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Lexington in Fayette County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Three-Year-Old

 
 
The Three-Year-Old Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 23, 2022
1. The Three-Year-Old Marker
Inscription.  Man o' War's three-year-old season began late. Many in the racing world had expected to see him run in the Kentucky Derby, but his owner, Sam Riddle, kept him out of it. He felt that a long race like the Derby (1¼ miles) came too early in the season and that his colt was not ready for the strain. Instead, Riddle delayed Man o' War's first start until the Preakness (1 1/8 miles) eight days later on May 18. A new jockey, Clarence Kummer, would be riding him, since Loftus was under suspension. Kummer rode Man o' War in all but two of his races as a three-year-old.

Man o' War quickly became racing's leading three-year-old. He won the Preakness easily, again beating Upset, and then, in the Withers, he set a new American record for a mile, 1:35 4/5. Starting with the Belmont Stakes, the competition began to thin out. Owners apparently did not want to pit their animals against the horse that could not lose. At the Belmont, only one other starter came to the barrier with Man o War, but this lack of competition had no effect on him. He still ran magnificently, winning by 20 lengths and setting a new American record for 1 3/8 miles of 2:14 1/5.
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It stood for fifty years.

Next came the Stuyvesant Handicap, which he won by eight lengths, then the Dwyer Stakes, which matched him against another single entry, John P. Grier. This was probably the only race in which Man o' War had to exert himself to win. John P. Grier managed to stay close to Man o' War throughout most of the 1 1/8 mile course, even moving to the front by a head at the furlong pole. Here, Kummer used his whip, the only time it was ever used on Man o' War. Exploding into the lead, he won by a length and a half, setting a new American record of 1:49 1/5.

Three more wins followed at the Miller Stakes, the Travers and the hard-to-believe Lawrence Realization, which he won by an estimated 100 lengths, setting an American record of 2:40 4/5 for 1 5/8 miles. At the Jockey Club Gold Cup he set another American record of 2:28 4/5 for 1½ miles. Next, in the Potomac Handicap, he set a record for the Havre de Grace track of 1:44 4/5 for 1 1/16 miles.

The thrilling finale to his career was the $80,000 Kenilworth Gold Cup match race against the great four-year-old Sir Barton, winner the previous year of what we now call the Triple Crown. The date was October 12, 1920. Filmed by 14 cameras and later screened at movie theatres around the world, the race was Man o' War's all the way. Breezing across the finish seven lengths ahead, he clocked 2:05
Man o' War at the Belmont Stakes image. Click for full size.
Unknown via Belmont Stakes (Public Domain), June 12, 1920
2. Man o' War at the Belmont Stakes
Jockey Clarence Kummer rode the legendary horse to victory – and the Triple Crown – in this race.
for the 1¼ mile course, cutting 6 2/5 seconds off the track record. It established his absolute supremacy in Thoroughbred racing. In the opinion of his owner, Man o' War had done enough. Given the increased weight he would have to carry as a four-year-old, it was time to let him rest and begin a new career at stud.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsSports. A significant historical date for this entry is October 12, 1920.
 
Location. 38° 8.927′ N, 84° 31.242′ 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. The Race He Lost (here, next to this marker); The Two-Year-Old (a few steps from this marker); The Years at Stud (a few steps from this marker); Getting Ready (a few steps from this marker); Will Harbut and Man o' War (a few steps from this marker); African Americans in Racing (a few steps from this marker); The Mostest Hoss (a few steps from this marker); Descendants in Man o' War's Memorial Gravesite (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
 
Related markers.
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Also see . . .  Man o' War - 1920 Kenilworth Park Gold Cup Handicap (and more). Footage of the legendary horse's final race. (Vintage North American Horse Racing, uploaded March 2, 2008) (Submitted on July 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
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 62 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
 
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Apr. 14, 2024