|Trainer||Bud Doble (for Baldwin)|
|Record||17 Starts: 15 - 2 - 0|
|Mollie McCarty is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Hennie Farrow by Monday. She was born around 1873 in USA (California), and was bred by Adolph Mallard.|
California Derby (1876)|
Garden City Cup (1879)
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on September 11, 2008|
Foaled in 1873, Mollie McCarty was a California-based Thoroughbred racehorse immortalized in the bluegrass music song: Molly and Tenbrooks. The song has a number of other names, among them Run, Molly, Run, and it came about because Mollie had gone up against the Eastern champion Ten Broeck in an 1878 match race.
Back in her time, there were a number of fillies and mares named Mollie McCarty, hence tracing her true history is somewhat difficult. Bred by Adolph Mallard, who'd come west in 1870, and raced through age four exclusively in California by Theodore Winters (called Black T because of his huge black mustache), it's fairly certain she was born in California...especially since her dam, Hennie Farrow, had been owned for years by a Californian named J. B. Chase. Hennie Farrow was a blue hen mare, meaning she consistently produced a number of very good runners. Mollie McCarty was her best. Mollie McCarty was probably sired by Monday (by Colton, a lesser son of the great foundation stallion Lexington), who had broken down early in his career, but as a stud standing in Marin County, California, produced Mollie as well as the handsome Joe Hooker, sire to the great filly, Yo Tambien. (Yo Tambien was bred by Winters.) There were some who believed Mollie was sired by a horse named Young Eclipse, another stud of Mallard's, but most believe it was Monday who had become a leading sire in the 1870s.
Winning her first and only start as a two-year-old, at three Mollie won six races in a row. Two of these wins came on the same day: September 8, 1876 at the Agricultural Park in Sacramento, California. At the end of her second season she won a $10,000 purse in a four-heat race in San Francisco, California for females of all ages. There was a clause in that race which effectively said that if a horse was distanced (meaning they'd given up or were so far behind they might as well give up), no prize would be awarded. Mollie distanced all but one of her rivals in the first heat. By this, she saved the track the trouble of paying out third and fourth place money. She also won the California Derby in 1876.
At age four, she began in another four-mile heat. Again she outdistanced all but one horse named Bazar. Again she saved the track money. She then went on to win four more races, although a big race (meaning a big purse) was canceled on February 22, 1877, due to bad weather. Instead, on March 2, Mollie was entered into a 2-mile match against Jake, again in Sacramento. Though they were the same age, she gave up 14 pounds to Jake. Because Jake's rider couldn't make the weight, Mollie's 14 pounds was reduced to 11 pounds, and she beat Jake in straight heats.
Mollie had run out of competition in California. Undefeated after thirteen wins, Winters sold her to Lucky Baldwin and Baldwin sent her to Kentucky, the first California horse ever sent east, a long difficult journey by train. Due to public demand that the best in the west should race the best in the east (at least 30,000 people showed up on the day: July 4, 1878), Bud Doble, training for Baldwin, sent her out against Ten Broeck. Like Mollie in the west, Ten Broeck had run out of competition in the east. They met in a 4-mile match race in Louisville, Kentucky. On that day, Mollie suffered her first ever defeat of any kind. It seems that not only was the course mostly mud due to heavy rain the night before, but Mollie was ridden badly, for if ridden well, she could easily have outstayed Frank Harper's Ten Broeck. (Frank Harper was the nephew of John Harper who had developed the Nantura Stud, breeding and owning the great Longfellow.) It seems possible Ten Broeck had been drugged. A book written by Colonel John F. Wall called Famous Running Horses records that Ten Broeck was laboring badly, sweating and glassy eyed, and had to be whipped through the match. What happened to Mollie to keep her from winning is not recorded, although it's known she disliked mud. Whether this story is true or not, this was Ten Broeck's last race in an otherwise sensational career. It was also the last race of its kind, and the end of an era. American horse racing was now turning to the shorter English-style "dash" races rather than long grueling match races.
Mollie was again defeated in the Minneapolis Cup but then, in her last season, won the Garden City Cup in Chicago, Illinois and a purse race in San Francisco.
Retired to Baldwin's Rancho Santa Anita, Mollie did not reproduce herself, but did produce decent foals, especially her daughters who went on to produce even better foals. It's highly likely Mollie McCarty died in 1886 at the age of thirteen.
Later, part of the Baldwin ranch became the Santa Anita Park racetrack in Arcadia, California.