The Founder of the Nursery Stud: The Elder August Belmonts Long and Honorable Connection with Affairs of the American Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1913-01-26


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THE FOUNDER OF THE NURSERY STUD The Elder August Belmonts Long and Honorable Connection with Affairs of the American Turf •f, * The aealor Aagaat f.emont was pot in American by birth, but in his mature manhood was an American ". Americans in spirit and performance. Horn at Alzey in the Prussian Rhlneland in 1818, he came to this • Oiintry in 1837 at the age of 21 and at once became an American citizen. His family was- one of wealth end distinction and intimately associated with the famous Rothschild family. Before coming to this coun-tiy be had passed through an edncatioaal period of service in the Rothschild banking establishment at Frankfort on tin-Main ami suhseqnentl.i iu the Rothschild branch at Naples. He came to this country as the agent of thai great house and. while establishing anil developing a gt at Gnanclal establishment of ids own. acted as their American agent in great transactions up to the time of his death, which occurred SoVemhel 21, 1890. Arriving in this poUBtrj with such antecedents and connections it was hat natural that he should peedily becuane prominent In societj and a great favorite with the young ladies of his time. Iliiinateh he married a daughter ot that Commodore Perrj who, as commander of the American Beet, won the naval engagement on l-ake Erie near Sandusky. Ohio, that gave the Americans niaatery of the great lakes in the ear of lli. Duelling waa rife wlen be was a fiery young man and before his marriage he was engaged in an "affair of honor, " in which ne received s bol!et in his thigh and as a memento was lame ever after •aids, a gifted nl accomplished i-i n. In- was consul General of the Austrian Umpire at New York from IS14 iii ls."i i and iii lvvj accented an appointment as United Sian-s Minister to Holland and served as sin-h for several years. When the Civil War i.iiue on be embarked in the cause of the Union with great ardor ami. besides being active iu tic- formation of a number of German regiments, twice crossed the Atlantic I-, carry .an xuecessfnlly highly Important negotiations of sack gravity thai he received the formal thanks if President Lincoln for bis great services. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1800 to is72. win-. i be retired from active participation in politics. Mr. Belmont was one oi tie group of able men who set about developing racing on a broad basis soon after the elose of the Civil War. Wlen the American Jockey Club was formed in 1888 he became its meal- deat and In hi that position t.i twenty years. lb- was a promoter of the Jerome Park and Sbeepabead Bay race Hacks and in time became loietnisi as -itt owner of race horses and. as a breeder. In ls7 t he ostah-:ished the Nursery Stud at Babylon. Long Island, and made it in its appointments and systematic aaaaage-inent ;i model. Here, with Kingfisher, by Lexington — Eltham Lass: Fiddlesticks, by Lexington — Filagree: Ulenelg, in Citadel Babta. and The III Is*d. by Breadalbane — Ellermire, as his stallions, be bred a sue i-i a] nl successful racers, but iu the hue run became convinced of the superiority of Kentucky in soil. grass, wai-r ami climate and in 1883 removed his Htallkms and broodmares to the present Nursery Stnd, near Lexington, Ky. Sh.rth previous in h j removal he purchased the Bpaom Derby winner. St. Blaise, and before ;. died enjoyed the satisfaction ol seeing St. Blaises sou. Potomac, win the most valuable Futurity of ds history, with another colt o! his own breeding second, this being Masher, by The 111 Used. Kingfisher, one of ids earliest anil favorite hires, was an elegant and bloodlike horse quite unlike the burly and tiDiii I v sins of Lexington ot the Harry Baaaetl mil Tom Bowling type. lb- was » fiae racer of great speed mil in his eontesl with I.oiufell.w lie tie Saratoga Cut of 1871 ran its first mile in 1:41. the lir-Jt lime a mile had ever been run that rast in North America. Being in a two miles and a iptarler race it was •Hiy a fa.-t am! not a record. Kingfishers daughters made grand broodmares. Gleoeig was bred in Bag land and imported to this roan try by It. W. Gameron and by him sold to Mr. Behnoat, for whom he proved a high lass race horse and winner of the Travers Stakes. Champion Stakes, f.ow ie Stakes four-mile heatsi. Maturity Slakes and many other races and when retired t" the si ml lieurot a host of celebrated horses and .v.-e the premier sire of America in 1884. 1886. 