Philadelphia Handicap

The Philadelphia Handicap was an American Thoroughbred horse race held thirty-eight times between 1913 and 1950 at Havre de Grace Racetrack in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Run on dirt, the race was open to horses of either sex age three and older.

Philadelphia Handicap
Discontinued stakes race
LocationHavre de Grace Racetrack, Havre de Grace, Maryland
United States
Inaugurated1913
Race typeThoroughbred - Flat racing
Race information
Distance6 furlongs
SurfaceDirt
Trackleft-handed
QualificationThree-year-olds and up

From inception in 1913 through 1919, and again from 1947 through 1950, the event was contested at a sprint distance of six furlongs. In between, it was raced at a mile and a sixteenth.

Historical notesEdit

First run on April 26, 1913, Ten Point easily won the inaugural edition of the Philadelphia Handicap while equaling the track record despite giving weight to the rest of the field. Ten Point went on the run second in the May 10 Kentucky Derby.[1]

In 1919 Commander J. K. L. Ross got the first of his three Philadelphia Handicap wins when Billy Kelly won for him. A gelding Billy Kelly's outstanding career would lead to induction into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame.[2] Five other horses would also have Hall of Fame careers beginning with Exterminator (1923) then Sun Beau (1931), two-time winner Equipoise (1933-1934), Challedon (1942) and Armed who broke the track record in winning the 1946 race.[3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Billy Kelly returned to compete in the 1920 Philadelphia Handicap along with stablemate Sir Barton who had won the 1919 U. S. Triple Cown. The race would see an astonishing upset when 106-1 longshot Crystal Ford came home ahead of the nine other runners.[8] Star Master finished second in front of the third and fourth place finishers Billy Kelly and Sir Barton who were giving the winner 32 and 26 pounds, respectively.[9]

Thanksgiving, a very good runner owned by Anne Corning, had already won a number of top races including the prestigious Travers Stakes when he won the 1939 Philadelphia Handicap. Thanksgiving's trainer was Mary Hirsch, someone who had overcome many obstacles to become the first woman in the United States licensed to train Thoroughbred racehorses. Mary Hirsch was the only female trainer to win the Philadelphia Handicap and through 2019 remains the only female trainer to have won the Travers Stakes.[10] [11]

World War II saw racing restricted in the United States and Havre de Grace Racetrack was forced to cancel all of its spring races in 1943 which included the Philadelphia Handicap.[12]

In 1945 the Philadelphia Handicap was run at Pimlico Race Course due to Federal government wartime gasoline rationing that saw all four of Maryland's major racetracks consolidate their races into the Pimlico facility.[13]

The following year the distance was changed to a six furlong sprint and was won by another Calumet horse, Pep Well, who was ridden by Albert Snider. [14] Until his untimely death on March 5, 1948, Snider was the regular jockey for the great Citation and had won all nine races he was aboard. Snider was scheduled to ride in the May 1, 1948 Kentucky Derby but after his death Eddie Arcaro was hired to ride Citation and would win that year's Triple Crown.[15]

On April 19, 1950, The Pincher won what would turn out to be the last running of the Philadelphia Handicap as horse racing came to an end at the Havre de Grace Racetrack at the close of that 1950 spring meeting.[16] [17]

RecordsEdit

Speed record:

  • 1:10 2/5 @ 6 furlongs: Pep Well (1947)
  • 1:43 1/5 @ 1 1/16 miles Armed (1946)

