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Luke McLuke

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Luke McLuke
Luke McLuke (USA).jpg
Sire Ultimus
Grandsire Commando
Dam Midge
Damsire Trenton
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1911
Country United States
Color Bay
Breeder James R. Keene
Owner Castleton Stud
William A. Prime
Edward R. Bradley
John Schorr, Memphis, Tennessee
J. O. Keene, Lexington, Kentucky
Trainer J. F. Schorr
Record 6: 4-1-1
Earnings $22,050 (approximately $559,000 as of 2018)
Major wins
Carlton Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Kentucky Handicap
Grainger Memorial Handicap
Last updated on November 18, 2010

Luke McLuke (1911– c. 1929) was a bay Thoroughbred stallion born in the United States; he won the 1914 Belmont Stakes, the Carlton Stakes, Kentucky Handicap, and Grainger Memorial Handicap among his four wins from six starts. After his racing career was over, he became a breeding stallion, where he sired 11 stakes winners. Two of his daughters were named as year-end Champions in the United States.

Breeding and background[edit]

Luke McLuke's sire was Ultimus, and his dam was an imported mare named Midge, a daughter of the English Thoroughbred Trenton. Midge's dam was another imported mare named Sandfly by the English stallion Isonomy.[1] Ultimus was inbred to Commando, as both his sire and dam were sired by Domino. Ultimus never raced, however.[2]

Luke McLuke was bred by James R. Keene[3] at Castleton Stud, but was sold, along with the entire stock of the 1911 foal crop, in 1912 as yearlings. He was originally bought as part of a group lot of all 16 of the colts, bought by William A. Prime for $25,000 (about $634,000 as of 2018),[4][5] who promptly turned around sold the horses to Edward R. Bradley. Bradley then auctioned them off for a total of $57,650 (around $1,462,000 as of 2018) shortly after purchasing them.[4][5] John Schorr of Memphis, Tennessee bought Luke McLuke for $1,700 (approximately $43,000 as of 2018).[4][5] Although unraced as a two-year-old, Luke McLuke raced as a three-year-old for Schorr. In Schorr's ownership, the stallion won the Belmont Stakes.[6]

Luke McLuke was expected to be a sprinter, as his breeding, especially on his sire's side, was mostly raced at shorter distances.[7]

Racing career[edit]

Luke McLuke won the Belmont on June 20, 1914, carrying 126 lb (57 kg) and with M. Bruxton as his jockey. He earned a total of $3025 for the win.[8] The time for the 1 38 mi (2.2 km) race was 2 minutes and 20 seconds, beating Gainer and Charlestonian.[8] On June 30, 1914, he ran in the Carleton Stakes, which was a 1-mile (1.6 km)-long race for three-year-olds. He earned $5,125 (around $125,000 as of 2018) for the win,[4][9] which was made in 1 minute 38 and ​45 seconds. Luke McLuke carried 126 lb (57 kg) in the race and his jockey was M. Buxton. He beat Charlestonian again, as well as Stromboli and Figinny.[9] He also won the Kentucky Handicap and Grainger Memorial Handicap that year.[1] The Grainger was a race for three-year-olds and up, at a distance of 1 14 mi (2.0 km) and was run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Luke McLuke carried 100 lb (45 kg) in the race, and was ridden by A. Neyton for the win. Second place was Rudolfo and third went to Solar Star. The win earned him $11,500 ($281,000 as of 2018),[4][10] and the winning time was 2 minutes and 2 and ​45 seconds.[10]

Luke McLuke was trained by Schorr's son, J. F. Schorr. Luke McLuke's race wins in 1914 helped make the elder Schorr the leading owner for 1914, the second time he had earned that title.[2] The younger Schorr was the leading trainer in 1914, the first time he topped that list.[2] The stallion's overall racing record was four wins in six starts with one second and one third. His total earnings on the racetrack were $22,050 ($559,000 as of 2018).[4][11]

Breeding career and legacy[edit]

