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THE QUESTION: Which was the greatest race horse of all time?

Nov. 09, 1959
Nov. 09, 1959

Table of Contents
Nov. 9, 1959

Whaleboats
Sword Dancer
Spectacle
  • They pretend to be indifferent toward football at Harvard but, as the following pictures show, they always have a big time at the Yale game

Pheasants
Football
A Wall Of 49ers
Travel
Food
Tip From The Top
Up And Down
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Which was the greatest race horse of all time?

WILLIE SHOEMAKER
Jockey
Arcadia, Calif.
From the record, I would have to pick Man o' War. Most of the oldtimers I've talked with agree Red was in a class by himself in those bygone days. But of the many great horses I have seen and ridden, Swaps is by far the greatest.

This is an article from the Nov. 9, 1959 issue

HARRY M. STEVENS
Caterer at sports stadiums
I have seen all the great horses from Man o' War's time until now. I say that Armed was the greatest. He could do anything better than any other horse, regardless of distance. If he were running today he'd be the biggest money winner of all.

ISMAEL VALENZUELA
Jockey
Los Angeles
Ever since I was a little boy the experts have said Man o' War was the greatest. I'm only a jockey who tries hard to win. I'm no trainer. So what do I know? Only that the best I myself see are Native Dancer, Round Table and Tom Fool.

JIMMY KILROE
Racing Secretary
New York Racing Association and Santa Anita
I would rather venture an opinion about the greatest horse I have ever seen, Citation. He was tops as a 3-year-old. He could run all distances over all kinds of tracks. Like Sam Snead, who can quit for a year and still be a great golfer, Citation could lay off a year and come back a champion.

FRANK C. RAND JR.
Co-owner, Rand Stable
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
Judging from all I've read and the experts I've talked with, I would have to pick Man o' War. But that's not conclusive because I haven't talked with the overseas experts who have seen horses like Ribot, the great Italian race horse. Ribot was never beaten. He must be among the greatest.

MARSHALL CASSIDY
Vice-president and Director of Racing
New York Racing Association
The Australian horse, Phar Lap. In his only North American race I saw Phar Lap do what I have never seen any other horse do. He stood rigid at the starting gate until the field was 15 lengths ahead of him. After making up 12 lengths, he circled 60 feet outside and ran away with the race.

SAMMY RENICK
Ex-jockey
New York City
The greatest I ever saw was Citation. He could go to the front and set his own pace or he could come from behind in the fastest of paces. He had speed and he could go the mile-and-a-half, all with top weights. However, from the records, it appears that Man o' War was the greatest of all time.

BILL KNAPP
Ex-jockey and racing official
New York City
In my opinion the greatest of them all was Man o' War. I rode Upset when he beat Man o' War, the only time Big Red was licked. I laid a trap for him as he came up on the inside and I got him in a pocket. The rules forbid that today. If I had let him out of the pocket he would have won by six lengths.

PETE (The Clock) ANDERSON
Jockey
Flushing, N.Y.
You can go by the records or you can judge by the horses you've seen on the track. The best horse I ever saw was Tom Fool. But when you look at the records and see where Man o' War won 20 out of 21 starts and the race he lost was a fluke, how can you say that Tom Fool was the greatest?

BILL BOLAND
Jockey
Valley Stream, N.Y.
Citation, Tom Fool, Swaps, Round Table and Native Dancer are as good as any I've seen. But the oldtimers insist Man o' War was the greatest. Maybe he was, but I'm not so sure he'd have beaten any of these five in a race. In any case, it would be a nip-and-tuck race right down to the finish line.

HARRY F. GUGGENHEIM
Owner, Cain Hoy Stable
Sands Point, N.Y.
I'm not smart enough to name the greatest horse. If you asked who was our greatest President you would get different answers. That's because you can't compare people out of their time. Neither can you judge horses out of their time. Suppose I named the greatest money winner? So what is money worth today?

TWELVE PHOTOS