Gallant Fox

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Gallant Fox
Sire Sir Gallahad III
Grandsire Teddy
Dam Marguerite
Damsire Celt
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1927
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Belair Stud
Owner Belair Stud. Colors: White, Red Dots, Red Cap
Trainer James E. Fitzsimmons
Record 17: 11-3-2
Earnings $328,165
Major wins

Flash Stakes (1929)
Cowdin Stakes (1929)
Wood Memorial Stakes (1930)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1930)
Dwyer Stakes (1930)
Arlington Classic (1930)
Lawrence Realization Stakes (1930)
Saratoga Cup (1930)

Triple Crown race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1930)
Preakness Stakes (1930)
Belmont Stakes (1930)
Awards
2nd U.S. Triple Crown Champion
Informal U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1930)
Informal United States Horse of the Year (1930)
Honours
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1957)
#28 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Gallant Fox Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack
Gallant Fox Lane in Bowie, Maryland
Last updated on June 09, 2012

Gallant Fox (March 23, 1927 - November 13, 1954) was a United States Thoroughbred horseracing champion. In a racing career which lasted from 1929 to 1930 he ran seventeen times and won eleven races. As a three-year-old in 1930 he won nine of his ten races and became the second horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown. The term "Triple Crown" was not commonly used at the time, but was employed by the New York Times to describe the colt's achievements.[1]

Background[edit]

Gallant Fox, a bay horse with a white blaze[2] was foaled at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, and was one of many leading American racehorses sired by the French-bred stallion Sir Gallahad III. His dam was the mare Marguerite, who went on to produce Gallant Fox's full brother Fighting Fox, whose wins included the Grand Union Hotel Stakes, the Wood Memorial Stakes and the Carter Handicap. Owned by the Belair Stud of Collington, Maryland, Gallant Fox was trained by "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons and ridden in his major victories by Earl Sande.

Racing career[edit]

In 1929, Gallant Fox won twice, taking the Flash Stakes and the Cowdin Stakes, but in his biggest test he finished third to Harry Payne Whitney's Whichone in the Belmont Futurity Stakes.

Despite showing unremarkable form as a two-year-old, Gallant Fox was regarded as a major contender for 1930's major three-year-old races and confirmed his status with a win in the Wood Memorial Stakes, beating Crack Brigade by four lengths at Jamaica Racetrack in April.[3]

In May Gallant Fox started favourite for the Preakness Stakes, then the first of the "Triple Crown" races. Ridden by Earl Sande, he took the lead early in the straight and held the late challenge of Crack Brigade by three quarters of a length. The win was enthusiastically received with the popular Sande smiling and raising his whip to the crowd.[4] The Kentucky Derby two weeks later, attracted a crowd of 50,000 despite heavy rain at Louisville and Gallant Fox started favourite. He broke slowly but took the lead on the backstretch from the filly Alcibiades[5] before winning comfortably by two lengths from Gallant Knight, completing the course in 2:07.6 on a muddy track.[6] Sande was winning the race for a record third time following wins on Zev and Flying Ebony. By this time, Gallant Fox was becoming known as "the red-headed-horse"[7] because of the bright red hood he wore in his races. At Belmont Park three weeks later, Gallant Fox won the Belmont Stakes easily from Whichone who had missed the Derby but won the Withers Stakes and had been favoured to win by many "experts".[7] Before the end of June he added a win in the Dwyer Stakes at odds of 1/10, although the lack of effective opposition (Whichone missed the race through injury) made the victory a "hollow" one.[8] By July, Gallant Fox was being described as a "super horse" and at least 50,000 were in attendance in Chicago when he won the Arlington Classic by a neck from Gallant Knight.[9]

Gallant Fox and Whichone met again in August in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, but in a huge upset, they finished second and third to the 100/1 outsider, Jim Dandy, who appeared ideally suited by the muddy track and won easily by three lengths.[10] Fitzsimmons blamed the state of the ground for the colt's defeat and claimed that he had only run on the insistence of his owner.[11] In the Lawrence Realization Stakes at Belmont Park in September, Gallant Fox, by now the generally acknowledged champion of the year, defeated Questionnaire by a nose. His win took his earnings to $317,865, surpassing the world record held since 1923 by Zev.[12] By the end of a season he had increased his earnings to $328,165, although the record lasted only a year before it was beaten by Sun Beau.[13]

In October, after wins against older horses in the Saratoga Cup and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, it was announced that Gallant Fox would be retired to stud.[14] At the end of the year, Gallant Fox was described as "easily the outstanding Thoroughbred" of 1930,[15] although there was no formal "Horse of the Year" award.

Stud career[edit]

Gallant Fox was retired to stud after the 1930 racing season and had a twenty-two year breeding career. Among his progeny were 1935 Triple Crown winner Omaha and Granville the 1936 Horse of the Year. He also sired Omaha's full brother Flares, who in 1938 became only the second American-bred to ever win England's Ascot Gold Cup.

Gallant Fox was the first US Triple Crown winner to sire a second-generation Triple Crown champion when his son Omaha won the U.S. Triple Crown in 1935. Fifty-eight years later, in 1993, Affirmed became the second when his son, Peteski, won the Canadian Triple Crown.

Gallant Fox died on November 13, 1953, and was buried at Claiborne Farm. In 1957, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The The Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the top 100 U.S. thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century listed Gallant Fox at #28.

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Gallant Fox[16]
Sire
Sir Gallahad
Teddy Ajax Flying Fox
Amie
Rondeau Bay Ronald
Doremi
Plucky Liege Spearmint Carbine
Maid of the Mint
Concertina St. Simon
Comic Song
Dam
Marguerite
Celt Commando Domino
Emma C.
Maid of Erin Amphion
Mavourneen
Fairy Ray Radium Bend Or
Taia
Seraph St. Frusquin
St. Marina (Family 4-n)[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Field, Bryan (1930-06-08). "GALLANT FOX BEATS WHICHONE.. Derby Winner Ties Sir Barton as Triple Crown Hero". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Gallant Fox photograph". Claiborne Farm. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Gallant Fox wins". Ludington Daily News. April 27, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  4. ^ "Gallant Fox wins Preakness". Milwaukee Journal. May 9, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  5. ^ "1930 | 2012 Kentucky Oaks & Derby | May 4 and 5, 2012 | Tickets, Events, News". Kentuckyderby.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  6. ^ "Combination of Earl Sande and Gallant Fox Again Victorious". Leader-Post. May 19, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  7. ^ a b "Gallant Fox, Sande riding, wins Belmont". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 7, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  8. ^ "Gallant Fox wins Dwyer". Pittsburgh Press. June 29, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  9. ^ "Super Horse adds $64,750 to winnings". Milwaukee Sentinel. July 13, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  10. ^ "Gallant Fox badly beaten". San Jose Evening News. August 16, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Gallant Fox loses Travers, Sunny Jim Speaks, 1930". Colins Ghost. 2008-08-16. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  12. ^ "Gallant Fox sets record". Milwaukee Journal. September 7, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  13. ^ Morris, Tony; Randall, John (1990). Horse Racing: Records, Facts, Champions(Third Edition). Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-902-1. 
  14. ^ "Gallant Fox retired to stud". Evening Independent. October 7, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  15. ^ "Gallant Fox tops turf cash winners". Ludington Daily News. December 28, 1930. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  16. ^ "Gallant Fox Horse Pedigree". Pedigreequery.com. 1954-11-13. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  17. ^ "St. Marguerite - Family 4-n". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-04-24.