Talk:Man o' War

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Shouldn't the term "Man o' War" direct to the article about the ship category? or at least to the disambiguation page? - the only difference here is the capital W.


I believe the author's attempt to reference to the jockey's middle name ("Sanford) as being an interesting fact, is because the name of the race in which that jockey rode the horse Upset to finished in front of MOW -- for the only time during his racing career (Aug. 13, 1919) -- was named the "Sanford Memorial Stakes."

___________________________________________________________ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

"Also quite interesting is the fact that Upset's jockey's middle name was Sanford." Removed. Does this make any sense at all? If someone can shed some light to this sentence, by all means add it back to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe it is incorrect to suggest that the upset of "Man O'War" by "Upset" is what created the use of the new phrase.

It might warrant mention in Lexington, KY, there is a Man O War Boulevard named after him.

Man O' War the horse was not named initially "My Man O' War." The name that August Belmont II and his wife Eleanor reserved with The Jockey Club in New York in 1917 was simply, "Man O' War." None of the Belmonts' letters or writings ever mention the name "My Man O' War" as his name at any point. // for additional reference see, "Man O' War, A legend Like Lightning," by Dorothy Ours (St. Martin's Press, c 2006) Chapter 2, Note 2

"Considered by most to be the greatest horse of all-time"[edit]

This statement is speculative and unable to be proven regardless of whether an author claims it to be the case in a book. A huge number of experts and fans consider Secretariat to be the best. Still others consider Citation to be the best. Europeans would make a case for Sea Bird. Australians would make a case for Phar Lap. All of the previous factions could build a solid case. As is, the phrase contains weasel words, is unclear because it doesn't explain who it's referring to, and is not encyclopedic. The blood horse ranking appears later in the entry and is the sort of information that is relevant and allows the reader to draw his or own conclusions. The Secretariat article went through the same problem a while back. Devout fans of a particular horse likely feel it was the best. However, it's unlikely that "most" of any group of experts or horse racing fans feels that way about either horse or any other because there are at least as many candidates as I cited above, and that's far from an exhaustive list of candidates. Moreover, it's really an impossible claim to prove. Lb34 (talk) 05:45, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Having just looked at page 283 of the Ours book through Google book search, it's clear that the cited reference did not state what was asserted in the prior wording of this article. The page is titled "Comparing Man O'War with other greats." The beginning of the page says "clearly any debate about the best racehorse in North America has to include Man O'War." I don't think anyone would dispute that statement, but it's a far cry from asserting that "most think Man O'War was the greatest racehorse of all time." Ours then goes on to mention some of the horses I mentioned above, along with a few others, that would be included in the discussion. She then lists various print, video, and Internet references that provide information about the best American racehorses. However, she never makes any assertion about Man O'War being considered the greatest by "most" of any group. Lb34 (talk) 06:04, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Also Lb34, I want to point out that the reference used—this "Ours" thing—is extremely vague. It says only "Ours" and lists a page number. This is not a proper reference; in fact, it is the opposite of a proper source citation, so when writing "considered by most to be greatest," or whatever, the phrase MUST be backed not only by accurate sources, but must also be cited correctly. Thanks for catching that "greatest" phrase, too, Lb34. Fdssdf (talk) 20:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I am not from the US and think Man O' War as a great champion. I would argue with anyone calling him the one of the greatest. Personally, I think he is the greatest, but that is just me. If anyone says who is the greatest racehorse ever, the answer will probably be Man O' War, or maybe Eclipse - as he was always the benchmark, long before MOW came along.
Secretariat is in that esteemed level also. He was some pony!! You have had so many great ones in the US. I think the most famous horses in Europe are ones like Kincsem, Eclipse, Allez France, Nijynsky, Desert Orchid and especially Red Rum. Wallie (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I disagree that it is not possible to prove this. Forget all the references that call him the greatest, and look at the facts. He never lost a race, except for the one where it was clearly the jockey's fault. He completely smashed every record in every racetrack he was at, some of his records still stand. His track history is completely clean. And YET they NEVER let him go completely!! He was always reigned in, with his nose on his chest, and the jockey standing in the irons. His speed was soo much greater than anyone ever saw! And yet, not only did he lead the pack, he was at least 20 lengths ahead of everyone else, usually more! And the lose to Upset was dumb, because he beat Upset several times after that race.
I understand why people love Seabiscuit. He was an incredible horse! It was amazing how he had the issues with his knees/legs, and yet kept racing. BUT he never, ever got as fast as Man O' War. Maybe Seabiscuit would have if he was sound, but the fact is, he never did. And even as fans push and push he was better, the facts remain. Man O' War did more and was faster. Period.
The only reason he quit racing so early (a reason some people say Exterminator was a better racehorse, because he raced for so long) was because if he continued racing, he would have had more weight on him than any horse in history had every had, and his owner was afraid for Man O' War's health and safety, so he pulled him off the racetrack. That was smart, because it would have ruined Man O' War, he was only a BABY. That's why he didn't win the Triple Crown. Not because he couldn't race anymore, but because his owner pulled him out.
I hope this wasn't too biased. I have a deep passion for him, and my mare is related to Fair Play *gloat*, so even more so. Haha! But even so, the bald, unbiased facts just can't be ignored! He was amazing!! He has never been beat, and I personally don't think he ever will!! :) ----TaylorLanebore me 04:22, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Kincsem. Five countries. Five seasons. 54 starts 54 wins. And I could probably make out a case for a dozen others. Ormonde, Arkle, Ribot, Bayardo etc If you could actually prove it, there wouldn't be an argument, would there? The point is that saying "many people consider him the greatest" is fine because you can find references that show that. Saying "most think Man O'War was the greatest racehorse of all time" is wrong because there is no reference that shows that. I can't even imagine what such a reference would look like. In a way, it's good that racing fans are so passionate, but that passion is holding back a LOT of articles on this topic. And I'm not trying to be superior here- I have to keep editing & re-writing my own contributions to get rid of the POV, bias and peacock terms that keep slipping through. Tigerboy1966 (talk) 15:58, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Clearly there are MANY amazing racehorses that have touched us over the years, one of the greatest Native Dancer, is all but forgotten for his racing days and remembered as a great sire, however his record of 22: 21-1-0 shows just how wonderful he was. I don't think anyone can say "....was the greatest racehorse" because unless they all raced against each other no one knows for sure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

