Man o’ War


Man o’ War is one of the best, if not the best, Thoroughbred racehorse of all times and the grandfather of another supreme horse, Triple crown winner War Admiral. Man o’ Wars grandfather was also a triple crown winner, Rock Sand. Man o’ War do in other word belong to an extremely successful line of racehorses.

Man o’ War had a successfully racing career during which he won 20 of the 21 laps he entered. The last lap he came close to winning after an extremely poor start. The lap was initiated when Man o’ War was facing the wrong way. Man o’ War ended placing second after Upset.

Man o’ War was originally bred by August Belmont, Jr. of the Belmont Stakes Belmonts. The race is named in honor of his father. Belmont Jr. served in the army and was stationed in France when Man o’ War of war was born. This despite the fact that Belmont Jr. was 65 year old at the time. Belmonts wife named the horse Man o’ War to honor her husband and his participation in the war. Belmont Jr. decided to quit horse racing and to liquidate his stable. Man o’ War was bought at auction by Samuel D. Riddle who ended up paying $5,000 for him. A very good purchase considering that Man o’ War would go on to win almost 250 000 in prize money and earn even more as a stud.

Man o’ War had a long career as a stud and sired an impressive 64 stake winners and champions.

Short Info

  • Born: 1917
  • Died: 1947
  • Sex: Stallion
  • Color: Chestnut
  • Nicknames: Big Red
  • Breeder: August Belmont, Jr.
  • Owner: Samuel D. Riddle
  • Trainer: Louis Feustel
  • Earnings: $249,465, Almost 3 million in today’s money
  • Record: 21: 20–1–0

Pedigree of Man o’ War

SireFair Play Hastings Spendthrift
Fairy Gold Bend Or
Dame Masham
DamMahubah Rock Sand (GB)Triple crown winner Sainfoin
Merry Token Merry Hampton

Important victories

Man o’ War won 20 races during his career. Among the most important and prestigious are:

  • Tremont Stakes (1919)
  • Grand Union Hotel Stakes (1919)
  • United States Hotel Stakes (1919)
  • Hopeful Stakes (1919)
  • Futurity Stakes (1919)
  • Youthful Stakes (1919)
  • Travers Stakes (1920)
  • Jockey Club Gold Cup (1920)
  • Lawrence Realization Stakes (1920)
  • Stuyvesant Handicap (1920)
  • Miller Stakes (1920)
  • Withers Stakes (1920)
  • Potomac Handicap (1920)
  • Dwyer Stakes (1920)
  • Preakness Stakes (1920)
  • Belmont Stakes (1920)

The triple crown

Man o’ War won two of the three races that makes a triple crown. The horse is likely to have won the triple crown if it had been entered into the Kentucky derby. It won Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. It was never entered into the Kentucky derby because Samuel D. Riddle, the owner, disliked racing in Kentucky and thought that the Kentucky derby might be over too great a distance for such a young horse. This decision might seem strange today but it is important to understand that the triple crown was not very prestigious at this time. The triple crown only got the status it has today 10 years later when Gallant Fox won the crown and got a lot of media attention.