The Greatest Thoroughbred Racehorse!!!
Man o' War


Man O' War
Thoroughbred Greats

Big Red's Connections

Below you will find a quick overview of the people that helped make Man o' War great! You will find short biographies of Man o' War's trainer, jockey's, groom and farms he was associated with. Without these people and their hard work, Man o' War may never have been as great as he was. So take a moment and learn a bit more about the people behind the horse!

Trainer: Louis Fuestel

In Fuestel's 43 year training career (1908-1950) he had 2 champion horses.

Louis Feustel's career covered the first half of this century. He conditioned two champions: Man o'War and Rock View.

At age 10 Feustel began working at August Belmont II's stable. He galloped the champion Hastings and was stable foreman during the period when Man o'War's sire Fair Play was at the farm.

Because Feustel was familiar with Fair Play, he could advise the well-known horseman Samuel Riddle to bid on the yearling Man o'War when he appeared at the Saratoga sales. Riddle purchased the future record earner for $5,000.

Man o'War won 20 out of 21 races in 1919-20 and secured his place in history as one of the best known American horses of all time. Under Feustel's direction Man o'War set records in the Withers, Belmont, Dwyer, and Lawrence Realization.

Other winners trained by Feustel included Rock View, Travers winner and Champion 3-year-old of 1913, and Ladkin, who defeated Epinard in the 1924 International Special.

Man o'War helped make Louis Feustel the leading money-winning trainer of 1920. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1964.
Text from Hall of Fame

Jockey: Johnny Loftus
John P. Loftus
Riding Career:1909-1919
Number of Mounts:2,449
Number of Winners:580
Winning Percentage:23.7%

Some of his mounts included: Man o'War, War Cloud, Sir Barton, Spur, Boots, and George Smith.

A Chicago native, John Loftus rode his first winner at Latonia. Loftus rode from 1909 to 1919 and retired having won an impressive 23.7% of his races.

Loftus was known as a first-class post rider, an excellent judge of pace, and a strong finisher. Prior to winning the Triple Crown on Sir Barton in 1919, Loftus had already established his reputation by winning a number of important races.

Loftus rode Man o'War to victory eight times, including the Hudson, Great American, and Tremont Stakes. He also won the 1916 Kentucky Derby on George Smith, the 1918 Preakness on War Cloud, the 1916 Travers and Withers on Spur, and the 1917 Suburban on Boots, to name only a few of his winning races.

John Loftus' most memorable year was 1919. That year he and Sir Barton found fame as the first winners of the Triple Crown series. He also found notoriety as the only jockey to lose a race with Man o'War, the Sanford Stakes.

Awards and Achievements
Leading money-winning jockey 1919
First jockey to win the Triple Crown

In Loftus' final season, he was the leading money-winning jockey of the year. After he retired, he trained a public stable. Loftus was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1959.
Text From Hall of Fame

Jockey: Clarence Kummer
Clarence Kummer
Riding Career:1916-1928
Number of Mounts:2,468
Number of Winners:464
Winning Percentage:18.8%%

Mounts include: Man o'War, John P. Grier, Sir Barton, Exterminator, Chance Play, St. James and Sarazen

Kummer had the opportunity to ride the best horses of his day and rode Man o'War in nine of his victories, including the Preakness, Belmont, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Withers, and Dwyer.

Many consider Kummer's best race to be the 1924 International Special when he drove Ladkin to defeat the French champion Epinard by a head, but Kummer felt differently. He believed his best races were the 1920 Dwyer when he and Man o'War defeated John P. Grier, the 1924 Paumonok when he and St. James defeated Zev, and the 1928 Belmont Stakes which he won with Vito.

