Hill Prince

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Hill Prince
Sire Princequillo
Grandsire Prince Rose
Dam Hildene
Damsire Bubbling Over
Sex Stallion
Foaled February 20, 1947
Country USA
Colour Bay
Breeder Meadow Stud, Inc.
Owner Christopher Chenery
Trainer Casey Hayes
Record 30:17-5-4
Earnings $422,140
Major wins

Cowdin Stakes (1949)
Wood Memorial Stakes (1950)
Withers Stakes (1950)
American Derby (1950)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1950)
Jerome Handicap (1950)
Sunset Handicap (1950)
New York Handicap (1951)
San Marcos Handicap (1952)

Triple Crown wins:
Preakness Stakes (1950)
Awards
DRF American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (1949)
American Horse of the Year (1950)
DRF & TRA American Champion Older Male Horse (1951)
Honours
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1991)
#75 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park
Last updated on October 31, 2006

Hill Prince (1947–1970) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse. He was one of the leading American two-year-olds of 1949, alongside Oil Capitol and Middleground. In 1950, he ran fifteen times, winning races including the Preakness Stakes, Wood Memorial Stakes, Withers Stakes, American Derby, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Jerome Handicap and Sunset Handicap and being named American Horse of the Year. Hill Prince raced for two further seasons and had some success despite a number of injuries and training problems. He later became a moderately successful breeding stallion.

Background[edit]

Hill Prince was a bay horse sired by Princequillo, a leading racehorse who became a highly successful breeding stallion. Hill Prince was one of his first crop of foals. His dam Hilldene went on to produce First Landing, the American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt of 1958.[1] The colt was bred in at his owner Christopher Chenery's Meadow Farm stud near Doswell, Virginia. Hill Prince was trained for Chenery by J. H. "Casey" Hayes.

Racing career[edit]

1949: two-year-old season[edit]

At age two Hill Prince won six of the first seven races he entered, his only defeat coming when he failed to recover from a poor start in the Sapling Stakes. At Aqueduct Race Track in September he won the Cowdin Stakes to establish himself as one of the season's leading juveniles, coming from last place on a muddy track to win by two and a half lengths from Selector in a track record time of 1:16.6.[2] At the end of the year he was voted American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt, in the Daily Racing Form poll.[3] In the rival Turf and Sport Digest poll he was narrowly defeated by Oil Capitol,[4] while Middleground was top-rated in the Experimental Free Handicap.

1950: three-year-old season[edit]

From the start of the 1950 season, Hill Prince was regarded as one of the main contenders for the Triple Crown races, along with Oil Capitol, Middleground, and the Californian colt Your Host.[5] On his seasonal debut he won the Experimental Handicap No. 1 at Jamaica, leading to him being promoted to challenge Oil Capitol as Derby favorite.[6] Two weeks later, however, he finished ninth behind lightly weighted Lotowhite in the Experimental Handicap No. 2 at the same track.[7] Less than a week after this effort, Hill Prince re-established his position at the head of the Derby contenders with a two-length win over a strong field, including Middleground, in the Wood Memorial.[8]

Ridden by Eddie Arcaro in the Kentucky Derby, Hill Prince finished second to Middleground. A week after his defeat in the Derby, Hill Prince reversed the form with Middleground when beating the Derby winner by one and a half lengths in the Withers Stakes at Belmont.[9] Following this victory, Hill Prince started favorite for the Preakness Stakes and recorded a decisive win over Middleground, drawing away in the straight to win by five lengths from the "Texas Terror" in front of a crowd of 30,000.[10] Shortly after his win in the Preakness, Hill Prince was matched against older horses in the Suburban Handicap and finished third to Loser Weeper, having reportedly bled from his nostrils at the finish.[11] In the Belmont Stakes Hill Prince fought Eddie Arcaro's attempts to restrain him and took the lead in the early stages but tired badly towards the finish and finished seventh to Middleground.[12]

Later in June, Hill Prince started favorite for the Dwyer Stakes and led by three lengths entering the straight, but was overtaken in the closing stages and beaten one and a half lengths by Greek Song. In August, Hill Prince faced a field including Your Host in the American Derby and displayed "blistering speed" in the last six furlongs to win by one and a half lengths from All Blue.[13] In September, he won the Jerome Handicap. As usual, he was towards the back of the field in the early stages before producing a "sensational" run to take the lead in the straight and win easily.[14] In the Jockey Club Gold Cup over two miles at Belmont in October, Hill Prince established his position as the best horse in America as he "cakewalked" to a four length victory over the Irish-bred Noor.[15] In November, Hill Prince was sent to California to take on Your Host on the latter's home ground in the Thanksgiving Day Handicap and was beaten in a photo finish in front of "40,000 howling fans".[16] Hill Prince stayed in California for his last two starts of the year: he finished third to Noor in the Hollywood Gold Cup and then won the Sunset Handicap, coming from the back of the field to overtake the champion filly Next Move in the closing stages.[17] At the end of the season, Hill Prince was selected as Horse of the Year in all three major polls (Daily Racing Form, Thoroughbred Racing Association, Turf and Sport Digest).[18]

