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Silver Spoon (horse)

Silver Spoon
Sire Citation
Dam Silver Fog
Grandsire Bull Lea
Damsire Mahmoud
Gender Filly
Foaled 1956
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
Owner C. V. Whitney
Trainer Robert L. Wheeler
Record 27 Starts: 13 – 3 - 4
Earnings $313,930
Silver Spoon is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Silver Fog by Citation. She was born around 1956 in the United States, and was bred by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.
Major wins
Santa Anita Derby (1959)
Santa Anita Oaks (1959)
Cinema Handicap (1959)
Santa Susana Stakes (1959)
La Centinela Stakes (1959)
Santa Ynez Stakes (1959)
Santa Margarita Handicap (1960)
Vanity Handicap (1960)
Santa Maria Handicap (1960)
Milady Handicap (1960)
Santa Monica Handicap (1960)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly (1959)
U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1978)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on September 10, 2008

Silver Spoon (foaled in 1956), a multiple stakes winning American Thoroughbred race horse, was well named. She was a daughter of the great Triple Crown winner Citation. Citation was by Bull Lea, the foundation sire of Calumet Farm. Her dam, Silver Fog, carried the blood of Equipose, Blenheim II, Man o' War, Broomstick, Peter Pan I, and a host of others.

Silver Spoon was a big chestnut filly with four white stockings, standing 16 hands one inch tall, and weighing 1,135 pounds. As a foal, she injured her hip and forever after walked with a pronounced hesitation or "hitch" in her gait. Her first race was an $8,000 claiming event (horses can be "claimed" out of the race, meaning purchased, for an amount set by individual race conditions) for two-year-olds at Belmont Park. There were no takers. Ridden by Eldon Nelson, she won the race by six lengths.

Sent to California, Silver Spoon dominated her division, going undefeated in a six-race winning streak. Winning both the Santa Anita Oaks and the Santa Anita Derby, she became one of only two fillies ever to do so. The other was the winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby: Winning Colors. In the Santa Anita Derby, she took the race against colts. With her ears pricked, she romped home by two and a half lengths against that year's eventual Preakness Stakes winner, Royal Orbit. This was the win that convinced her connections to enter her in the 1959 Kentucky Derby. The only filly even to start in the race between the years 1945 to 1980, she came in a respectable fifth, three and a half lengths behind the winner, Tomy Lee. A few months later, back on the West Coast, she soundly beat Tomy Lee in the Cinema Handicap. In the Cinema, she conceded 9 pounds to the runner-up. In the press, Silver Spoon was hailed as the best filly since the war.

In the 1959 voting for Champion three-old-filly, one poll voted for Silver Spoon, who also earned the highest mathematical score, but another poll voted for another good filly, Royal Native. Silver Spoon shared that year’s honor with Royal Native.

As a broodmare, Silver Spoon gave birth to seven foals. One was the stakes winning Inca Queen by Hail to Reason.

In the year she died, 1978, Silver Spoon was inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame. She is buried at the Gainesway Farm, once part of the C.V. Whitney Farm, beside her equals, among them Winning Colors.


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


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