|Owner||Peter and Francis Martin|
|Mayflower Stakes (1981)
Hopeful Stakes (1981)
Champagne Stakes (1981)
Flamingo Stakes (1982)
Florida Derby (1982)
Yankee Handicap (1982)
|Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park|
|Last updated on February 25, 2011|
Timely Writer (1979-1982) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse. The Boston Globe once described him as "the horse with the greatest potential—and the worst luck—whose very story was a fairytale of racing history."
His bloodlines included Northern Dancer, Swaps, Tim Tam, Ribot, Tom Fool, and Count Fleet. He was purchased for $13,500 by Peter and Francis Martin, owners of a meat-packing plant in Boston, Massachusetts.
Timely Writer began his stakes career as a claimer at Monmouth Park, winning by eight lengths and tying a track record set in 1943. Ridden by Roger Danjean, the colt also won the Grade I and Hopeful Stakes. Under Jeffrey Fell, he won October's Grade I Champagne Stakes, in which he overtook the 4-5 favorite by nearly five lengths.
Timely Writer's racing career was marked by several disappointments. He was passed over in favor of Deputy Minister for the 1981 Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old colt. Key wins in the 1982 Flamingo Stakes and Florida Derby made Timely Writer a favorite for a Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 1982, until a severe case of colic sidelined him for the entire spring season.
With a 50% chance of surviving surgery, Timely Writer recovered and came back to win at Saratoga Race Course less than six months later. Dr. William O. Reed purchased the colt's breeding rights for $3 million. Before heading to the breeding shed, Timely Writer was set to complete the 1982 racing season.
Traces of an anti-bacterial substance found in his system forced Timely Writer's withdrawal from the $150,000 Jerome Handicap, for which he was the favorite. Unprepared for his next start, he finished a seventh but rebounded to win his next start.
Timely Writer later competed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He coasted along in third before jockey Jeffrey Fell began to urge the colt forward as they approached the far turn. Suddenly, the colt's left foreleg snapped and he fell to the ground, where three other horses stumbled over him. With no possibility of repairing his leg, Timely Writer was humanely euthanized. Another colt, Johnny Dance, who had collided with the fallen horse, was also euthanized.
A tribute to Timely Writer is included in the book "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge", by Kimberly Gatto (2005, Half Halt Press) ISBN 0-939481-71-5. Blood-Horse magazine also printed a tribute article in its September 29, 2007, issue.