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The Foxes of Belair

New book out about Gallant Fox and Omaha. It supposedly hasn’t been published yet, but they sent it to me. I’m about halfway; just got to Gallant Fox’s retirement. I’m enjoying it. Obviously thoroughly researched and with a nice readable style. I love finding out details on some of the lesser-covered great horses of history.

Nice little moments such as when Gallant Fox went to Chicago to race at Arlington after his Belmont, he did not like Chicago water and wouldn’t drink it, and the Bradley stable up the barn area gave the assistant trainer some of their water for the Bradley horses. A nice gesture; everybody concerned about the horses themselves above all. Also some of the challenges Earl Sande had in riding the Fox, who liked competition. He wouldn’t just race off for the fun of it, so when he was in some races in which he was far the best horse and others were there just for the minor placing money, there were special challenges to stay close to the others, because he would quit once he was out on his own.

And the training and racing schedule for these horses continues to amaze me. It was another age.

Anyway, it’s well worth reading.



My father taught me how to pronounce Sande by quoting Damon Runyon’s poem about him to me.

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Omaha’s dam was third in the Belmont Stakes. Interesting. I wonder how many times the offspring of two Belmont runners, even if neither of them won, has run in the Belmont. Per Google, 24 fillies have run in the Belmont, with three winning, but I couldn’t find a quick summary of offspring stats from those at a glance.

Anyhow, Omaha had distance breeding top and bottom. He also, per Fitzsimmons, was the most nervous horse he had ever trained. Gallant Fox was curious and looky but friendly. Omaha was high strung.

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Omaha’s full brother Flares was a top level racehorse in England. He won the Ascot Gold Cup, which Omaha ran second in. He was also a better sire than his brother.

Strange that Gallant Fox’s stud career fizzled after such a strong start.

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