Vigil II

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For the 1876 American horse of the same name, see Vigil (horse).
Sire Jim Gaffney
Grandsire Golden Garter
Dam Vignola
Damsire Solitaire
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1920
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Arthur B. Hancock
Owner Walter J. Salmon, Sr.
Trainer Thomas J. Healey
Major wins

Debut Purse (1922)
Terminal Purse (1922)
Baldwin Purse (1922)

American Classic Race wins:
Preakness Stakes (1923)

Vigil (foaled 1920) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1923 Preakness Stakes in a performance the Los Angeles Times called "the most brilliant victory in the history of the Preakness." [1]

Bred by Arthur B. Hancock,[2] Vigil was a bay horse sired by the Hopeful Stakes winner Jim Gaffney.[3] His dam, Vignola, was a great-granddaughter of the British mare Thoughtless, whose other descendants included the 2000 Guineas winner Adam's Apple.[4] Vigil was purchased and raced by Walter J. Salmon, Sr. His trainer was future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Thomas "T.J." Healey


Racing at age two, Vigil won for the first time on July 10, 1922 at Empire City Race Track when he captured the Debut Purse for maidens under jockey James Butwell.[5] He went on to win other minor races including a division of the Baldwin Purse at Saratoga Race Course under jockey Lavelle Ensor.


Overshadowed by Rancocas Stable's Champion colt, Zev, Vigil entered 1923 well down the list of important three-year-old prospects. On April 30, 1923, he ran second to H. P. Whitney's filly, Enchantment, in the Carolina Purse at Maryland's Havre de Grace Racetrack.

In the 1923 U.S. Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes was run first and Vigil easily defeated Zev to win the May 13 race in a performance the Los Angeles Times called "the most brilliant victory in the history of the Preakness." [1] The great Zev finished in twelfth place, more than twenty-five lengths behind Vigil. Zev was so soundly beaten that his trainer Sam Hildreth decided not to run him in the upcoming May 19 Kentucky Derby.[6] However, Hildreth changed his mind and Zev won the Derby with Vigil finishing third behind runner-up, Martingale.

During the remainder of his three-year-old campaign, Vigil never returned to the form he had shown in the Preakness. Among his significant races, he finished third in the Havre de Grace Handicap and fourth in both the Merchants and Citizens Handicap and the Lawrence Realization Stakes. Vigil returned to race at age four and five with little success.


Pedigree of Vigil
Jim Gaffney

bay 1905

Golden Garter

ch. 1888

Bend Or Doncaster
Rouge Rose
Sanda Wenlock
Miss Maxim

bay 1893

Maxim Musket
Vebtura Vigil

ch. 1912


bay 1896

Ayrshire Hampton
Solesky Thunder

ch. 1893

Flambeau Wildidle
Amalia Salvator


  1. ^ a b "PREAKNESS TO SALMON'S VIGIL". Los Angeles Times. 1923-05-13. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  2. ^ Bowen, Edward L. Legacies of the Turf: A Century of Great Thoroughbred Breeders, p. 71 (2003) Eclipse Press ISBN 978-1-58150-102-5
  3. ^ "Vigil pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  4. ^ "Care - Family 27-a". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  5. ^ "$5,000 DEMOISELLE STAKES TO CRESTA". New York Times. 1922-07-11. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  6. ^ "Daily Racing Form 1920s". Retrieved 2012-08-06.