  • giggle* Native Dancer is my mare great-grandsire!! Sorry, just had to say that. In relevance to your comment, yes Native Dancer was a GREAT racehorse, but he was no Man O' War. Big Red (Man O' War) won 20 races, competed in 21. The one he only placed in, he was beaten by Upset, but that was the jockey's fault. That is confirmed by the fact Big Red beat Upset by about 20 lengths several times after that. Big Red never was raced to his full potential (except I think once for a furlong or two)! He always had his nose against his chest and his jockey standing up in the irons. And he never was less than 20 lengths ahead of everyone else, except the race against, oh who was it, I think Tom Thumb? I don't remember, but it was a weird coincidence that Big Red only won by I think a length or so, because Big Red raced him after that and beat him by many lengths. The statistics of handicapping, records that remain to be broken, excellent bloodlines passed on, etc, prove that he truly was a magnificent horse. Was he the "greatest" racehorse in the world? Well, maybe that can't be proven, but considering the records he smashed and made (that still haven't been broken, and most likely never will), if any one horse can come close to honestly earning that title, I'd say it's Man O' War!! I uderstand this is an "encyclopedia", so everything said needs to be unbiased, but maybe it could be rephrased to saying he has been called the greatest racehorse, or ellegedly is the greatest racehorse.. I don't know just a thought. Have a lovely day! --TaylorLanebore me 18:32, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century[edit]

An anonymous IP user does not like that Blood-Horse magazine listed Man o' War as the top horse of the 20th century. See Wikipedia article: Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. So this user has begun to attack this article as well without discussion. I will continue to revert changes by anonymous user until said user stops or enters into discussion. See Talk:Blood-Horse_magazine_List_of_the_Top_100_U.S._Racehorses_of_the_20th_Century. imars (talk) 07:07, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

The Bloodhorse panel member who placed Secretariat at No.14 holds no devilish responsibility for Secretariat not being placed at No 1 in the poll. He voted Citation No.1 and Man O' War (MOW) as No. 2. Had he awarded Secretariat the No. 3 position (instead of No. 14) MOW would still have accumulated a greater number of weighted winning votes and remained in the No. 1 position.

