Prospector by means of her granddaughter Gold Digger. One other daughter Crepe Myrtle would grow to be the third dam of My Charmer, the mare who produced 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.  



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