Most wins:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

WinnersEdit

Year
Winner
Age
Jockey
Trainer
Owner
Dist.
(M / F)
Time
Win$
1950 The Pincher 4 John Gilbert George Mohr Henry H. Hecht 6 F 1:10.40 $5,795
1949 Pep Well 6 Robert J. Martin Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 6 F 1:11.60 $9,120
1948 Circus Clown 3 Ovie Scurlock Thomas F. Root Sr. William J. Walden 6 F 1:12.80 $8,820
1947 Pep Well 4 Albert Snider Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 6 F 1:10.20 $8,960
1946 Armed 5 Douglas Dodson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1116 m 1:43.20 $18,350
1945 Gay Bit 4 Robert J. Martin Albert Dunne Bobanet Stable (R. Bruce Livie) 1116 m 1:46.80 $3,200
1944 Rounders 5 Nick Jemas William Booth William G. Helis Sr. 1116 m 1:45.40 $12,450
1943 Race not held due to wartime restrictions
1942 Challedon 6 George Woolf Edward A. Christmas Branncastle Farm (William L. Brann & Robert S. Castle) 1116 m 1:45.40 $7,925
1941 Ringie 4 John Gilbert P. Dallee Watts Gustave Ring 1116 m 1:44.60 $7,925
1940 Masked General 6 Maurice Peters William Mulholland Brandywine Stable 1116 m 1:44.20 $8,100
1939 Thanksgiving 4 Maurice Peters Mary Hirsch Anne Corning 1116 m 1:49.20 $7,925
1938 Burning Star 4 Melvin Lewis John J. Greely Shandon Farm Stable (Richard L. & Patrick J. Nash) 1116 m 1:45.80 $7,950
1937 Whopper 5 Harry Richards Duval A. Headley Hal Price Headley 1116 m 1:45.60 $6,400
1936 Black Gift 4 Maurice Peters Leon Carter Leon Carter 1116 m 1:45.80 $6,625
1935 Stand Pat 4 Robert Watson Frank Gilpin Edward F. Seagram 1116 m 1:44.20 $6,550
1934 Equipoise 6 Raymond Workman Thomas J. Healey C. V. Whitney 1116 m 1:44.40 $5,800
1933 Equipoise 5 Raymond Workman Thomas J. Healey C. V. Whitney 1116 m 1:44.60 $6,375
1932 Lightning Bolt 4 Pete Walls William Brennan Liz Whitney 1116 m 1:45.00 $8,850
1931 Sun Beau 6 Charles Kurtsinger Andy Schuttinger Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1116 m 1:44.80 $9,000
1930 Inception 4 Fred Stevens Oscar Chaney Mrs. Oscar Chaney 1116 m 1:52.20 $9,600
1929 Petee-Wrack 4 Steve O'Donnell William Booth John R. Macomber 1116 m 1:45.40 $8,325
1928 Canter 5 Steve O'Donnell Harry Rites J. Edwin Griffith 1116 m 1:46.40 $8,950
1927 Single Foot 5 Jack Chalmers Harry Rites J. Edwin Griffith 1116 m 1:45.40 $8,650
1926 Edisto 4 Edgar Barnes William H. Bringloe Edward F. Seagram 1116 m 1:46.80 $8,725
1925 Leopardess 4 Red Harvey Clyde S. Phillips Greentree Stable 1116 m 1:47.40 $3,950
1924 Spot Cash 4 Fred Stevens James W. Healy Albert C. Bostwick Jr. 1116 m 1:43.40 $3,350
1923 Exterminator 8 Linus McAtee Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1116 m 1:45.80 $3,350
1922 Boniface 7 Clarence Turner Henry McDaniel J. K. L. Ross 1116 m 1:45.00 $3,835
1921 Boniface 6 James Butwell Henry McDaniel J. K. L. Ross 1116 m 1:48.20 $3,500
1920 Crystal Ford 4 Laverne Fator Andrew G. Blakely Nosreme Stable 1116 m 1:45.40 $3,700
1919 Billy Kelly 3 Earl Sande H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 6 F 1:12.40 $1,371
1918 Hauberk 6 Charles Peak Jake Byer J. F. Sweeney 6 F 1:12.40 $1,805
1917 Pennant 6 Frank Robinson James G. Rowe Sr. Harry Payne Whitney 6 F 1:13.20 $1,770
1916 A. N. Akin 4 Frank Robinson Edward Trotter Edward Trotter 6 F 1:13.00 $1,630
1915 Slumber 4 James Groth James G. Rowe Sr. Harry Payne Whitney 6 F 1:12.20 $1,645
1914 Sherwood 7 Wilmer Ward L. Blume J. W. Hedrick 6 F 1:12.80 $1,735
1913 Ten Point 3 James Butwell Calvin Banks Anthony L. Aste 6 F 1:11.60 $1,785

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Feature Event Won by Ten Point". Montreal Gazette, page 17. 1913-04-28. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  2. ^ "Billy Kelly's Greatness: Illustrated by Impressive Victory in Philadelphia Handicap". Daily Racing Form at University of Kentucky Archives. 1919-04-20. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  3. ^ "Exterminator Is Now Behind $1,409". Montreal Gazette, page 19. 1923-04-23. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  4. ^ "Kilmer Ace Takes Big Stakes Easily". Hanover Evening Sun (Pennsylvania), page 8. 1931-04-20. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  5. ^ "Equipoise Victor In His Debut". New York Times, Section Sports, page 1. 1934-04-22. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  6. ^ "Challedon Beats Mioland by Nose". New York Times, Section Sports, page 6. 1942-04-26. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  7. ^ "Armed, 7-20, Victor at Havre de Grace; Favorite Clips Track Record". New York Times, Section Sports, page 85. 1946-04-21. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  8. ^ "Sir Barton, Billy Kelly and Other Noted Racers Trail Home in Wake of Rank Outsider". New York Times, page 21. 1920-05-01. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  9. ^ "Will Springstead column: A close look at New York-bred horses". The Post-Star. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  10. ^ "Thanksgiving Defeats Hypocrite By 4 Lengths at Havre de Grace". New York Times, Section Sports, page 93. 1939-04-30. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  11. ^ "Why Mary Hirsch Belongs In Horse Racing Hall Of Fame". Paulick Report. 2020-01-17. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  12. ^ "Maryland Race Meets Reduced". Reading Eagle, page 20. 1943-02-11. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  13. ^ "Gay Bit Annexes Pimlico Feature". New York Times, Section Sports, page 37. 1945-05-27. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  14. ^ "Pep Well Sets Track Record in Philadelphia 'Cap". The Morning News, page 15. 1947-05-13. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  15. ^ Flatter, Ron. "Citation was the standard". ESPN. Retrieved 2 October 2014. He was racing's first millionaire horse, earning $1,085,760 in a 45-race career that ran from 1947 to 1951. He won 32 times and was in the money in all but one.
  16. ^ "The Pincher 1st In Graw Race Results". The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 32. 1950-04-20. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  17. ^ "'The Graw,' what it was and could still be 100 years later". The Baltimore Sun. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2020-07-05.