Bowie Handicap (Pimlico)

The Bowie Handicap at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland was a Thoroughbred horse race run between 1909 and 1938. A race on dirt, this once much anticipated event that drew some of the very best horses in the country was contested at distances from a mile and one-quarter to as much as two miles.

Bowie Handicap
Discontinued stakes race
LocationPimlico Race Course,
Baltimore, Maryland
United States
Race typeThoroughbred - Flat racing
Race information
Distance2 miles (16 furlongs)
QualificationThree-year-olds and up

Historical notes edit

The inaugural running on November 9, 1909 offered a purse of $2,000 added and was won by that year's American Horse of the Year Fitz Herbert whose winning time broke the world record time for two miles on dirt.[1]

The 1918 edition of the Bowie Handicap, set at a distance of a mile and one-half, saw something that remains a real rarity even to this day in American Thoroughbred racing when three Kentucky Derby winners finished 1-2-3. In a field of fifteen runners, jockey Frank Robinson guided the 1916 Kentucky Derby winner George Smith to an easy win in track record time. 1917 Derby winner Omar Khayyam finished second and the legendary Exterminator, the 1918 Derby victor, ran third.[2] Noteworthy too is that the 1918 Preakness Stakes winner War Cloud finished twelfth.[3]

The winner of the 1924 Bowie Handicap was competing for the first time in the colors of his new owner Joseph E. Widener. Under future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey Ivan Parke, the three-year-old Altawood justified his purchase with a win in track record time for the mile and a half distance.[4]

Peanuts won the 1926 running of Bowie Handicap against a very strong field. He defeated ten other starters including the future Hall of Fame inductee Princess Doreen, that year's Preakness Stakes winner Display, as well as that year's American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Edith Cavell.[5]

With the Great Depression at its now deepest point, the Bowie Handicap was not run from 1933 through 1936. The return of the event in 1937 saw it become the highlight win of the year for the filly Esposa while enroute to earning the first of her two American Champion Older Female Horse titles.[6] Ridden by Canadian jockey Nick Wall, not only did Esposa win the mile and five-eighths Bowie Handicap in track record time, she did it by beating the mighty Seabiscuit by a nose.[7]

Cancellation and transfer edit

With the popularity of long distance races starting to decline combined with the deep ongoing costs of the Great Depression, Pimlico's Bowie Handicap had its final running on November 15, 1938. The mile and five-eighths race was won by Count Arthur, a six-year-old owned by Fannie Hertz, wife of the Hertz car rental company founding owner.[8] They became major figures in Thoroughbred racing due in large part to the success of the very great Hall of Fame runner and sire Count Fleet who won the U.S. Triple Crown in 1943.[9]

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Pimlico Race Course then immediately made preparations to transfer the rights to the Bowie Handicap name to Bowie Race Track near Bowie, Maryland where a new Bowie Handicap was inaugurated on April 1, 1939, run at the much shorter distance of one mile and seventy yards.[10]

Records edit

Speed record:

Most wins:

  • No horse ever won this race more than once.

