Avatar (March 10, 1972 – December 3, 1992) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1975 Belmont Stakes. He was bred and raced by San Antonio, Texas businessman Arthur A. Seeligson Jr. and trained by Tommy Doyle.
|Breeder||Arthur A. Seeligson Jr.|
|Owner||Arthur A. Seeligson Jr.|
|Trainer||A. Thomas Doyle|
|Santa Anita Derby (1975)|
San Luis Rey Handicap (1976) Triple Crown race wins:
Belmont Stakes (1975)
Avatar's sire was the highly regarded Graustark. His grandsire, Ribot, was an undefeated European Champion who won back-to-back editions of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Avatar's damsire, Mount Marcy, was a son of Epsom Derby winner, Mahmoud.
1975 U.S. Triple CrownEdit
Although Avatar won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby under jockey Jorge Tejeira, a strong field in the 1975 Kentucky Derby saw bettors make him their fifth choice at odds of more than 11 to 1. Under new jockey Bill Shoemaker, he finished second to the heavy favorite, Foolish Pleasure while beating Frank McMahon's highly regarded colt Diabolo (3rd), Golden Chance Farm's Master Derby (4th), and the second choice among bettors, Darby Dan Farm's Florida Derby winner Prince Thou Art (6th).
The Belmont StakesEdit
After his performance in the 1³/16 mile Preakness, Avatar was sent off at 13 to 1 odds in the much longer 1½ mile Belmont Stakes. In what Sports Illustrated magazine described as "a pure and exquisite exhibition of the professional jockey at his very best," Bill Shoemaker rode him to victory over runner-up Foolish Pleasure and third-place finisher Master Derby.
Racing at age 4Edit
Avatar returned to racing in 1976 at age four. His best results in important stakes races were a win in the 12 furlong San Luis Rey Handicap on turf and second-place finishes in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Del Mar Invitational Handicap, and San Fernando Stakes.