1887 and lsss. l he III ITsed was a high-bred horse and his sue. Breadalbane, was a brother to the Baoom Ber by winner, flair At bet. lie was given his name Ik-imin-of accidents which hefel him in racing when a two-year-old and was a good horse, "winning the Sequel and Kenner Stakis ■ Saratoga. Like Kingfisher, be was a urea; broodmare sire. His most successful sen was iiis Highness, which, as a two-year oal in 18B1, won glw.900 for his luekv owner. David Gideon. He also Ingot such other eiack race hors«s as Forester. Jack ol Hearts. Jacobus. Badge. Magaetiaer and Magnate. t. Blaise was an immediate success as a sire when mated with the splendid Nursery broodmares and sent many extraordinary racers to battle under the colors of Mr. Belmont and other owners. Potomac and the superb La Tosca would alone have sufficed to make any stallion famous. To show what a grand establishment Cue Nursery Stud had dCMloptd into it is sufficient to point out that after his death his stallions, bi.odmares. vcarllngs, foals and horses in training brought a! auction be enormous aggregate of 41,400. After his stud was in a condition of advancement to provide him with horses of Iiis own breeding he seldom raced anything else, but did buy Kacelaml and George Oyster, aboat the only conspicuous departures from ids rule. He gave Joe Illuian 820.000 for Ilacclaiui anil proved the wisdom of the investment by win hing the Suburban Handicap of 1SSt » with htm, to say nothing of the almost equally valuable New York Jockey Club Handicap, .rami National Handicap and other important events. That was his only Suburban victory and he never won the Brooklyn. Nor did the Belmont Stakes, named in his honor, ever fall to him. hilt a colt of his breeding. Forester, by The 111 Csed —Woodbine, not only won the Belnamt of 1 ss2. but the Wither- Stakis. Barnegat Stakes and Jersey St. Li ger as well and wa- a tremendously fast colt in which Mr. Belmont took gnat pride, although he raced for Other men. But he bad his full share of success in lacing and. with such stars as Woodbine, Olitipa, Susquehanna. Fenian. Magnate. Finesse. Grey Planet, Carita, Lady Rosebery, Fides. SI. Carlo. Prince Royal. St. Charles. Silk Stocking. Felicia. Nellie James, .biehoss. Patience, Magaetiaer, She. Padiaha and Others, won at one time and another about all the .■vents of his time worth winaiag. In 1889 he headed the list of winning owners wiih a total of 25.63,! and again in 1890 with stable earnings of 71,300. This year Potomac won i he Futurity. Ptatbash Slakes and Bed Bank Stakes: La Tosca look the June Stakes. Belles Stakes. Fashion Stakes and Select Stakes; St. narles the Javenile Stakes: Fides tin Toboggan Slide Handicap: Her Highness the Mermaid Stakes and Monmonth Oaks; Clarendon the Trenton Stakes: Amazon the Gazelle Stakes, and Priace Royal Hie Ooaej Island Stakes. One of the incidents of his early racing career was his match with Grey Planet against Saratoga time. ;t a mile. The race took place at Saratoga, Auusl 13, 1S74. At that time the record time for a mile at Saratoga was 1:42%. made by Alarm. July 17. 1K72. Grey flanet was a fast five-year-old grav horse hv Planet — Eagless and a meat favorite with Mr. Belmont. The match was for Sl.fNHl a side f.ouis Lorlllard lacking Tim . on.- of the conditions was that if the horse failed to beat 1:43*4 h° "as forfeited to Mr. I orillard. Bat, ridden by George Kvans. he tan the mile in 1:42% and clipped a quarter of ;1 second from Alarms record to the intense satisfaction of his owner. Nowadays such time would be deemed slow for an itrdnary selling putter, but at that time tracks wen- deep, roaga and slow and Grey flatlets time was probab.y as good as i;.".s or better under prtsent track condltkma. Statesman, politician, banker and man of great wealth as be was. Mr. Belmont was a man of great simplicity of manner-. On the race track In- was e.isily approachable and took a lienevolent interest in the fortunes of the poorer lass oi owners. Illustrative of this, trainer Jimmy Shields, in the early eighties, trained and raced a fast horse named Choctaw thai Pierre Lorillard had raced in Luulaml af the lime in bad Iroquois over there. Choctaw was beaten one day in i race at Mntlinoiilh Park and the autocrat of Ibe • rack, David 1 . Withers, had Shield* called into the fudges stand to explain why. Shields frankly said that his hois,, was short and. beiag a -luggisli work horse, he had given him a race 10 sharpen him up. not expecting him to win against ibe horses he me1. To ids consternation he was ruled off and much excited ■ oatmeal flew about. Shortly afterwards Belmont met Mr. Withers and said: ••Davy. I bear ron have ritld Jimmy Shields oft Im- raaaing his horse short of work." •Yes. I have." "Well, whie you was about ii you might as well have ruled yourself off and 1 might as well he in-r.uded. that being your reason. • A few days subsequently Shields w-as quietly restored to good standing and the incident wa1? forgotten •s s m ii as possible. But Jimmy Shields never forgot that it was the friendly and effective of Mr. Belmont that had. as he expressed it. "saved his bacon."

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