Tomorrow is the Belmont Stakes, and here is the famous Man-O-War, owned and bred by August Belmont (The Belmont Race Track is named after Belmont's father; the Stakes have been run since 1867).
This card is postmarked 1940, but Man-O-War's heyday of winning races was 1919-1920. That surprised me, that Man-O-War's fame and celebrity extended decades; I had imagined he was running in the 1940s, but in fact by that time he had been put out to stud for 20 years, and drew crowds. Man-O-War is considered one of the greatest thoroughbred racehorses of all time, winning 20 of 21 races.
He won the Preakness and the Belmont in 1920, but his owner at the time Sam Riddle, kept him out of the Kentucky Derby because he didn't approve of three-year olds running a mile and a quarter in May. Huh? So this great horse never had a chance to capture the Triple Crown.
Fans called the roan Big Red (and this painted card emphasizes that hue, doesn't it?) and went on to sire many dozens of winners, most notably War Admiral, the 1937 Triple Crown winner.
The man in the picture is Will Harbut, the horse's stud groom. For 17 years Harbut led tourists through the Man-O-War story at Kentucky Horse Park where the legendary horse was a prime attraction (a statute of the horse stands there today). Man-O-War died in 1947, less than a month after Harbut's death.
On the back:
Tuesday, June 11--Am now a(t) Harry Place and all well. Hoping all yours are the same. H.F. Hak
Another card for Miss Mildred Hake, with interesting misspellings and repetitions in the message. A child, or an ailing older relative? Hmmm....Whatever the source, Mildred kept this and other treasured cards in a paper doll box.
Happy Postcard Friendship Friday, and be sure to saddle up and visit our hostess Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy.