Spendthrift (horse)

Spendthrift (foaled 1876 in Kentucky – 21 October 1900) was a successful American Thoroughbred racehorse and an outstanding sire.

Spendthrift (USA).jpg
SireAustralian (GB)
GrandsireWest Australian
CountryUnited States
BreederA. J. Alexander
Owner1) Daniel Swigert
2) James R. Keene
Trainer1) Edward D. Brown
2) Thomas Puryear
Record16: 9–5–0
Major wins
Sanford Stakes (1878)
Young America Stakes #1 (1878)
Young America Stakes #2 (1878)
Jersey Derby (1879)
Champion Stakes (1879)

American Classics wins:
Belmont Stakes (1879)

American Co-Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (1878)


Bred by A. J. Alexander and foaled at his Woodburn Stud, he was sired by the English-bred stallion, Australian, who was in turn the son of West Australian, England's first Triple Crown winner, out of Aerolite by Lexington. He was a brother to Fellowcraft and half brother to Addie C. (the dam of the 1894 Kentucky Derby winner Chant (by Falsetto). They were from the old American family number, A3.[1]

Spendthrift was bought by Daniel Swigert for $1,000 (equal to about $25,000 today) at the Woodburn yearling sale and named for Swigert's wife's extravagant spending habits in New York.[2]

Racing recordEdit

The widely respected African-American trainer and future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee Edward Brown race conditioned the two-year-old Spendthrift for Daniel Swigert. After leading the colt through an undefeated year that would retrospectively see him named the American Co-Champion Two-Year-Old Colt of 1878, he was then sold to James R. Keene for $15,000 (based on inflation only equal to about $420,000 today).

At three, trained for his new owner by Col. Thomas Puryear, Spendthrift was sent east; finishing second to a stablemate in the Withers Stakes before going on to easily win the 1879 Belmont Stakes. He then won the Jersey Derby despite being kicked at the start.

In 1880, Spendthrift was one of a group of horses, which included Lord Murphy and Foxhall, that were sent by Keene to be trained in England.[3]

Spendthrift was retired as a five-year-old to the farm of William Kenney near Lexington, Kentucky. In all, his record stands as 16 starts, with 9 wins and 5 places.

Stud recordEdit

He was sold by Keene in 1884 and spent some time first at Dr. E. M. Norwood's farm near Lexington, then Hartland Stud, then Spendthrift Stud, before ending up at Overton Chenault's farm.

Some of his outstanding progeny were

  • Bankrupt-won 86 races from 348 starts
  • Hastings-leading sire and sire of Fair Play (three times leading sire and sire of Man o' War and Chance Play).
  • Kingston-had 138 starts and won a record 89 races, including 30 stakes-races, scoring the most victories of any Thoroughbred racehorse on record, for $139,652.
  • Lamplighter-won multiple stakes, successful sire[4]

Spendthrift-died of old age at 24, on October 21, 1900.


Pedigree of Spendthrift (USA), chestnut stallion, 1876
Australian (GB)
West Australian (GB)
Melbourne Humphrey Clinker
Cervantes Mare
Mowerina Touchstone
Emilia (GB)
Young Emilius Emilius
Persian Whisker
Aerolite (USA)
Lexington (USA)
Boston Timoleon
Sister to Tuckahoe
Alice Carneal Sarpedon
Florine (USA)
Glencoe Sultan
Melody Medoc
Haxall's Moses mare (Family: A3)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bloodlines: Spendthrift Retrieved 2010-9-2
  2. ^ Montgomery, E. S. (1973). The Thoroughbred. New York: Arco. ISBN 0-668-02824-6.
  3. ^ http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NEM18800528.2.8[bare URL]
  4. ^ Ahnert, Rainer L. (editor in chief), Thoroughbred Breeding of the World, Pozdun Publishing, Germany, 1970

External linksEdit