War Admiral

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George Conway
Charles Kurtsinger
Samuel D. Riddle
United States
Foal Date
May 2, 1934
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War Admiral Racing News

The Triple Crown is a series of three thoroughbred horse races for three-year-old horses, which take place in May and early June of each year.  The Triple Crown of horse racing is considered one of the most difficult accomplishments in horse racing, and possibly all of sports championships.  The grueling schedule requires a three year old horse to win the Kentucky Derby, then two weeks later win the Preakness Stakes, and then three weeks later win the Belmont Stakes.  In all of racing history, only thirteen horses have achieved the Triple Crown.

War Admiral Profile

By James Scully

Sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion, War Admiral became the fourth Triple Crown winner in 1937. The smallish colt did not resemble sire Man o’ War in physical stature, but War Admiral was his best performer and captivated audiences winning 11 straight races.

A homebred for Samuel D. Riddle, who also owned Man o’ War, War Admiral proved unbeatable at age 3 after winning only 3-of-6 starts as a juvenile. The front-running dark bay recorded a 1 ¾-length victory as the 8-5 Kentucky Derby favorite, and War Admiral was bet down to odds-on favoritism in his final 17 starts. He was trained by George Conway and ridden by Charles Kurtsinger for most of his career.

War Admiral sustained a leg injury at the start of his Belmont Stakes victory, necessitating a five-month absence, and returned to win three straight late in his 3-year-old season. After his win streak came to an end in June 1938, War Admiral won six of his next seven outings in 1938, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Saratoga Cup, Saratoga H., and Whitney.

However, War Admiral’s 4-year-old season is most remembered by his match race against Seabiscuit in the Pimlico Special. Seabiscuit outsprinted him to the early lead and turned back a challenge to win in track record time. War Admiral won his next two starts, but he was retired due to a wretched ankle early in 1939. A successful stallion, War Admiral was the leading sire of 1945.

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Stakes Win History

1st Rhode Island Handicap


1 1/8 Miles Dirt Nov 12, 1938
1st Jockey Club Gold Cup


2 Miles Dirt Oct 10, 1938
1st Saratoga Cup


1 3/4 Miles Dirt Aug 27, 1938
1st Whitney


1 1/4 Miles Dirt Aug 20, 1938
1st Saratoga Handicap


1 1/4 Miles Dirt Jul 30, 1938
1st Wilson


1 Mile Dirt Jul 27, 1938
1st Queens County Handicap


1 Mile Dirt Jun 6, 1938
1st Widener Handicap


1 1/4 Miles Dirt Mar 5, 1938
1st Pimlico Special


1 3/16 Miles Dirt Nov 3, 1937
1st Washington Handicap


1 1/4 Miles Dirt Oct 30, 1937
1st Belmont Stakes


1 1/2 Miles Dirt Jun 5, 1937
1st Preakness Stakes


1 3/16 Miles Dirt May 15, 1937
1st Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs

1 1/4 Miles Dirt May 8, 1937
1st Chesapeake

Havre de Grace

1 1/16 Miles Dirt Apr 24, 1937
1st Eastern Shore

Havre de Grace

6 F Dirt Apr 14, 1937

*Morning line odds are an independent handicapper’s estimate and do not necessarily reflect the actual chance each horse will win

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War Admiral Racing News