1951-1952: later career[edit]

In January 1951, Hill Prince sustained a broken bone in his right hind leg when being prepared for the Santa Anita Maturity[19] and was forced to miss the first eight months of the season. In September, he returned to run third in an allowance race at Aqueduct Race Track and then carried top weight to a five length victory in the New York Handicap at Belmont.[20] In the following month Hill Prince failed to repeat his win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup when he was caught close to the finish and narrowly beaten by Counterpoint.[21] A week later, Hill Prince again finished fourth to Call Over in the Trenton Handicap. Hill Prince's performances were still good enough to be voted 1951's Handicap Horse of the Year in the Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Racing Association polls.[22][23] The Turf and Sport Digest award was won by Citation.[24]

As a five-year-old, Hill Prince won the San Marcos Handicap at Santa Anita in February,[25] but finished fifth when favorite for the Santa Anita Handicap. Subsequent examinations revealed "filling" in the horse's right foreleg[26] and Hill Prince was retired to stud.

Stud record[edit]

Hill Prince stood at the Claiborne Farm where he sired twenty-three stakes race winners including the 1957 American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Bayou [27] as well as Coaching Club American Oaks winner Levee and the Gardenia Stakes winner Pepperwood. He was more important as a sire of broodmares and was the damsire of Hall of Fame horses, Shuvee and Dark Mirage.[28] Hill Prince died in 1970 and was interred at the Meadow Stud, next to Sun Beau.[29]

In 1991 Hill Prince was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.[30]

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Hill Prince[31]
Sire
Princequillo
Prince Rose Rose Prince Prince Palatine
Eglantine
Indolence Gay Crusader
Barrier
Cosquilla Papyrus Tracery
Miss Matty
Quick Thought White Eagle
Mindful
Dam
Hilldene
Bubbling Over North Star Sunstar
Angelic
Beaming Beauty Sweep
Bellisario
Fancy Racket Wrack Robert le Diable
Samphire
Ultimate Fancy Ultimus
Idle Fancy (Family 9-b[32])

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Stone Reeves, Edward L Bowen (2005). "Belmont Park: A Century Of Champions". Blood-horse Publications. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  2. ^ "Hill Prince sets Aqueduct Record". Ottawa Citizen. September 15, 1949. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  3. ^ "Capot captures Horse of the Year Award". Toledo Blade. November 28, 1949. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  4. ^ "Coaltown is named "Horse of the Year"". Schenectady Gazette. 14 December 1949. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  5. ^ "California Dreams Again". Miami News. January 29, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  6. ^ "Hill Prince wins". Miami News. April 6, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  7. ^ "Hill Prince bounced around". Miami News. April 19, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  8. ^ "Hill Prince comes back". Miami News. April 23, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  9. ^ "Hill Prince wins Withers". Sunday Herald. May 14, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  10. ^ "Hill Prince easily wins Preakness". Pittsburgh Press. May 21, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  11. ^ "Hill Prince loses handicap debut". Palm Beach Post. May 31, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Hill Prince big puzzle to race fans". Star-News. June 12, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  13. ^ "Hill Prince captures big American Derby". Sunday Herald. August 20, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  14. ^ "Hill Prince Cops Jerome". Miami News. September 21, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  15. ^ "Gold Cup won by Hill Prince". Sunday Herald. October 1, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  16. ^ "Your Host wins". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. November 23, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  17. ^ "Hill Prince wins Sunset Handicap". Sunday Herald. December 17, 1950. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  18. ^ "Hill Prince earns another Ballot as Horse of the Year". Miami News. 1950-12-19. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  19. ^ "Hill Prince is again hit by hard luck". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. January 30, 1951. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  20. ^ "Hill Prince wins handicap". St. Petersburg Times. September 30, 1951. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  21. ^ "Hill Prince is defeated". Youngstown Vindicator. October 13, 1951. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  22. ^ "Counterpoint named Horse of the year". Lewiston Daily Sun. 19 November 1951. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  23. ^ "Counterpoint awarded double distinction". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 29 November 1951. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  24. ^ "Counterpoint, Citation are Honored". Deseret News. 1951-12-20. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  25. ^ "Windy City, Hill Prince score wins". Sunday Herald. February 10, 1952. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  26. ^ "Hill Prince slated for retirement". Free Lance-Star. March 4, 1952. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  27. ^ U.S. Thoroughbred Champions at BloodHorse.com
  28. ^ Edward L. Bowen (2004-11-25). Legacies Of The Turf: A Century Of Great Thoroughbred Breeders. Blood-horse Publications. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  29. ^ http://www.tbheritage.com/TurfHallmarks/Graves/cem/GraveMattersMeadowStud.html
  30. ^ "National Museum of Racing, Hall of Fame, Thoroughbred Horses". Racingmuseum.org. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  31. ^ "Classic Winner: Hill Prince". Chef-de-race.com. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  32. ^ "Sweepstakes Mare - Family 9-b". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2012-04-28.