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Tom Ochiltree

Tom Ochiltree
Tom Ochiltree
Sire Lexington
Dam Katona
Grandsire Boston
Damsire Voucher
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1872
Country United States
Color Bay
Breeder Woodburn Stud (A. J. Alexander)
Owner Jno. F. Chamberlain
W. H. Chamberlain
George L. Lorillard
Trainer R. Wyndham Walden
Record 33 Starts: 21 – ? - ?
Earnings $43,555
Tom Ochiltree is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Katona by Lexington. He was born around 1872 in the United States, and was bred by Woodburn Stud (A. J. Alexander).
Major wins

Annual Sweepstakes (1875)
Dixie Stakes (1875)
Baltimore Cup (1876, 1877)
Monmouth Cup (1876)
Saratoga Cup (1876)
Continental Cup (1876)
Westchester Cup (1877)
Grand National Handicap (1877)
All-Aged Stakes (1877)

American Classic Race wins:
Preakness Stakes (1875)
American Co-Champion Older Male Horse (1876)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (1875)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

Tom Ochiltree (foaled in Kentucky in 1872), was an American Thoroughbred racehorse, one of the last by the great foundation stallion, blind Lexington, still standing at what by then was A. J. Alexander's Woodburn Stud in Kentucky. Tom Ochiltree was an enormous colt, eventually reaching 16 hands 2 1/2 inches high with a girth of 76 inches.

Purchased by J. F. Chamberlain at the 1872 Woodburn yearling sale for $500, he eventually found himself at age four in the hands of the tobacco heir George Lynde Lorillard (who also owned Duke of Magenta). Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Wyndham Walden (founder of Bowling Brook Farm in Carroll County, Maryland), Tom Ochiltree won the Preakness Stakes in the last days of the great match races...and the very year the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks were first run: 1875.

In the same year as Tom Ochiltree was foaled, another horse was born at the neighboring Nantura Stock Farm that would prove to be one of Tom Ochiltree's greatest rivals, Ten Broeck. One year later, 1873, a third horse was born, Parole (bred by the brother of Tom Ochiltree's owner, Pierre Lorillard IV) who would become a rival to both Tom Ochiltree and Ten Broeck, just as the brothers were intense rivals on the track.[1] In 1877, with the addition of the younger Parole, these three would ignite the racing world in one of its biggest match races. [2]

At three, Tom Ochiltree lost the Breckenridge Stakes to Aristides, winner of the first Kentucky Derby, but he won the Annual Sweepstakes and the Dixie Stakes, as well as the Preakness. At the same time Ten Broeck was winning all his races. These two were then considered the best horses in the Union. In those days, that could mean only one thing: a match race.[3] But for one reason or another, the owners of both colts avoided a confrontation. At four, Tom Ochiltree won the Baltimore Cup, the Monmouth Cup, the Saratoga Cup and the Continental Cup. At five, he took his second Baltimore Cup, the Westchester Cup, the Grand National Handicap, and the All-Aged Stakes.

Then came the match race on October 24, 1877 at Baltimore, Maryland's Pimlico between Parole, Ten Broeck and Tom Ochiltree. It was scheduled for the first day of the October meeting of the Maryland Jockey Club. By this time Ten Broeck ("King of the Western Turf") was winning everything in the midwest, while Tom and Parole were exchanging wins on the east coast that were so heated that a backer of Parole attempted to poison Tom Ochiltree, an attempt that sickened his stablemate Leander instead. [4] That July Parole had beaten Tom in the Saratoga Cup but Tom had come back and beaten Parole twice that October in the Grand National Stakes and All-Aged Handicap. On the day of the three-way match, perhaps 20,000 people showed up, filling every place in the stands or sitting in their carriages to watch. Both houses of Congress adjourned so that members could attend. At 3:15 in the afternoon the horses went to post. Ten Broeck wore red ribbons in his mane, his stable colors. Parole wore cherry and black. Tom Ochiltree wore orange and blue. In the two and one-half mile race, Ten Broeck immediately led, followed by Tom Ochiltree, then Parole. And so it went in this order for quite some time. Twice Tom made a bid for the lead and won it on his second try. Parole was still trailing. And then, suddenly, Parole came on with a rush, lapped both horses and won by four lengths.

Horsemen were aghast. No one had ever beaten Ten Broeck...and Tom Ochiltree had beaten Parole more times than he was beaten. Later, the owners of both horses explained away their losses. Ten Broeck had been seen for some time before the race to have had a cough. As for Tom Ochiltree, before the race Wyndham Walden had telegraphed George Lorillard to warn him Tom had a cough. Lorillard had instructed him to run Tom "…so as not to spoil the race." But he also put $500 on Parole's nose.

A gelding, Parole raced on, becoming one of the few American horses to win a prime English race. Both Ten Broeck and Tom Ochiltree were retired to stud.

Notes and references

  1. New York Times, 8/09/1876
  2. Nantura, 1795 - 1905 by Jonelle Fisher, St. Crispian Press, 2004
  3. The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America by William H.P. Robertson, Bonanza Books, New York
  4. New York Times, 8/09/1876

External links


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