Firenze (horse)

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Sire Glenelg
Dam Florida
Damsire Virgil
Sex Filly
Foaled 1884
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Daniel Swigert
Owner James Ben Ali Haggin
Trainer Matthew Byrnes
Record 82: 47-21-9
Earnings $112,471
Major wins
Nursery Stakes (1886)
Gazelle Handicap (1887)
Ladies Handicap (1887)
Mermaid Stakes (1887)
Monmouth Oaks (1887)
Jerome Handicap (1887)
Free Handicap Sweepstakes (1887, 1888)
Champion Stakes (1888, 1891)
Monmouth Cup (1888, 1889)
Monmouth Handicap (1888)
Freehold Stakes (1888, 1889, 1890)
Omnium Handicap (1889)
New York Handicap (1889, 1890)
Knickerbocker Handicap (1889, 1890)
Coney Island Cup (1890)
U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly (1887)
U.S. Champion Older Mare
(1887, 1888, 1889, 1890)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1975)
Firenze Handicap at Saratoga Race Course
Last updated on February 16, 2008

Firenze (1884–1902), also recorded as "Firenzi,", was an American Thoroughbred Champion and Hall of Fame racehorse.

Firenze was a bay filly foaled at Elmendorf Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. She was sold by owner/breeder Daniel Swigert to lawyer and businessman James Ben Ali Haggin. Under trainer Matt Byrnes, Firenze became the second filly in American Thoroughbred racing history to earn more than $100,000 in purse money and has been retrospectively named American Champion Older Female Horse for four straight years.

Firenze was a small horse at 15 hands. She was noted for her stamina, competing in up to twenty or more races a year and frequently at distances of 1¼ to 2 miles. She repeatedly defeated the top colts of the day including the Dwyer Brothers Stable's future Hall of Fame colts, Hanover and Kingston. In the 1888 season, she was the only horse to beat A. J. Cassatt's Preakness Stakes winner, The Bard.

Firenze won the mile and a half Freehold Stakes run at the Long Branch Racetrackthree straight years between 1888 and 1890.

At her retirement Firenze had achieved the second highest earnings for a filly in American history. Miss Woodford won more, and Yo Tambien won a bit less.

Firenze began racing at age two and competed through age seven, retiring to her owner's Rancho Del Paso stud farm near Sacramento, California.

Stud record[edit]

As a broodmare, her own progeny, including those sired by her Hall of Fame stablemate Salvator, achieved only modest success in racing but several of her fillies were successful as broodmares.

Firenze died on March 27, 1902 at Rancho Del Paso.[1] In 1981, she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ The American Stud Book. The Jockey Club. 1906.