logo

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Buckpasser  
#1 Posted : Friday, January 05, 2018 4:32:52 PM(UTC)
Buckpasser

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/14/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1,104

Thanks: 459 times
Was thanked: 385 time(s) in 264 post(s)
Exterminator

He was the only horse feared by the connections of Man O’ War. His mercurial owner thought so little of him that he dubbed him the goat. While he was called the Galloping Hatrack by much of the press, he was fondly known as Old Shang to his jockey and one time trainer Willie Knapp. But he was Old Bones to a racing public who loved the tall ungainly muddy chestnut as few horses on the American Turf have been loved.

Exterminator was bred by F.D. Knight and foaled at Almahurst Farm. His sire McGee was the only foal of the unraced White Knight a son of the 1892 English Derby winner Sir Hugo. It’s unclear why, but White Knight was immediately gelded after the birth of McGee.

His dam Fair Empress started twice with little success. But she was well bred being the daughter of the talented Jim Gore, himself a son of the mighty Hindoo. Her second dam was by the 1879 St. Leger winner Rayon d'Or, and her third dam was the full sister to Modesty, the first winner of the American Derby.

In spite of his pedigree, the awkward youngster was offered for sale at Saratoga in 1916. He was purchased by J. Cal Milam for fifteen hundred dollars. As fate would have it at the same sale, Exterminator crossed paths with his future owner and stablemate. A French bred colt by the name of Sunday was bid up to $5,000 before Willis Sharpe Kilmer was able to claim him. Shortly thereafter, Kilmer changed his name to Sun Briar.

In the spring of 1917, Exterminator’s health took a turn for the worse and he became so rundown that he was gelded and his racing start was delayed until June 30th of that year. He carried the Milam silks in only four starts at two winning half of them and earning a nomination to next year’s Derby. Meanwhile, Sun Briar set the racing world on fire topping the juvenile division with five wins in nine starts and becoming the early favorite for the 1918 Kentucky Derby.

Needing a work mate to prepare his beloved Sun Briar for the race, Kilmer authorized trainer, Henry McDaniel, to find a suitable runner. McDaniel had seen Exterminator turn in a very nice work at Churchill Downs and ten days before the Kentucky Derby he purchased Exterminator along with two fillies for $10,000.

Kilmer was less than pleased with the initial workout between the two horses. Further he had only authorized $700 for the purchase of any additional horse. The volatile Kilmer, who had made his fortune selling a home made elixir called Swamp Root, quickly dubbed Exterminator “that truck horse” and even less charitably “the goat.”

To his connections’ horror, Sun Briar broke down shortly before the Kentucky Derby and was subsequently scratched. McDaniel proposed running Exterminator in his stead. But Kilmer would have none of it declaring that the goat was unfit to carry his silks in such a prestigious race. Having seen some of Exterminator’s works, Col. Matt Winn, the proprietor of Churchill Downs finally persuaded Kilmer to enter the horse.

Exterminator was the longest shot on the board at 30 to 1 in the 1918 Kentucky Derby. That morning a heavy rain had fallen which left the track fetlock deep in mud. A less than enthusiastic Willie Knapp had the mount on Old Bones now that Sun Briar was scratched. After the start, Knapp kept Exterminator in fourth place until just after six furlongs where he slipped through on the rail. Dueling with front runner Escoba in the stretch, Old Bones pulled ahead by a length in the muddy going and claimed victory for his first start as a three year old.

He was not to win again in five more outings until October of 1918 where he won an allowance race at Laurel. He would then account for the Carrollton, Ellicott City and Pimlico Autumn Handicaps on his way to an unprecedented meeting of three Kentucky Derby winners in the Bowie Handicap. In the mile and 1/2 contest, the three Derby winners finished in numerical order as George Smith the 1916 winner was first, Omar Khayyam the 1917 victor claimed second and Exterminator came home in third. Old Bones closed out the year with a win in the 2 1/4 mile Latonia Cup.

In 1919 he started 21 times at 10 different tracks. Exterminator set or equaled three track records in winning nine races with victories in the Ben Ali, Camden, Havre de Grace Handicaps and the first of four straight wins in the prestigious Saratoga Cup and the first of three straight wins in the 2 1/4 mile Pimlico Cup.

1920 would see Old Bones as a five year old reeling off 10 victories in 17 starts. With Exterminator fit and running well, Kilmer pursued Sam Riddle demanding a match race. Riddle politely ignored the volatile Kilmer stating that Man O’ War and Exterminator might meet in the natural course of events.

This natural course of events that Riddle spoke of was starting to look like the August 31st Saratoga Cup. With both horses entered along with Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, the Saratoga Cup was shaping up to be the race of the century.

Then the defections began. Man O’ War was the first to leave, shipping instead to Belmont for the Lawrence Realization against his own age group.

On the day before the race, the traditional late summer thunderstorms drenched the Saratoga race course. Refusing to face Exterminator on a surface at which he so excelled, Sir Barton scratched. Indeed, Hall of Fame trainer, Sam Hildreth once observed that Exterminator skimmed across the mud like a dragon fly on water.

The only rival willing to take on Exterminator was W.R. Coe’s top filly Cleopatra. She proved no match for the old gelding as he took the lead shortly after the start and splashed home by six lengths setting a new American record for fourteen furlongs. Exterminator continued his winning ways in the two mile Autumn Gold Cup and the Toronto Autumn Cup.

Now the clamor for a match race among the three horses really began. While the owners agreed to the race’s venue at Kenilworth Park in Canada, the other terms were not as easily resolved. Still stinging from the mishaps in the Saratoga Cup, Kilmer demanded that the race be at a mile and 1/2 under handicap conditions instead of weight for age.