As for comments alleged to Mr. Nack, it is submitted that ethics should have persuaded that he recuse himself from the panel. The pecuniary royalties he has received from his acclaimed book about Secretariat creates a prima facie suspicion of impaired objectivity. The alleged statement that had he known of a panel member's vote which placed Secretariat at No. 14, he would have put MOW in 14th place, fosters a clear suspicion of his being in a seriously conflicted role as a self-anointed guardian. If such indeed be his view, why not simply have demanded the majority composition of panel members to be comprised of self-proclaimed Secretariat banner-carriers and be done with it.

Parenthetically: 100 (not just 7) journalists and others from within the American racing community participated in the Thoroughbred & Harness Racing Action 1988 "100 Greatest" poll, with MOW, Secretariat, Citation and Kelso finishing 1,2,3,4. In the tally, MOW finished comfortably ahead of Secretariat. However, among the vote results, MOW received 2 - 10th place votes; 2 - 15th place; 1 - 16th place. Secretariat received 1 - 10th place vote; 1 - 12th place; 1 - 16th; 1 - 19th place. [User: Go For Wand Fan] (talk) 17:08, 17 August 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Go For Wand Fan ---- (talkcontribs) 22:05, 16 August 2016 (UTC)


Wikipedia is for the general public, not just for insiders in each field. The chart on the horse's pedigree includes three unexplained abbreviations. Now, I suppose "b." could be assumed to be a general abbreviation for "born"; but then why "br." - does it mean something else? If so, what; if not, then why use two abbreviations for one word? And, finally, what does "ch." stand for? I have no idea and don't know how I could find out. (talk) 12:12, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

See Glossary of Australian and New Zealand punting.Cgoodwin (talk) 20:18, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

the b. is the color of the horse, bay, br. brown, ch. chestnut, since these are the most common color among thoroughbreds they will be what you see most often. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

abbreviations expanded Jlvsclrk (talk) 04:52, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Race Record[edit]

I notice that in this section the Grand Union Hotel Stakes race on 8/23/1919 is listed above the Hopeful Stakes race on 8/20/1919. As this listing appears that it should be in chronological order, I would suggest these entries be switched.Wreck Smurfy (talk) 04:04, 9 June 2016 (UTC)Wreck Smurfy

switched Tigerboy1966  07:41, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

GA push?[edit]

I'm thinking of nominating this for GA - any thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jlvsclrk (talkcontribs)

I think it's worth a shot, though I apologize that I haven't been super active recently to help, but I can lurk and wikignome. There may be some trouble with the statue photo, might be post-1978, might want to have Wehwalt check on that. It would be cool to find more photos of him, I know there have to be some more that are pre-1923 or in books with copyright not renewed (see Hathi Trust). I don't know if pre-1978 Breyer horse models are still under copyright or not, but I have the Breyer... (LOL). It's definitely an article that should be GA-class. Montanabw(talk) 01:04, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
The statue is okay since it was placed when he was re-interred at the Kentucky Horse Park a looong time ago. I'll look for more photos. Do you think I can screenshot the New York Times articles and use these images? They'll be black & white and perhaps a bit grainy but they're something! Jlvsclrk (talk) 02:16, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I found an adorable picture of him as a foal and another of him after the Belmont. Also found a great set in a Keeneland library retrospective that I think should mostly be fair game - certainly the ones of him racing since they're before 1923. But when you click on the link for each picture, they say that permission is required so I'm totally confused. Jlvsclrk (talk) 03:59, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
OOPS! I didn't mean to start the review, I'll ask an admin to clean up my mess. Montanabw(talk) 04:52, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
If you can prove publication prior to 1923, you are good to go, no matter if someone claims copyright. If you can't, then it's the more complicated route described here. In short, the trick is to determine first date of publication. The "1964 copyright not renewed" route is also usually pretty easy to figure out (I did for some of the post-1923 images at Margaret Cabell Self) The Hathi Trust website is a good one for proving date of publication, as is the Library of Congress Montanabw(talk) 04:52, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

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American Horse of the Year[edit]