Kummer was the leading money-winning jockey of 1920, but by the end of the decade increasing weight led to his retirement. He then worked as an exercise rider for noted trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. Kummer died of pneumonia at the age of 31; he was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Text From Hall of Fame

Jockey: Earl Sande
Earl Sande
Riding Career:1918-1953
Number of Mounts:3,673
Number of Winners:968
Winning Percentage:26.4%

Mounts include: Zev, Gallant Fox, Sir Barton, Man O'War, Greg Lag, Sarazen, Crusader, Billy Kelly, Mad Hatter

Earl Sande was one of the most popular jockeys of the 20's and 30's. He won 26.4% of his races and was immortalized by the poet Damon Runyon, who called Sande the "Handy Guy".

Sande was born in South Dakota and began his riding career at local fairs in the West. In 1917 he began riding Thoroughbreds in New Orleans. Within a year he joined Cal Shilling and John Loftus as a contract rider for Cmmdr. J.K.L. Ross.

Sande rode the best horses of his day. In 1923 he won 39 stakes, 10 on champion Zev, including the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and a match race with English Derby winner Papyrus. After retiring in 1929, Sande returned briefly to take Gallant Fox on his Triple Crown sweep in 1930. He considered Man o' War his best mount.

Principal Races Won

3 Kentucky Derbys5 Belmont Stakes
The Preakness Stakes4 Withers Stakes
5 Jockey Club Gold Cups3 Suburban Handicaps
3 Lawrence Realizations3 Dwyer Stakes

Sande took up training after his retirement in 1932. He was America's leading trainer in 1938 after developing champion 3-year-old Stagehand. At age 55 Sande returned briefly to the saddle. He won once and then retired permanently. He died in 1968.

Earl Sande was the nation's leading rider in 1921, 1923, and 1927. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1955.
Text from Hall Of Fame

Owner: Samuel D. Riddle
Samuel D. Riddle
Samuel D. Riddle outlived the great Man o'War by only 4 years. He died at Glen Riddle Farm on January 8, 1951 at 89. He had continued racing after Man o'War, but on a lower scale. He had discovered the next trend in sire lines through the imported stallion Somali II, a son of Nasrullah. Riddle was always considerd to be one of the best dressed men of his time. An unnames source from The Thoroughbred Record was quoted as saying, "He looks like a Roman Senator in the days of Cicero and Ceasar." He will always be remembered as the owner of the Great Man o'War.

Breeder: August Belmont II
The breeder of the illustrius Man o'War died at the age of 81 in 1924, four year's after Big Red's retirement. Most of Belmont's horses were acquired by Averell Harriman who was in a racing partnership with George Herbert Walker. Horses involved in that purchase included champion runner and leading sire Chance Play, by Fair Play, who was also the sire of Man o'War.

Belmont breeding stock was bought by Joseph E. Widener. Widener's son, P.A.B Widener II, was mesmorized by Fair Play's mystique that he actually turned down a $95,000 bid by Mereworth Farm!

Belmont played a pivotal role in the sport of American Racing, and his efforts will always be remembered. He will forever be known as the breeder of Man o'war, a title and honor he deserves!

Stud Groom: Will Harbut
I don't think Man o'War's stud life story is complete without mentioning the influential groom to Red during his stud years, Will Harbut. Many say the bond between Man o'War and Will was so strong that Man o'War actually died of a broken heart after Will's death. Will Harbut told many tales about Red's racing days and his infamous words, "he wuz da mostest hoss", will forever live with us!

On a a different note, Harbut had 12 children, many of whom had jobs connected with the racing industry. His son, Tom Harbut, actually exercise rode War Admiral and War Relic, and was also for a long time in the 1950's a groom for Nashua.

The Farm: Faraway Farm
A portion of Faraway Farm that was owned by Samuel D. Riddle was not sold by his estate until 1958 when the 365 acres was bought for $255,976. In the intervening years, a portion of the farm was known as Man o'War Farm under various ownerships. Recently, in 1997, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Groves spent $742,500 for a 112 acre plot of the land. Mr. Groves is now renovating the current Man o'War farm, including updates on the stallion barn built for Man o'War in the late 1930's. Name plates made of brass will hold the names of stallions during Man o'War's era and will be affixed to the appropriate stalls.

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