George M. Odom

George Martin Odom (July 8, 1882 - July 29, 1964) was an American National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame jockey and trainer in Thoroughbred horse racing. He is only one of two people to ever have won the Belmont Stakes as both a jockey and a trainer.

George Odom
George Odom.jpg
Odom, circa 1903.
OccupationTrainer
BornJuly 8, 1882
Columbus, Georgia
United States
DiedJuly 29, 1964
Career wins527 (as a jockey)
Major racing wins
As a jockey:
Champagne Stakes (1899, 1904)
Jerome Handicap (1899)
National Stallion Stakes (1899)
Pansy Stakes (1899)
Sapphire Stakes (1899)
Advance Stakes (1900, 1902, 1903)
Laureate Stakes (1900, 1903)
Municipal Handicap (1900, 1902, 1903)
September Stakes (1900, 1902)
Gazelle Handicap (1901)
Matron Stakes (1901, 1902)
Metropolitan Handicap (1901)
Toboggan Handicap (1901, 1904)
Tremont Stakes (1901)
Annual Champion Stakes (1902)
Brighton Derby (1902)
Brighton Handicap (1902, 1903)
First Special Stakes (1902)
Lawrence Realization Stakes (1902)
Surf Stakes (1902)
Double Event Stakes (part 2) (1903)
Flying Handicap (1903)
Great American Stakes (1903)
Juvenile Stakes (1903)
Occidental Handicap (1903)
Ocean Handicap (1903)
Saratoga Handicap (1903)
Test Handicap (1903)
Russet Stakes (1904)
Withers Stakes (1904)
Fashion Stakes (1905)

American Classic Race wins:
Belmont Stakes (1904)

As a trainer:
Walden Stakes (1908)
Flying Handicap (1909)
Russet Stakes (1909)
Tremont Stakes (1918, 1937)
Test Stakes (1922, 1941)
Huron Handicap (1925)
Empire City Handicap (1926, 1927)
Toboggan Handicap (1926)
Belmont Futurity Stakes (1928, 1935)
Metropolitan Handicap (1928)
Youthful Stakes (1928)
Manhattan Handicap (1929, 1949)
Pierrepont Handicap (1930)
Fleetwing Handicap (1936)
Juvenile Stakes (1937)
Tremont Stakes (1937)
Daingerfield Handicap (1941)
Saranac Handicap (1942)
Arlington Handicap (1945)
Hollywood Derby (1945)
San Pasqual Handicap (1945)
San Vicente Stakes (1945)
Santa Anita Handicap (1945)
Santa Anita Oaks (1945)
National Stallion Stakes (1951)
United States Hotel Stakes (1951)
Santa Margarita Handicap (1945)
Washington Park Handicap (1945)
Great American Stakes (1946)
Travers Stakes (1947)
Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (1957)
Fashion Stakes (1957)
National Stallion Stakes (filly division) (1957)
Schuylerville Stakes (1957)

American Classic Race wins:
Belmont Stakes (1938)

Honors
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (1955)
Significant horses
As a jockey:
Africander, Banastar, Broomstick, Delhi,
Ethelbert, Gold Heels, Imp

As a trainer:
Busher, Chance Play, Nimba,
Pasteurized, Tippity Witchet

A native of Columbus, Georgia, at age fourteen George Odom galloped horses for future Hall of Fame trainer, William P. Burch. He began riding professionally at age fifteen and in 1899 at age sixteen, won his first race. He quickly made such an impression that an April 10, 1899 article in the Chicago Daily Tribune referred to him as another Tod Sloan. In June 1899, the eighty-seven-pound Odom, who was an early advocate of the short-stirrup riding manner used today, signed a contract to ride for W. C. Whitney for a salary of $10,000 a year with additional compensation on a sliding scale for winning and finishing in the money.

He rode at tracks in New York, New Orleans and the Benning Race Track in Washington, D.C.. Among his major wins as a jockey, Odom rode Banastar to victory in the 1901 Metropolitan Handicap and won the Woodlawn Vase trophy on three occasions. The best known of his mounts was future Hall of Fame inductee, Broomstick.

After just eight years as a jockey, George Odom retired from riding in 1905 with a 17.2 winning percentage. Widely respected, he had earned a reputation as an honest jockey in an era when race fixing was not uncommon. Odom then made his home in Atlanta, Georgia and immediately turned to training horses. [1]

As a trainerEdit

 
Broomstick with George Odom up, circa 1903.

George Odom made his debut as a trainer on August 30, 1906 at Sheepshead Bay Race Track in Brooklyn, New York. He owned and trained a colt name Oraculum, who won the 1906 Hempstead Stakes for two-year-olds at Jamaica Race Course. [2] In 1907, Odom led all trainers in wins at Washington Park Race Track in Chicago.

During his career, George Odom operated a public stable whose clients over the years included Robert L. Gerry, Sr., Marshall Field III, and Hollywood film mogul Louis B. Mayer who owned Odom's most famous runner, Busher, a future Hall of Fame filly who was voted 1945 American Horse of the Year honors. Odom also trained good runners such as Nimba and Tippity Witchet, and in 1938 won the Belmont Stakes with Pasteurized, joining James G. Rowe, Sr. as the only ones to ever win that American Classic both as a jockey and as a trainer.

Following the formation of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, George Odom was part of the 1955 inaugural class of inductees.

Married to Julie Murtha in 1902, in later years the Odoms made their home in Jamaica, New York. A few weeks after his eighty-second birthday, George Odom died on July 29, 1964 at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, New York. Their son, George P. "Maje" Odom, was also a trainer.

ReferencesEdit