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

Winners edit

1938 Count Arthur 6 Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 1-5/8 m 2:46.00 $9,400
1937 Esposa 5 Nick Wall Matthew P. Brady William Ziegler Jr. 1-5/8 m 2:45.20 $9,375
1933 - 1936 Race not held
1932 Dark Secret 3 Alfred Robertson James E. Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 1-1/2 m 2:37.20 $3,950
1931 Mate 3 George Ellis Arthur Hullcoat Albert C. Bostwick Jr. 1-1/2 m 2:32.00 $8,750
1930 Inception 4 Willie Cannon W. A. Harris Rigan McKinney 1-1/2 m 2:32.80 $9,400
1929 Diavolo 4 James H. Burke James E. Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 1-1/2 m 2:33.20 $9,375
1928 Genie 3 Willie Kelsay Henry McDaniel Gifford A. Cochran 1-1/2 m 2:34.40 $9,500
1927 Edith Cavell 4 Edgar Barnes Scott P. Harlan Walter M. Jeffords Sr. 1-1/2 m 2:33.40 $8,825
1926 Peanuts 4 Laverne Fator George P. Odom Robert Livingston Gerry Sr. 1-1/2 m 2:31.20 $9,550
1925 Princess Doreen 4 Chick Lang S. Miller Henderson Audley Farm Stable 1-1/2 m 2:34.80 $8,540
1924 Altawood 3 Ivan Parke G. Hamilton Keene Joseph E. Widener 1-1/2 m 2:30.60 $8,550
1923 My Dear 6 Earl Sande Fred Musante Fred Musante 1-1/2 m 2:34.80 $7,400
1922 Captain Alcock 5 Frank Keogh James E. Fitzsimmons Quincy Stable (James Francis Johnson) 1-1/2 m 2:33.40 $7,400
1921 Boniface 6 Earl Sande Henry McDaniel J. K. L. Ross 1-1/2 m 2:31.80
1920 Mad Hatter 5 Earl Sande Samuel C. Hildreth Samuel C. Hildreth 1-1/2 m 2:31.60 $7,700
1919 Royce Rools 4 Eddie Ambrose Lewis W. Garth W. T. Wilkinson 1-1/2 m 2:33.80 $7,100
1918 George Smith 5 Frank Robinson Preston M. Burch John Sanford 1-1/2 m 2:31.20 $8,600
1917 Westy Hogan 3 W. O'Brien Richard F. Carman Wilfrid Viau 1-1/2 m 2:31.80
1916 Short Grass 8 Frank Keogh John J. Flanigan Emil Herz 1-1/2 m 2:37.60 $3,075
1915 Stromboli 4 John McTaggart Samuel C. Hildreth Samuel C. Hildreth 1-3/4 m 3:02.00 $1,293
1914 Flying Fairy 4 John McTaggart J. Simon Healy Edward B. Cassatt 1-3/4 m 3:01.60 $1,280
1913 Buskin 3 Charles Fairbrother John Whalen John Whalen 2 m 3:29.80 $1,410
1912 Mission 3 Andy Ferguson J. Murphy August Belmont Jr. 2 m 3:28.20 $1,530
1911 Zeus 3 Carroll H. Shilling Samuel C. Hildreth Samuel C. Hildreth 2 m 3:32.00 $2,340
1910 Everett 3 Joe McCahey George Cornnell Quincy Stable (James Francis Johnson) 2 m 3:25.60 $2,370
1909 Fitz Herbert 3 Carroll H. Shilling Samuel C. Hildreth Samuel C. Hildreth 2 m 3:25.40

References edit

  1. ^ "Record For Two Miles". Brooklyn Daily Eagle, page 24. 1909-11-09. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  2. ^ "George Smith Runs Away From Rivals". New York Times, page 14. 1918-11-13. Retrieved 2021-11-14.
  3. ^ "Pimlico Form Chart". Daily Racing Form at University of Kentucky Archives. 1918-11-13. Retrieved 2021-11-14.
  4. ^ "Altawood Breaks Record at Pimlico". New York Times, Section Sports, page 27. 1924-11-12. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  5. ^ "Peanuts Triumphs Easily at Pimlico". New York Times, Section Sports, page 1. 1926-11-07. Retrieved 2021-11-02.
  6. ^ The Champion's history charts Archived September 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Esposa Wins Handicap in Record Time". Daily Colonist. 1937-11-12. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  8. ^ "Here and There on the Turf: Count Arthur Not Through Yet". Daily Racing Form at University of Kentucky Archives. 1938-11-17. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  9. ^ "Count Fleet". National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. 1961-01-01. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  10. ^ "Hypocrite Victor in Bowie Handicap". New York Times, Section Sports, page 75. 1939-04-02. Retrieved 2021-11-17.