Riddle agreed to the distance, but refused the handicap conditions insisting on the latter whereby both Exterminator and Sir Barton would give Man O’ War six pounds. Kilmer declared Old Bones from the Match Race, sending him instead to claim the 2 1/4 mile Ontario Jockey Club Cup. Exterminator closed out the season with another victory in the Pimlico Cup and was voted 1920 Champion Handicap Horse.

At six in 1921 and carrying onerous burdens ranging from 130 to 137, he won eight stakes races out of 16 starts with 2 seconds and 5 thirds. His most impressive win was the Toronto Autumn Cup toting 137 and giving between 20 to 31 pounds to his closest finishers. That year he shared 1921 Top Handicap honors with Mad Hatter.

In 1922 Exterminator was at the top of his game and enjoyed his most productive and lucrative year. Despite carrying an average of 133 and a high of 140, Old Bones won 10 out of 17 starts and earned $71,075. His best race was the 1922 Brooklyn Handicap where under 135, he outlasted champion Grey Lag while spotting him nine pounds. He was voted the 1922 Horse of the Year and shared top Handicap honors with Grey Lag.

But the Brooklyn finished him. While he raced for two more years, he won only 4 times in 10 starts. In 1924 Exterminator was retired after pulling up lame following a third place finish in the Queen’s Hotel Handicap in Canada. He would live until the age of 30 dying in 1945 at Sun Briar Court in New York where his constant companion was a Shetland pony named Peanuts.

Old Bones made several public appearances during his retirement. In 1941 accompanied by Peanuts, he lead the post parade for the Exterminator Handicap at Pimlico, whereby one turf writer opined that none of the horses running that day was fit to carry his blanket. In 1943 to bolster the war effort, Exterminator appeared to help sell War bonds at Belmont Park. He was a constant fixture at birthday parties with the neighborhood children at Sun Briar Court and would mope in his stall until the youngsters stopped by to see him after school.

Exterminator’s record stands at 100 starts with 50 wins 17 seconds 17 thirds with earnings of $252,996. He was 1920 Champion Handicap Horse; 1921 and 1922 Co-Champion Handicap Horse and 1922 Horse of the Year. He was inducted into the American Hall of Fame in 1957 and into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2016. On the Blood Horse List of 100 Top American Racehorses, Exterminator is found at number 25.

In a long career that spanned eight years, he won from 5 1/2 furlongs to 2 1/4 miles at 26 different tracks in the US, Mexico and Canada. He carried 130 or more 31 times and even 140 in one race. He was an intelligent and generous horse whom starter Mars Cassidy considered his best assistant because not only would he wait patiently behind the barrier, but he would lean on a fractious horse keeping him still until the race began. Because of his owner’s tempestuous nature resulting in the farm’s revolving door for employees, Exterminator would be conditioned by no less than nine different trainers and ridden by 18 different jockeys in his long career.

Willie Knapp, who rode Upset to victory over Man O’ War and Exterminator in the 1918 Kentucky Derby, said of Old Bones: “When he was at his best, Exterminator could have beaten Man O’ War or Citation or Kelso or any other horse that ever lived on any track doing anything.”
thanks 2 users thanked Buckpasser for this useful post.
Lisa111 on 1/8/2018(UTC), Swale84 on 3/29/2018(UTC)
Lisa111  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 08, 2018 6:59:27 PM(UTC)
Lisa111

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Moderator
Joined: 7/14/2014(UTC)
Posts: 676

Thanks: 338 times
Was thanked: 523 time(s) in 290 post(s)
100 starts. That pretty much sums it up!
I'm at www.thedirtyhorseclub.com. "It's what you can't see that matters most." - "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons
thanks 1 user thanked Lisa111 for this useful post.
Buckpasser on 1/8/2018(UTC)
AnnaK  
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:25:26 PM(UTC)
AnnaK

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/16/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1,024

Thanks: 560 times
Was thanked: 224 time(s) in 185 post(s)
Amazing horse, always makes me think of Abe Lincoln and Phar Lap, & bones still intact after 2000 years. Thanks Bp.

His Kentucky Derby win.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr4m83hry88
thanks 1 user thanked AnnaK for this useful post.
Buckpasser on 1/12/2018(UTC)
Sysonby  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 16, 2018 3:37:21 PM(UTC)
Sysonby

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/18/2014(UTC)
Posts: 317

Thanks: 54 times
Was thanked: 60 time(s) in 46 post(s)
There's a new book out about him by Eliza McGraw, just looking for it now.
Buckpasser  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:28:42 PM(UTC)
Buckpasser

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/14/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1,104

Thanks: 459 times
Was thanked: 385 time(s) in 264 post(s)
Originally Posted by: Sysonby Go to Quoted Post
There's a new book out about him by Eliza McGraw, just looking for it now.


Yes it’s on Amazon and is an ebook too
Sysonby  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:40:04 AM(UTC)
Sysonby

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/18/2014(UTC)
Posts: 317

Thanks: 54 times
Was thanked: 60 time(s) in 46 post(s)
Ordered it earlier today, Buckpasser, looking forward to it.
thanks 1 user thanked Sysonby for this useful post.
Buckpasser on 1/17/2018(UTC)
Swale84  
#7 Posted : Thursday, March 29, 2018 12:05:45 PM(UTC)
Swale84

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/14/2014(UTC)
Posts: 626
United States

Thanks: 535 times
Was thanked: 195 time(s) in 139 post(s)
Excellent BP. Exterminator, and Peanuts, two of my fav's!!!
"Amateurs practice until they get it right. Pros practice until they can't get it wrong."
thanks 1 user thanked Swale84 for this useful post.
Buckpasser on 3/29/2018(UTC)
Users browsing this topic
Guest (2)
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.