Timely Writer

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Timely Writer
Sire Staff Writer
Grandsire Northern Dancer
Dam Timely Roman
Damsire Sette Bello
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1979
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Dorothy Davis
Owner Peter and Francis Martin
Trainer Dominic Imprescia
Record 15: 9-1-2
Earnings $605,491
Major wins
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 (April 21, 1979 – October 9, 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.

Racing career[edit]

Timely Writer began his 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 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 him a favorite for the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 1982, until a severe case of colic sidelined him for the 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 the horse's withdrawal from the $150,000 Jerome Handicap, for which he was the favorite. Unprepared for his next start, he finished seventh but rebounded to win his next race.

Timely Writer later competed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He ran in third before jockey Jeffrey Fell began to urge the colt forward as they approached the far turn. Suddenly, the horse'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.


Timely Writer was buried at the head of the stretch at Belmont Park near the filly Ruffian.

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.