What does it mean to have been the “unofficial” 1920 "American Horse of the Year"? Putting “American Horse of the Year” in caps suggests that it was somehow official, or at least real. Unless there is something proffered to somehow substantiate this apparent fiction, I propose it be deleted. Nicmart (talk) 22:13, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Man o' War/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: JohnWickTwo (talk · contribs) 02:39, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Should be ready to start in a day or two. It might be useful to hear why you were drawn to do this article rather than War Admiral, is this horse more famous than the other. JohnWickTwo (talk) 02:39, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Can't wait! As for your question, if asked to name the most famous American racehorses from the 20th century, the list for most people begins with Man o' War or Secretariat, with Seabiscuit thrown in because of the book and movie. War Admiral was Man o' War's greatest offspring on the track, but ranks well below him in most listings. (See for example BloodHorse magazine's rankings: Man o' War #1, War Admiral #13.) I was a fan of Man o' War from even before Secretariat's time though thanks to the books by C.W. Anderson and Walter Farley. I have tried to maintain the correct tone in spite of my fandom but certainly won't take it amiss if asked to rephrase for neutrality. Jlvsclrk (talk) 16:01, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Start process:

0 Lede

See the comments below for more on Upset which could be added into the Lede. Also, it would be nice to mention something about Seabiscuit being in the sons and daughters line here by way of Hard Tack in both the lede and the article.

1 Background

"However, the Belmonts.." to "However, after the war the Belmonts..." You might want to reword some of this war years material for clarity since you also include a 'Two years later...' sentence which makes one wonder if the text is still in the war years or later.

2 Racing career

" American history". Is this comment saying up to his own time, or, up to contemporary 2018 times correcting for inflation?

2.1 1919: Two-year-old season

"Loftus asked Man...". Not a big deal but you use "urge" as your preferred verb for this in the rest of this article and you might want to be consistent.
Second paragraph in this section refers to a colt named Urge twice and its hard to see the chronology. Urge had originally beat him in his debut appearance at Saratoga.
In third paragraph make it explicit that Urge beat Man in your wording. See you small note on Urge later in this paragraph also.

2.2 1920: Three-year-old season

Multiple races with Urge appear here again which suggests that some special approach to writing about these two horses history with each other might be of interest to readers of this article. In paragraph 3 of this section, you might say it was the Kentucky Derby explicitly for casual readers of this article who often cannot name the 3 tracks for the Triple Crown. Also look at your wording for "gave him his head" which is fine for track announcements though it could be adjusted a little by a small rewrite in this sentence where it appears.
My further suggestion on the races with Urge is that you might number them for clarity of reference for readers. Tell readers how many times they had met in your paragraph starting with "His connections had...". In the next paragraph in this section try to use this sentence, "Man 'o War was reunited with Kummer replacing Schuttinger."

2.3 Weight carrying

Paragraph appears to work in current form.

3 Race record

Note that Man beats Upset on August 2, 1919 by two lengths, while on August 13 Man loses to Upset.

4 Stud record

Change opening wording to "After his undefeated season as a 3-year old,..." for clarity.

5 Death

My very general comment here is that you consider separating the Death section from the Legacy section so that there is no overlap and that they appear as separate sections. The narrative is generally fine in these following closing sections.

5.1 Honors

See comment above on Death.

5.2 In books and film

You use "titled" for Big Red at the start here, and then switch to "entitled" Man at the end of this section. Pick one or the other, most seem to go with "titled" for books.

5.3 Cultural references

Looks ok.

6 Pedigree

Wording looks ok.

That should allow you start your edits in this assessment. Let me know if you need more details on any of my comments. JohnWickTwo (talk) 16:25, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Response - edits made per suggestions. re (section 1), clarified that the war was still ongoing when Belmont decided to sell the horse. In section (3), added detail for his three most famous rivals - Upset, John P. Grier and Sir Barton - in the margin column Jlvsclrk (talk) 01:14, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Also, while editing the race record section, I noticed a discrepancy between the margin of loss in the Sanford shown in the prose section (a neck), versus that in the table (half a length). I amended both to say "about a neck" with a note that one source a neck while another says half a length. Jlvsclrk (talk) 01:49, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Result: That appears fairly well done and the addition of contemporary racing horses helps quite a bit. In case you have never seen the match race of Man o War you might enjoy watching it here: [1]. If you can figure out how to get this video to work in this article, it might be a nice addition in case you are contemplating going for a featured article at some point in time. As completely optional you might want to try to move the middle of your 3 sequential photos of Man to the left side. Otherwise all the requirements receive checkmarks and the article is promoted. JohnWickTwo (talk) 02:34, 5 February 2018 (UTC)