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Malicious (horse)

Sire Omar Khayyam
Dam Ridicule
Grandsire Marco
Damsire Black Jester
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1927
Country United States
Color Brown
Breeder Mrs. E. Turk
Owner Mrs. E. Turk
Trainer Lonnie Coperhaver
Record 185: 32-?-?
Earnings $14,755
Malicious is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Ridicule by Omar Khayyam. He was born around 1927 in the United States, and was bred by Mrs. E. Turk.
Major wins
Olympic Club Handicap
Guest appearance - 1939 San Francisco World's Fair
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on December 21, 2007

Malicious (foaled 1927) was a Thoroughbred race horse sired by the winner of the 1917 Kentucky Derby, Omar Khayyam out of Ridicule (by Black Jester). He began racing at the age of two—and didn't stop until he was thirteen years old. During that time he made 185 starts on virtually every race track in California as well as Mexico's Agua Caliente Racetrack. He won 32 times.

Only a gelding by Broomstick called Tippity Witchet raced more. Tippity started a stupendous 266 times and won 78 of his races. But not even the superb Champion filly Imp with her record of 171 starts and 62 wins, or Pan Zareta, 151 starts, 76 wins, or another claimer, the great Stymie, 131 starts, 35 wins, were sent out to race as often as Malicious.

Malicious was an $800 claimer and he ran as a claimer. Owned by Mrs. E. Turk, he was trained for several years by Lonnie Coperhaver, known as the "King of the Gypsies." Malicious was part of Coperhaver's string of lowly claimers and he ran them all in every race he could find, but it was Malicious who took on most of the work.

What made Malicious stand out from Coperhaver's other horses in his care, was character, endurance, and heart. Over time, he became one of California's most beloved race horses. Racing for so many years, people became attached to him; they watched out for his races. A fan named Dan Arrighi, who grew up in Southern California, saw him run more than once, often by sneaking into the infield. Of one of those races he said, "Malicious was next to last when they went by me, and his jockey Johnny Adams let out this loud shriek. The horse took off. And in the distance I could hear Joe Hernandez call, 'And here comes Malicious!'...It was a thrill I'll never forget."

Malicious was a closer who often came from far back to win. He sometimes ran dramatic races, coming from last to first, and doing it over his entire career. People started calling him "America's Two-Mile Champion," and then the press discovered him. Running at the same time as the legendary Seabiscuit, Malicious was also the center of adoring fans. He made a personal appearance at San Francisco's 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, had people promoting merchandise in his name, was interviewed on the radio. To ensure that people would stay for a full day's racing, Santa Anita race track would include a two-miler as its last race of the day for Malicious to run in.

Morton Cathro, a retired newspaperman, wrote of seeing Malicious in the last days of his long career. "As a teenager in the autumn of 1939, this writer witnessed a series of Saturday marathons at Bay Meadows for top routers. Old Malicious showed up for the Nov. 11 finale, the four-mile Thornton Stakes. The weary road warrior, who hadn't started since that spring at Santa Anita, made his patented late surge to gain fourth in a blanket finish. That was his final race in the U.S. On Jan. 28, 1940, at age 13, one of the toughest iron horses of all time closed out his gallant career—a marathon in itself—by running second at Agua Caliente. His final paycheck was $100; his legacy, a claimer's place in the pantheon of sound, stout-hearted stakes horses—and in the hearts of a devoted public."

For his career in racing, Malicious won a total of $14,755.



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