Famous Early Four-Milers: Lexingtons Great Record Unchallenged for Generation, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-08


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FAMOUS EARLY FOUR-MILERS Lexingtons Great Record Unchallenged for Generation. FeUowcraft, First to Lower 3rark, Is Fol-lowed by Ten Brocok Lucretia Borgias Remarkable Hatch Race. Probably when the world-renowned Lexington achieved his record-breaking feat of four miles in 7:19 in 1S55, few who were familiar with the turf and knew the possibilities for great accomplishments that lay in the American thoroughbred imagined that the record would stand unchallenged for nearly a generation. There were other great four-milers in those days and the number was constantly added to by some whose speed and endurance gave promise of their being able to rival the best of those which had preceded them. Nevertheless, nineteen years elapsed before Lexingtons record was lowered, although it was many times challenged in regular races, if not in specially arranged matches. Only after the Civil War had passed and the modern American turf was entering upon one of the most brilliant periods of its existence was another serious attempt made to cut down this record. It is somewhat tho more surprising, perhaps, that this should have been entertained at a time when the character of the American thoroughbred and of the events of which he displayed himself were undergoing an important and significant change, the way of the stanch four-miler having nearly passed away, while the reign of the speedy horse for sharp, quick work at short distances had almost exclusively supervened. ATTRIBUTES OF STANCRTNESS INHERIT But that the stanchness of the great heroes of the early race course was in nowise absent from their descendants in consequence of these changes in racing practice was a tenet that was sedulously adhered to by many of the most prominent turfmen and it was a source of satisfaction to them when the opportunity was presented to have this theory put to the test. Fellowcraft, to whom was set the work of demonstrating the ability of the contemporaneous thoroughbred to hold his own in comparison with the great horses of previous generations, was a son of Australian Aerolite, his dam being by Lexington Florine. In his pedigree he thus combined the excellence of the great horse whose record he now challenged and which stood, unrivaled, in the affections of the American public, with that of the new strain which was already being looked upon with much favor, and in certain quarters was regarded as cerv tain to overtop the hitherto unapproachable blood of Lexington, Boston, Sir Archy and Glencoe. Fellowcrafts match against Lexingtons time came off at Saratoga in August, 1871, as one of the regular events of the Saratoga meeting, and attracted widespread attention. The success of the great son of Australian in beating the time of his maternal grandsire by one-quarter of a second and fixing the record for four miles at 7:19, was regarded Continued on twelfth page. ; FAMOUS EARLY FOUR-RULERS Continued from eleventh page. then, as it is now, as a wonderful achievement. It was only to be compared with Le-comtes 7:26, Lexingtons 7:23 and 7:19, and Idlewilds 7 :26 in a race on long Island in 1863 when she beat Jerome Edgar and Dangerous. In Fellowcrafts race Wanderer and Katie Pease were started to compete with him and ran with such extraordinary speed, bottom and gameness that they both finished close up, even sharing honors with the winner. It was generally conceded that Fellow-crafts two opponents on this occasion fully won for themselves the right to stand in the same class as the greatest four-milers of the American turf. For two years after the event just recorded the record of 7:19 remained unchallenged. Then the great Ten Broeck took issue with Fellowcraft and in 1876 was engaged to run for a special purse of ?1,000. The race took place as an extra day event at Louisville in September, 1876. There were two entries, D. J. Crouses four-year-old bay colt Add, by Revolver, running against Ten Broeck. The betting was on even terms, but the Revolver colt had no chance frcm the start. When the signal was given Ten Bror k struck a slow pace, but was leading at the quarter and, improving his speed, ran a mil a in 1:52. In those iigures there was little promise of success for a record-breakir j result, but the jockey quickened his pa. i and the horse covered the second mile in 1:45, which was much too fast, perha: , as the former mile was too slow. Nevertl: -less, Ten Broeck did not slacken to m.v" great extent, but he ran the three miles in 5 :25. Add was left a dozen lengths behind when the fourth mile was entered upon and it was necessary to send another horse on tli i course to stimulate Ten Broeck to keep up his speed. The last mile he made in 1 :50 i and covered the entire distance in 7:15 4, thus beating Fellowcrafts record by three and three-quarter seconds. Ten Broecks record for four miles tl; n stood unapproached for twenty-one yeavT. At last, in 1897, it was lowered by Lucr t ,v Borgia to 7:11. Lucretia Borgia was a famous California thoroughbred, a chestnut 1 filly, daughter of Brutus and Ledette. H r sire, Brutus, was the son of Macgregor a. J Teardrop. Macgregor was by Macar :i i, dam Necklace, and Teardrop was by Scottish Chief, dam Niobe. Ledette was a daughter of Natham Coombs and . Gypsy. Nathan Coombs was by Lodi, , dam Miami, and Gypsy was by Hercu. dam Miami. In the fifth generation the r.-cestors of Lucretia Borgia were Sweetmeat, Jocose, The Fallen Buck, Bracelet, Lord c f the Isles, Miss Ann, Loup Garou, Miserrima, Yorkshire, Topaz, Belmont, Maria Dov.n.rj ; and Kingston. It will be noticed that h r pedigree is entirely devoid of those cros 3 which have made the American thorou -brcds famous in generations past and wl i i were considered as almost indispensibie m breeding for the turf. Lucretia Borgia was a small mare. v,ei ;i-ing not more than 700 younds. She wis j bred to Charles Boots and, until three y ;x 3 ; ; old, was known as the Ledette filly. As a j j two-year-old she showed that she v s speedy and was matched against Serapliin. I i This match never came off, however, for an j unfortunate reason which resulted in tT a ; change of name to the new one by wlilih ; she has since been known. Only a few da.. 3 before the time set for the match she fell off in condition. An investigation showed that poison had been administered to if. She was brought around, although not ia season to appear in this race, but on ac-count of the poisoning episode was named i Lucretia Borgia. For years previous to her day the f jiir- mile California record had been held by : Marigold, 7:204. For the benefit of a local charity a match was arranged for Luc. f i.a Borgia to beat this reocrd and the cv nt ! called out a large attendance at the t an ; Francisco course when it was run. Pi jj-i ably no one anticipated the wonderful i -i suit. l Clawson had the mount and the m !-3 carried eighty-seven and a half .r..i She took the start in fine shape and the first mile was done in the remarkable tin o i of 1:50. She followed this up by rnukinj ! the second mile in 1:45. and the third mile lin 1 :47. The last mile was covered l 1 1 :48. The four miles were covered i i I 7:11, which was not only nine and a qu.-r r . seconds better than the California rr -rt but four and three-quarters better than V l Broecks worlds record, eight and a h If seconds better than Fellowcrafts record ; nd eight and three-quarters seconds better tl an 1 the great record of Lexington, forty-tv.o years before, which was then considered uri- approachable. A

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922120801/drf1922120801_11_2
Local Identifier: drf1922120801_11_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800