Washington, D.C. International Stakes

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Washington, D.C. International Stakes
Grade I race
Location Laurel Park Racecourse,
Laurel, Maryland, United States
Inaugurated 1952
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Website Laurel Park Racecourse
Race information
Distance 1 12 miles (12 furlongs)
Surface Turf
Track Left-handed
Qualification 3-Year-Olds and Up

The Washington, D.C. International was an American Grade I invitational horse race. Inaugurated in 1952, it was raced on turf in Laurel, Maryland, at a distance of 1 12 miles (12 furlongs) and attracted top turf horses from North America and Europe. It was held annually until 1994, when it could no longer compete with the Breeders' Cup Turf.

When it was founded by John D. Schapiro (owner of the Laurel Park Racecourse), it was the only international horse race in the United States. Until then, bringing horses from Europe and elsewhere to the United States for a specific race was unprecedented.[1] J. Samuel Pearlman, editor of the Daily Racing Form, discussed the idea with Schapiro after the 1950 racing season. Less than a year and half later, the concept became a reality.[2]

Usually just called the "International," the race drew the best Thoroughbreds from the U.S. and Europe; it was important enough to attract horses from the Soviet Union during the 1960s, despite the Cold War.[3] In the 1980s, the Washington, D.C. International was part of a million-dollar bonus given to any horse who won both it, the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, and the Turf Classic at Belmont Park in New York.

In the race's early days, few American horses excelled on the turf; some were turf specialists, while others built their race records on the dirt and then specifically switched over to grass for the "International". U.S. Hall of Famer Kelso won five straight Horse of the Year honors competing almost entirely on the dirt in the early 1960s and finished second three times in a row in the International. In 1964, the great gelding finally won the race in an American record time of 2:23.80. He had given the event international status in Europe by just missing three times, before winning it at age seven.[4]

The Washington, D.C. International Stakes was raced at a distance of 1 12 miles from its inception in 1952 until 1986, when it was shortened to 1 14 miles. With the exception of 1993 (when it was raced at one mile), the International remained at 1 14 miles until its final running in 1994.

Run the Gantlet won the International in 1971; his son Providential won it in 1981. Providential was bred and previously owned by Bertram R. Firestone, whose wife Diana won the race the following year with her filly April Run after coming in second to Providential in 1981.

During its run, the D.C. International Stakes was won by horses from the United States 22 times and by foreign representatives 21 times.


Most wins by a horse:

Most wins by an owner:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Winners of the Washington, D.C. International[edit]

