Man o' War

Man o' War and rider

Man o' War (March 29, 1917-November 1, 1947) is considered one of the greatest thoroughbred racehorses in history.  During his career after world war 1, he won 20 of 21 races and $249,465 in pursues.

Man o' War was the son of Fair Play and Mahubah.  Man o' War was owned and bred by August Belmont, Jr. whose father's accomplishments are recognized through the naming of the Belmont Stakes.  Belmont Jr. joined the United States Army at 65 to serve in France in World War 1.  While he was overseas, his wife named the new foal "Man o' War" in honor of her husband.  Later the Belmonts decided to liquidate their racing stables.  At the Saratoga yearling sales in 1918 he was sold at a final bid of $5,000 ($78,000 in 2014) to Samuel D. Riddle, who brought him to his Glen Riddle Farm near Berlin, Maryland.  The underbidder at the auction was believed to be Robert L. Gerry, Sr.

Racing Career

As a two year old

Trained by Louis Feustel and ridden by Johnny Loftus, Man o' War made his debut at Belmont Park on June 6 1919, winning six lengths, three weeks later, he won the Keene Memorial Stakes.

In the early 1900s, there were no starting gates back in these days.  Horses circled and then lined up behind a piece of webbing known as the barrier and were sent away when it was raised.