Cougar II

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Cougar II
Sire Tale of Two Cities
Grandsire Tehran
Dam Cindy Lou
Damsire Madara
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1966
Country Chile
Colour Dark Bay/Brown
Breeder Haras General Cruz
Owner Mary F. Jones
Trainer Charlie Whittingham
Record 50: 20-7-17
Earnings $1,162,725
Major wins
Cabrillo Handicap (1970)
Clasico Municipal de Vina Del Mar (1970)
Escondido Handicap (1970)
Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap (1971)
Oak Tree Invitational Stakes (1971, 1972)
Californian Handicap (1971, 1972))
San Gabriel Handicap (1971)
San Juan Capistrano Handicap (1971)
Carleton F. Burke Handicap (1972)
Century Handicap (1972, 1973)
San Marcos Stakes (1972)
Santa Anita Handicap (1973)
Sunset Handicap (1973)
American Champion Male Turf Horse (1972)
U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (2006)
Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar Racetrack

Cougar II (1966–1989) was a Chilean Thoroughbred racehorse who also competed in the United States, where he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was sired by Tale of Two Cities, a son of Tehran, winner of the 1944 St. Leger Stakes and the Leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland. Muscular and with a long tail that touched the ground, uncommon for most horses of this time, Cougar II was noted for his late running style and versatility, winning major stakes races on both dirt and turf.

He raced in the late 1960s in Chile and was brought to the United States in 1970. Cougar II lost his first two U.S. starts but then won a race on the dirt followed by one on the turf.[1] On future Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Whittingham's advice, Mary F. Jones, later known as Mary Jones Bradley, then purchased the horse from Joe Hernandez for $125,000.[2][3]

Conditioned by Whittingham, Cougar II scored his first stakes win in the 1970 Escondido Handicap.[4] In 1971, he won the San Juan Capistrano Handicap on grass over turf star Fort Marcy and defeated him again later in the season in the Ford Pinto Invitational Turf Handicap.[1] In 1972, he won the Century Handicap, Oak Tree Invitational Stakes, and Carlton F. Burke Handicap en route to receiving the 1972 Eclipse Award as American Champion Male Turf Horse.[3]

In 1973, Cougar II won the Santa Anita Handicap on dirt after finishing second in that race the two previous years. He retired at the end of the season with over $1 million in earnings, making him the first foreign-bred horse to achieve that milestone in the U.S.[5]

In his honor, Del Mar Racetrack renamed the Escondido Handicap the Cougar II Handicap.

At stud, Cougar II initially stood at Spendthrift Farm. He was later transferred to Stone Farm and sired his most famous offspring, Gato Del Sol, who won the 1982 Kentucky Derby. During his stallion career, Cougar II produced 24 stakes winners. In June 1989, he died at the age of 23.[1]

In 2006, the Historic Review Committee of the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame selected Cougar II as a Hall of Fame inductee.[3]


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