Interesting Not-So-Famous Horses From the Past

markinsacmarkinsac Member

Zippy Chippy actually was an INFAMOUS horse because in 100 starts, he lost the all! As the losses started piling up, he started to gain a following. Things got bad, however, after most tracks banned him for poor performances. At the end of his career, only the Northampton Fair in Massachusettes would allow him to start.

He then started racing other things than thoroughbreds, like harnes racers and humans. He will go down in history as the biggest loser.

Here's a video of his match against a harness horse. Keep in mind that it takes a thoroughbred about 1:12 to run 3/4 of a mile and it takes a harness horse about 1:30 to go the same distance. So the harness horse was given a head start. This race is just an exhibition, but let's see if Zippy can break the streak:



    In a low-level claiming race at a blue-collar track, one would not expect to see such an amazing performance. This was the horse's first start ever. Unfortunately, the horse would NEVER be able to match what he did in this race.

    They take a long time to load the gate, so fast forward to the 1:25 mark. DONNAGUSKA is number 3. Watch the start, then listen to how the announcer describes her position and when the horses are tuning into the stretch, look for her . . .
  • Whoops, here's the video of DONNAGUSKA, remember fast forward to the 1:25 mark


    In a turf race at Saratoga Race Course, watch the thrilling finish. Fast forward to the1:20 mark if you don't have a lot of time . . .
  • Did zippy win? the video cut off before ot said if he did or not :(
  • Yeah, he did get up and beat a harness horse, but the race was an exhibition, so it doesn't count on his record. Thoroughbreds NEVER race against harness horses, exept for fun.
  • I made an error, here's that race from Saratoga. If you just want to see the exciting part, fast forward to about 1:20

  • When I was taking riding lessons (as a 26-year old adult) I often rode a big horse named Jug (terrible name), whose fastest gait was a trot. Since it was a very comfortable trot, I didn't mind. When we were ordered to canter, Jug would comply until another horse came up alongside when he would fall into a trot and zoom ahead. I was always being yelled at by the instructor to make him canter. If he couldn't break into the trot he kept ahead of the other horses by biting them as they tried to pass. I had to watch his ears. When they went back, I had to pop him on the top of his head (lightly) with the quirt or his head would snake over and he'd nip the other horse. It was better to let him trot so he could stay ahead of all the other horses whose canters were slower than his trot. He was quite a challenge. It was lots of fun.
  • Ha! I am drinking my coffee out of a Zippy Chippy mug from Old Friends. He was retired to Old Friends' New York farm.

    There is a horse in Japan whose career was a similar exercise in futility, and who was similarly popular with fans. He is retired now.
  • Here is one of my favorites of the recent past: ARRRRRR!!!

    (Arrrr is happily retired, having been adopted by a fan.)
  • Aww thats good. i saw this race lol
  • I guarantee you Tom Durkin had a sore throat next day
  • I guarantee you Tom Durkin had a sore throat next day
    ...and probably thought it was totally worth it.
  • KetaKeta Member
    The first Wood Memorial: Backbone in 1925
    April 9, 2011
    Teresa Genaro's Brooklyn Backstretch
    Excepts- Great horse racing history!
    Today is Wood day #92, #54 at this track, which, when it opened in 1959, was called “the new dream race track” in the New York Times. The first Wood Memorial, named for Eugene D. Wood, was won by Backbone, by Whisk Broom out of Stamina. His sire won the Handicap Triple Crown (Brooklyn, Suburban, Metropolitan) and was named champion older male and Horse of the Year in 1913, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979. His dam won the Matron, the Ladies, and the Gazell and was second in the Champagne. Backbone’s owner and breeder, Harry Payne Whitney, must have had high hopes for him.
    Backbone is something of an elusive animal: Pedigree Query tells us that he raced 55 times with a record of 15-13-5, but few of his races are captured in my racing bible, the archives of the New York Times.
    Backbone went on to Louisville for the Derby; Daily Racing Form denigrated the 1925 renewal of the classic by saying that “there have been few runnings of the famous old classic in which there was a like lack of quality in the field.” That paucity of good horses did no good for Backbone, who finished 14th in a field of 20.
    Undeterred, Backbone’s connections forged on: on May 31, the Times reported that the son of Whisk Broom was one of several “smart three-year-olds” possible for both the Suburban and the Belmont
    Backbone didn’t go in the Suburban (side note: on the day of the Suburban at Belmont – June 7, 1925 – a race named for Backbone’s sire, Whisk Broom, was run for 2-year-olds), but when the field broke in the Belmont on June 13, Backbone was among the starters. He finished last.
  • I remember reading this story as it was reprinted in one of my sister's old horse racing anthologies. He was way before my time, but I've never forgotten the bittersweet story of the swift, charming, and star-crossed Chase Me.
  • Laurie, that was so sad. It just doesn't seem right that horses are born to run and yet are so fragile.
  • Here's one: Courageous Comet. He's a testament to the athletic abilities of the OTTB. As a race horse, he was average, winning 4 starts out of 36. Nevertheless, he was lucky enough to go on to a second career. Here's where it gets interesting: he is oneof the top eventing horses IN THE WORLD. He has represented the U.S. in the Olympic Games and the World Equestrian Games. He is entered in the upcoming Rolex 3-day event at the end of April.

    A story about him from 2010:
  • One of my favorite old horses was not exactly unknown, but I have not seen his name in print for quite some time. Hats (and shirts) off to Mustard Plaster.
  • pn112pn112 Member
    I groomed race horses from 1975 through 1985. My favorite horse, hands down, was a colt named Tiger Castle (by Irish Castle, out of New Faces, by Swaps). He came off the farm as a 2 yr old in the spring of 1976. He was beautiful, but deemed "crazy". So of course, he was assigned to me! LOL Turns out, he wasn't crazy, he was just terrified of everything. With patience and lots of love, he became a pretty consistent non-graded stakes winner. He still remains, after all these years, my favorite of all time.
  • I don't know if anyone has mentioned Tiger Eyed anywhere in the forum. Tiger Eyed was the filly who made the news back in 2008 when, as a two-year-old, she unexpectedly gave birth to a foal overnight in her stall at Louisiana Downs (having worked 3 furlongs in 36 2/5 earlier in the week). I've been trying to follow her career ever since, and I was happy to see earlier in the year that she had been retired (sound) and adopted. I don't know anything else about it, I just hope she and some good person are making each other happy.
  • Laura that was hysterical.. I loved it!

Sign In or Register to comment.