|Sire||Fit To Fight|
|Breeder||Upson Downs Farm|
|Owner||Marshall E. Dowell|
|Trainer||W. Robert Bailes|
American Classic Race placing:
Preakness Stakes 2nd (2005)
|Last updated on September 22, 2009|
Scrappy T (foaled in Kentucky on March 31, 2002) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse. A descendant of Sunny's Halo, he was sired by Fit to Fight by breeder Upson Downs Farm. Scrappy T was a multiple graded stakes winner but will be remembered most for his near fatal collision with Afleet Alex and gutsy runner-up finish in the 2005 Preakness Stakes.
His trainer, Robbie Bailes picked out Scrappy T at an auction in Florida at the Ocala Breeders Sale as a two-year-old and bought him for $35,000 for owner Marshall Dowell of Mechanicsville, Virginia. Scrappy T trained in a small unassuming work stable at the dilapidated Bowie Training Center. After breaking his maiden at Delaware Park, he received no respect from the public when racing in New York. He finished second in his New York stakes debut at odds of 23-1 and two races later won the Count Fleet Stakes at 11-1. His next step was a start in the grade three Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 12, he raced uncharacteristically off the lead and dug down in the stretch to finish third, missing first by 1-1/2 lengths.
Scrappy T came back to race in the Wood Memorial Stakes as his final triple crown prep but was no match for Bellamy Road. No one else in the field that day was either, as Bellamy Road went on to win the Wood by a record margin. After that defeat, Bailes and Dowell thought twice about sending Scrappy T to the Kentucky Derby and thought it was best to sharpen his skills a little closer to home.
Marshall E. Dowell’s Scrappy T, who was removed from Kentucky Derby consideration after finishing third to Bellamy Road in the Wood Memorial Stakes in April, found the competition more to his liking in the grade three $150,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack as he posted a one-length victory over six challengers. Pressing the early pace set by War Plan, the Fit to Fight gelding took charge turning for home and dug in gamely to hold off a late run by Park Avenue Ball. War Plan held on for third as Scrappy T covered the one-turn mile in 1:35 on a sealed track listed as good.
After such an impressive performance in winning the Withers, Scrappy T and his connections decided to take a step up in class and take on the nation's best three-year-olds in the "Run for the Black-Eyed Susans," the grade one Preakness Stakes. In that contest Scrappy T was listed on the morning line as the eleventh choice at 20-1 in a full field of fourteen stakes winners in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The vast majority of public support was wagered on the top three finishers in the Derby, they were Afleet Alex, Giacomo and Closing Argument.
As the gates opened, Scrappy T had the best break and cleared the entire field and all traffic. Going into Pimlico's famous club house turn, speedy Going Wild led the field followed by High Limit, Scrappy T and Galloping Grocer. Down the back stretch High Limit pulled in front and he led for a good half mile followed by Going Wild. Jockey Ramon Dominguez wrestled with Scrappy T to settle down and conserve some energy and he held him back in third. Then on the far turn, Scrappy T seized control of the race and took the lead. In the meantime Preakness favorite Afleet Alex weaved his way through traffic and came up on the outside flank of Scrappy T. Dominguez hit Scrappy T with a left-handed whip to get his colt to accelerate. Tasting his first left-handed whip, Scrappy T veered out to the right suddenly and blew the turn. While Afleet Alex was attempting to pass Scrappy T he was knocked down to his knees by the interference. Jeremy Rose somehow righted Afleet Alex and demonstrated that they were the most athletic horse that day by sprinting to a four and three quarter length win. Scrappy T proved his worth that day by placing second in an American Classic and beating the Derby winner Giacomo and millionaire Sun King by five and six lengths respectively. He earned $200,000 for that runner-up finish but decided to skip the Belmont Stakes.
Scrappy T retired before the 2008 season began and since he was a gelding he was not sold and shipped off to a fancy breeding operation. He now lives on the William Mason Farm on the family property in Powhatan, Virginia and currently living the good life, fox hunting with his handler Danielle Mason.