“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lexington in Fayette County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

The Two-Year-Old

The Two-Year Old Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 23, 2022
1. The Two-Year Old Marker
Inscription.  Man o' War raced ten times as a two-year-old. After his spectacular win in his first race at Belmont, his owner Sam Riddle entered him only in stakes races. It did not take the big red colt long to establish himself the best two-year-old around. Tradition has it that during one of these early races, an amazed spectator asked, “Who's he by?” The reply went: “He's by hisself, and there nobody gonna get near him.” (One of Man o' War's sons was later called By Hisself).

He won the second race of his career, the Keene Memorial Stakes, by three lengths, and, after that, took the Youthful Stakes and the Hudson Stakes. By now he was carrying 130 pounds, consisting of the total weight of his jockey, saddle and extra ballast added to slow him down and give other horses a more equal chance of winning. Today, no one would put so much weight on a two-year-old for fear of injuring him. But the weight penalty made little difference to Man of War. He went on to win the Tremont Stakes and the United States Hotel Stakes, both easily, with the second and third horses driving. He also won an unofficial match race against Golden Broom, considered one of
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
the most promising two-year-olds in America.

Next came one of the most controversial races in history, the Sanford Memorial Stakes, the only race Man o' War ever lost. Apocryphal stories abound about what went wrong. One account claims he was faced the wrong way at the start; other stories blame his jockey Johnny Loftus for using poor strategy during the race. The probable truth is he got off to a straggling start, and then – by mistake or bad luck – became boxed in at the rail and could not break out in time to win. Ironically, the winner by half a length was a horse named Upset. (He was ridden by jockey Willie Knapp, who recounts the race on the next panel). Man o' War more than evened the score by beating Upset in six other races, one of them prior to the Sanford. But the loss remains, the one flaw in his otherwise perfect racing record.

Man o' War's next chance to beat Upset came ten days later in the Grand Union Hotel Stakes, and he did it by a length. He raced two more times as a two-year-old, in the Hopeful Stakes and the Futurity at Belmont Park, and won both. He had now become an object of adulation among racing fans, and sportswriters dubbed him “sensational”. The full measure of his greatness, however, was not seen until his next season, when as a three-year-old he swept all before him.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals
Upset upsets Man o' War image. Click for full size.
C.C. Cook (Public Domain), August 13, 1919
2. Upset upsets Man o' War
The Sanford Stakes race was the only one that Man o' War lost in 21 starts.
Sports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1919.
Location. 38° 8.933′ N, 84° 31.24′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Kentucky, in Fayette County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Iron Works Parkway and Iron Works Pike. Marker is at the Man o' War gravesite and memorial in Kentucky Horse Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4089 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington KY 40511, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Getting Ready (here, next to this marker); African Americans in Racing (a few steps from this marker); The Mostest Hoss (a few steps from this marker); The Three-Year-Old (a few steps from this marker); The Race He Lost (a few steps from this marker); Descendants in Man o' War's Memorial Gravesite (a few steps from this marker); Will Harbut and Man o' War (a few steps from this marker); The Years at Stud (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide photo of marker and surrounding area in context. • Can you help?

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
U.S. FTC REQUIRED NOTICE: This website earns income from qualified purchases you make on Thank you.
Paid Advertisements

Dec. 5, 2023