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Firenze (horse)

Sire Glenelg
Dam Florida
Damsire Virgil
Gender Filly
Foaled 1884
Country United States
Color Bay
Breeder Daniel Swigert
Owner James Ben Ali Haggin
Trainer Matthew Byrnes
Record 82: 47-21-9
Earnings $112,471
Firenze is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Florida by Glenelg. She was born around 1884 in the United States, and was bred by Daniel Swigert.
Major wins
Nursery Stakes (1886)
Gazelle Handicap (1887)
Ladies Handicap (1887)
Monmouth Oaks (1887)
Jerome Handicap (1887)
Free Handicap Sweepstakes (1887, 1888)
Champion Stakes (1888, 1891)
Monmouth Cup (1888, 1889)
Monmouth Handicap (1888)
Freehold Stakes (1888, 1889, 1890)
Omnium Handicap (1889)
New York Handicap (1889, 1890)
Knickerbocker Handicap (1889, 1890)
Coney Island Cup (1890)
U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly (1887)
U.S. Champion Older Mare
(1887, 1888, 1889, 1890)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1975)
Firenze Handicap at Saratoga Race Course
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on february 16, 2008

Firenze (1884–1902), also recorded as "Firenzi,", was an American Thoroughbred Champion and Hall of Fame filly racehorse. The New York Times [1] called Firenze: "...one of the greatest distaffers of the 19th Century."

Foaled at Elmendorf Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, Firenze was sold by owner/breeder Daniel Swigert to lawyer and businessman James Ben Ali Haggin. Under trainer Matt Byrnes, Firenze became the second filly in American Thoroughbred racing history to earn more than $100,000 in purse money and was voted the retrospective American Champion Older Female Horse for four straight years.

Although a small horse at just 15 hands, Firenze was noted for her stamina. She competed in up to twenty or more races a year and frequently at distances of 1¼ to 2 miles. However, what makes her performances so remarkable is that she repeatedly defeated the top colts of the day including the Dwyer Brothers Stable's two future Hall of Fame colts, Hanover and Kingston. As well, in the 1888 season, she was the only horse to beat A. J. Cassatt's Preakness Stakes winner and son of the great Longfellow, The Bard.

Firenze won the mile and a half Freehold Stakes three straight years between 1888 and 1890. Run at the Long Branch Racetrack in New Jersey, Firenze was so feared that in the 1889 no owner would enter their horse against her and she won in a walkover.

At her retirement Firenze had achieved the second highest earnings for a filly in American history. Miss Woodford won more, and Yo Tambien won a bit less.

Firenze began racing at age two and competed through age seven, retiring to her owner's Rancho Del Paso stud farm near Sacramento, California. As a broodmare, her own progeny, including those sired by her Hall of Fame stablemate Salvator, achieved only modest success in racing but several of her fillies were successful as broodmares.

Firenze died in 1902 at Rancho Del Paso. In 1981, she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.



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