Jump to: navigation, search

Bold Venture (horse)

Bold Venture
Sire St Germans
Dam Possible
Grandsire Swynford
Damsire Ultimus
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1933
Country USA
Color Chestnut
Breeder Morton L. Schwartz
Owner Morton L. Schwartz
King Ranch (at stud)
Trainer Max Hirsch
Record 11 Starts: 6 – 2 - 0
Earnings $68,300
Bold Venture is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Possible by St Germans. He was born around 1933 in USA, and was bred by Morton L. Schwartz.
Major wins
Kentucky Derby (1936)
Preakness Stakes (1936)
Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on November 6, 2008

Bold Venture (foaled in 1933), an American Thoroughbred racehorse, was sired by the multiple British stakes winner, St. Germans, who, after his importation to stand at Greentree Stud in Lexington, Ky., became the leading sire of 1931 when his son Twenty Grand won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. St. Germans own sire, Swynford, also a stakes winner, was a top British stallion whose other sons included English Derby winner Sansovino, English Derby second St. Germans, Challenger (also imported to the United States, where he sired American Horse of the Year Challedon), Lancegaye (imported to the U.S. and sire of Kentucky Derby winner Cavalcade), and Blandford, a leading sire in Europe and the sire of four English Derby winners. Bold Venture's dam, Possible, was by Ultimus, a son of the two-time American Horse of the Year Commando (1900/1901), by the "Black Whirlwind" Domino.

Bold Venture, trained by the Hall of Fame conditioner, Max Hirsch, was entered in the 1936 Kentucky Derby without achieving a single stakes win and his rider was an apprentice jockey named Ira "Babe" Hanford, who had been riding in races for less than a year. The boy's contract was owned by Hirsch's daughter, Mary, also a trainer. Just as Hanford's mount had never won a stakes race, no apprentice had ever won the Derby. They went out together as 20-1 shots.

That year, Brevity, owned by Joseph E. Widener of Elmendorf Farm, was the favorite. Brevity had won the Florida Derby and had equaled the world record for 1 1/8 miles. Indian Broom, owned by Austin C. Taylor, was second favorite after lowering Brevity's record in the Marchbank Handicap.

As soon as the gates flew open, Brevity was knocked to his knees and the horse who would go on to win that year's American Horse of the Year award, Granville, threw his rider James Stout. Indian Broom was trapped in a scrum of racing horses. Bold Venture was in no better position. On the way out of the gate, another horse slammed into him, which was like, as Hanford said: "...a bowling ball hitting the pins." This started a chain reaction that caused Granville to throw Stout. But the apprentice rider somehow found his horse running room and by the backstretch Bold Venture was leading. But Brevity had righted himself, broken free of the pack, and came charging after Bold Venture. Before he could catch him, assuming he could, he ran out of running room. The two "beginners" had won the Derby.

The win did little for Bold Venture's reputation. Considering the terrible mess at the start of the race and that Charles Kurtsinger, the rider of the Santa Anita Derby winner He Did, claimed someone leaned over the rail and managed to snatch his whip causing his horse to come in seventh, all thought the victory by horse and rider a matter of bad luck for better horses.

Two weeks later Bold Venture, entered in the Preakness Stakes and ridden by the great jockey George Woolf, had a second bad start, but still won…this time a nose in front of Granville.

Undefeated in his three-year-old season, and with two legs of the Triple Crown won, Bold Venture bowed a tendon and was retired.

Owner Morton L. Schwartz sold Bold Venture to Robert J. Kleberg Jr. for a reported $40,000 as a breeding animal. Although Bold Venture did not have immediate success as a stallion in Kentucky, he then stood at Kleberg's King Ranch in Texas, and there sired a pair of top-class racehorses: Assault, winner of the 1946 7th U.S. Triple Crown Champion, and Middleground, winner of the 1950 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

Bold Venture's date of death not found.


  • The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America, by William H.P. Robertson, Bonanza Books, New York


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...