1994 Paradise Creek United States 5 Pat Day William I. Mott Masayuki Nishiyama 1:59.60
1993 Buckhar United States 5 Jean Cruguet Willard C. Freeman John W. Meriwether 1:38.00
1992 Zoman United Kingdom 5 Alan Munro Paul Cole Prince Fahd bin Salman 2:01.40
1991 Leariva France 4 Edgar Prado David Smaga Thierry van Zuylen 2:06.40
1990 Fly Till Dawn United States 4 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Darrell Vienna Josephine T. Gleis 2:01.20
1989 Caltech United States 3 Rene R. Douglas Eduardo Azpurua, Jr. David S. Romanik 2:07.60
1988 Sunshine Forever United States 3 Angel Cordero, Jr. John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm 2:03.00
1987 Le Glorieux France 3 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Robert Collet Sieglinde Wolf 2:02.80
1986 Lieutenant's Lark United States 4 Robbie Davis Howard M. Tesher Lowell T. Stevens 2:09.00
1985 Vanlandingham United States 4 Don MacBeth C. R. McGaughey III Loblolly Stable 2:35.60
1984 Seattle Song France 3 Cash Asmussen Francois Boutin Stavros Niarchos 2:27.20
1983 All Along France 4 Walter Swinburn Patrick Biancone Daniel Wildenstein 2:35.00
1982 April Run France 4 Cash Asmussen Francois Boutin Diana M. Firestone 2:31.00
1981 Providential United States 4 Alain Lequeux Charlie Whittingham Serge Fradkoff 2:31.20
1980 Argument France 3 Lester Piggott Maurice Zilber Bruce McNall 2:30.20
1979 Bowl Game United States 5 Jorge Velasquez John M. Gaver, Jr. Greentree Stable 2:51.00
1978 Mac Diarmida United States 3 Jean Cruguet Scotty Schulhofer Jerome M. Torsney 2:27.00
1977 Johnny D. United States 3 Steve Cauthen Michael Kay Dana S. Bray, Jr. 2:32.00
1976 Youth France 3 Sandy Hawley Maurice Zilber Nelson Bunker Hunt 2:46.20
1975 Nobiliary France 3 Sandy Hawley Maurice Zilber Nelson Bunker Hunt 2:31.20
1974 Admetus France 4 Maurice Philipperon John Cunnington, Jr. Sir Michael Sobell 2:29.60
1973 Dahlia France 3 William Pyers Maurice Zilber Nelson Bunker Hunt 2:31.80
1972 Droll Role United States 4 Braulio Baeza Thomas J. Kelly John M. Schiff 2:38.80
1971 Run the Gantlet United States 3 Robert Woodhouse J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 2:50.60
1970 Fort Marcy United States 6 Jorge Velasquez J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 2:42.80
1969 Karabas United Kingdom 4 Lester Piggott Bernard van Cutsem Benjamin Guinness 2:27.00
1968 Sir Ivor Republic of Ireland 3 Lester Piggott Vincent O'Brien Raymond R. Guest 2:37.20
1967 Fort Marcy United States 3 Manuel Ycaza J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 2:27.00
1966 Behistoun France 3 Jean Deforge Joseph Lieux Alec Weisweiller 2:28.80
1965 Diatome France 3 Jean Deforge Geoffroy Watson Guy de Rothschild 2:28.20
1964 Kelso United States 7 Ismael Valenzuela Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 2:23.80
1963 Mongo United States 4 Wayne Chambers Frank A. Bonsal Marion duPont Scott 2:27.40
1962 Match II France 4 Yves Saint-Martin Francois Mathet Haras d'Ouilly 2:28.20
1961 T.V. Lark United States 4 Johnny Longden Paul Parker Preston W. Madden 2:26.20
1960 Bald Eagle United States 5 Manuel Ycaza Woody Stephens Cain Hoy Stable 2:33.00
1959 Bald Eagle United States 4 Manuel Ycaza Woody Stephens Cain Hoy Stable 2:28.00
1958 Sailor's Guide* Australia 6 Howard Grant J. Bowes Bond Jaclyn Stable 2:33.20
1957 Mahan United States 6 Sam Boulmetis, Sr. Harry Trotsek Hasty House Farm 2:34.60
1956 Master Boing France 3 Guy Chancelier Georges Pelat Andre E. Lombard 2:39.00
1955 El Chama Venezuela 4 Raul Bustamante Jose Israel La Belle Carlos V. Rincones 2:36.20
1954 Fisherman United States 3 Eddie Arcaro Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney 2:47.80
1953 Worden France 4 Charles Smirke Georges Bridgland Ralph B. Strassburger 2:36.00
1952 Wilwyn United Kingdom 4 Manny Mercer John Waugh Robert C. Boucher 2:30.80
* In 1958, Tudor Era finished first, but was disqualified and set back to second.


  1. ^ [1] "Sport: International Laurels", Time, October 27, 1952. Accessed February 15, 2011.
  2. ^ 2007 Maryland Jockey Club Media Guide, page 45 on March 3, 2007.
  3. ^ [2] "Soviet Horses To Race at Laurel". New York Times (payment required to read full article).
  4. ^ 2007 Maryland Jockey Club Media Guide, page 45 on March 3, 2007.

External links[edit]