In 1925, Luke McLuke was owned by J. O. Keene and stood at stud at Keeneland Stud in Lexington, Kentucky.[11] He sired 11 stakes winners, including Nellie Morse, Anita Peabody, and Mr. Sponge.[12] Nellie Morse won the 1924 Preakness Stakes and was named the 1924 Champion Three-Year-Old-Filly. Anita Peabody won the Futurity Stakes and the Debutante Stakes and was named 1927 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. In all, Luke McLuke sired 85 foals in 13 foal crops; 55 of his foals started races, with 40 of those starters winning races for a total of $449,783.[13] His daughter Nellie Morse was the dam of Nellie Flag, the 1934 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.[14] After her racing career was over, Nellie Flag went on to become one of the foundation broodmares at Calumet Farm in Kentucky.[15] A grandson was Three Bars, out of a Luke McLuke daughter named Myrtle Dee. Three Bars went on to become an influential sire of Quarter Horses,[16] and was named to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1989.[17] Another daughter, Nursemaid, produced the 1966 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, Juliets Nurse.[18] Luke McLuke's granddaughter Nellie Flag was in turn the dam of Mar-Kell, the 1943 Champion Handicap Mare.[14]

The Chicago Tribune reported the death of Luke McLuke in February 1929, but noted the horse had died suddenly in his exercise paddock at the farm of John Hertz many weeks before the press release.[19] He was recorded as dead in the 1932 edition of the American Racing Manual.[20]


Emma C
Running Stream
*Dancing Water
Luke McLuke[11]


  1. ^ a b Hogan Index to Stakes Winners p. 339
  2. ^ a b c Robertson History of Thoroughbred Racing p. 218
  3. ^ Hewitt Great Breeders pp. 66–67
  4. ^ a b c d e f Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c Hewitt Great Breeders p. 109
  6. ^ Robertson History of Thoroughbred Racing p. 209
  7. ^ Hatton "Belmont Stakes" Daily Racing Form
  8. ^ a b Buck "The Belmont" Racing Calendar p. 172
  9. ^ a b Buck "The Carleton" Racing Calendar pp. 176–177
  10. ^ a b Daily Racing Form 1932 American Racing Manual p. 218
  11. ^ a b c Lasker and Lasker American Thoroughbred Stallion Register Volume II pp. 138–139
  12. ^ Hogan Index to Stakes Winners p. 616
  13. ^ Bloodhorse Research and Statistical Bureau Sires of American Stakes Horses p. 602
  14. ^ a b Hewitt Great Breeders p. 186
  15. ^ Hunter American Classic Pedigrees p. 46
  16. ^ Simmons Legends pp. 54–55
  17. ^ American Quarter Horse Foundation "Three Bars Biography" Hall of Fame Biographies
  18. ^ Thoroughbred Heritage "Kentucky Broodmare of the Year" Historic Dams
  19. ^ Lane, French (February 27, 1929). "Luke McLuke, Famous Sire of Anita Peabody, Dies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Daily Racing Form 1932 American Racing Manual p. 886


  • American Quarter Horse Foundation. "Three Bars Biography" (pdf). Hall of Fame Biographies. American Quarter Horse Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  • Bloodstock Research & Statistical Bureau (1975). Sires of American Stakes Horses 1926-1975. Lexington, KY: Bloodstock Research & Statistical Bureau. OCLC 27801357. 
  • Buck, H. A. (July 1914). "The Belmont". Racing Calendar. Jockey Club: 172. 
  • Buck, H. A. (July 1914). "The Carleton". Racing Calendar. Jockey Club: 176–177. 
  • Daily Racing Form (1932). 1932 American Racing Manual. Chicago, IL: Daily Racing Form Publishing. 
  • Hatton, Charles (June 3, 1970). "Belmont Stakes Still at True Derby Distance of 1 1–2 Miles". Daily Racing Form. p. 4. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 
  • Hewitt, Abram S. (1982). The Great Breeders and Their Methods. Lexington, KY: Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. OCLC 12739523. 
  • Hogan, Clio D. (n.d.). Index to Stakes Winners 1865–1967. Solvang, CA: Flag Is Up Farms. OCLC 29213840. 
  • Hunter, Avalyn (2003). American Classic Pedigrees (1914–2002). Lexington, KY: Eclipse Press. ISBN 1-58150-095-5. 
  • Lane, French (February 27, 1929). "Luke McLuke, Famous Sire of Anita Peabody, Dies". Chicago Tribune. p. 20. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  • Lasker, Edward; Lasker, Cynthia (1925). American Thoroughbred Stallion Register. II. Lexington, KY: Treacy & Walker. OCLC 79457959. 
  • Robertson, William H. P. (1964). The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America. New York: Bonanza Books. LCCN 64-17364. 
  • Close, Pat; Simmons, Diane, eds. (1993). Legends: Outstanding Quarter Horse Stallions and Mares. Colorado Springs, CO: Western Horseman. ISBN 0-911647-26-0. 
  • Thoroughbred Heritage. "Kentucky Broodmare of the Year". Historic Dams. Thoroughbred Heritage. Retrieved November 18, 2010.