By Mint Julep


George Smith Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

george smith 1916 kentucky derby winner

Join us on an exciting journey as we follow the life of George Smith, starting from his humble beginnings at Fountain Bleu Farm in Kentucky to his incredible victory at the 1916 Kentucky Derby. Discover his remarkable racing career filled with wins in prestigious stakes races and learn all about his impressive lineage traced back to renowned ancestors like Persimmon and St. Simon. See how George Smith transformed from a famous racehorse into a military horse sire, making a lasting impact through his service during wartime, showcasing not only his versatility but also leaving behind a legacy that extended far beyond the racetrack.

Early Life and Family Background

George Smith was born on April 30, 1913 at Fountain Bleu Farm in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. He came from a proud British lineage thanks to his breeders Fred Forsythe and Jack Chinn. His father was Out of Reach and his mother was Consuelo II. George’s family tree extended all the way back to Persimmon through his grandfather St. Simon.

Growing up in the beautiful fields of Kentucky, George Smith quickly showed that he had something special as a young colt with his grace and speed catching the attention of many horse racing fans. Every time he raced across the pastures of Fountain Bleu Farm, it seemed like he was destined for greatness on the racetrack.

His sleek black coat shined under the sun as skilled trainers worked hard to prepare him for future races. Each step he took exuded determination and energy that hinted at many victories ahead.

George Smith’s legacy wasn’t just about winning races – it also involved honoring his ancestors’ success on the track. As he developed into an impressive racer, word started spreading within racing communities about this remarkable colt from Kentucky who had potential to make history in horse racing circles.

Racing Career

George Smith had an exceptional racing career that shone brightly like a diamond in the sun. He won races such as the Aberdeen Stakes, Juvenile Stakes, and Victoria Stakes, which were all important milestones for this amazing horse. With grace and skill, his hooves swiftly moved across tracks leading him to victory at the renowned Kentucky Derby in 1916 with jockey Johnny Loftus expertly guiding him.

As George Smith charged towards the finish line during the race, his determination was unwavering. His name became etched into racing history books with each powerful stride he took. The Warwick Handicap and Bowie Handicap showcased his dominance as he skillfully outpaced his competitors time after time. Fans were captivated by this chestnut powerhouse’s incredible performances on the track where victories seemed effortless for George Smith.

Watching George Smith race felt like experiencing poetry in motion – a beautiful symphony unfolding on turf where every hoofbeat echoed triumph and resilience. His wins weren’t just about reaching the finish line; they represented winning over hearts and minds of everyone who witnessed his majestic runs. Spectators found themselves mesmerized by his brilliance displayed within those fleeting moments that defined true greatness.

With every victory George Smith achieved, it was evident that he wasn’t just a horse; he symbolized excellence – serving as a guidepost lighting up the way for future champions to follow or even attempt to surpass his enduring legacy etched deep into racetrack history forevermore.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends’ Journeys


  1. Inspiring and motivating for those looking to become racers
  2. Gives a peek into the horse racing world
  3. Shows the thrills and obstacles of competitive racing
  4. Lets you see what life is like for a famous racer


  1. Romanticizing the real-life challenges and excitement of professional racing may occur
  2. Controversies or darker aspects of the sport might be ignored
  3. Not enough attention given to other important figures in horse racing history
  4. There could be a bias towards George Smith’s accomplishments

Stud Career and Retirement

After retiring from racing at the age of five, George Smith began his new role as a stud at Sanford’s Hurricana Stock Farm near Amsterdam, New York. Despite not producing many notable offspring and being considered a disappointing sire, he was enlisted in the U.S. Army Remount Service to father military horses until his passing. Most of his years in service were spent at Lookover Stallion Station in Avon, New York.

Although George Smith did not achieve the same level of success as a stud that he had on the racetrack, fate had other plans for him. He became an essential figure in supplying strong and dependable military horses to the U.S. Army during World War I. While he may not have sired standout racehorses like himself, George Smith found purpose and honor in fathering sturdy warhorses that bravely served their country on battlefields.

Despite not leaving a lasting mark through his progeny on the racetrack, George Smith’s impact as a sire for military horses cannot be underestimated. As part of the U.S. Army Remount Service program, he played a crucial role in providing quality equine companions to soldiers during times of conflict. Through dedication and going above what was expected after retiring from racing career-wise, George Smith left behind more than just memories as a racehorse; he also became an unsung hero who fought alongside those defending our nation’s freedom.

Pedigree Analysis

George Smith comes from a long line of legendary racehorses that influenced his own racing skills. His ancestors, such as Persimmon, St. Simon, Isonomy, and Barcaldine passed on their speed and endurance to him through Out of Reach and Consuelo II.

These famous connections were more than just names; they laid the groundwork for George Smith’s competitive nature. Each ancestor contributed something vital – whether it was strength from St. Simon or lasting power from Isonomy – shaping his future success on the track.

As George Smith raced down the tracks with grace and determination, his genetic heritage became clear. It wasn’t just about talent but about generations of horse breeding expertise coming together in one exceptional athlete destined for greatness.

Fans watched in awe as George Smith outshined his competitors with style and skill. Little did they realize that every stride represented years of careful breeding leading up to this moment where centuries-old excellence met modern-day brilliance in a thrilling display of equestrian mastery.

Racehorse Profile: Notable Achievements and Lineage

Attribute Information
Sire Out of Reach
Grandsire Persimmon
Dam Consuelo II
Damsire Bradwardine
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1913
Country United States
Color Black
Breeder Fred A. Forsythe and Col. Jack Chinn
Owner 1) Ed Mcbride
2) John Sanford
3) The Jockey Club
4) U.S. Government
Trainer 1) Ed Mcbride (1915)
2) Hollie Hughes (1916)
3) Preston M. Burch (1918)
Record 31:17-5-3
Earnings $42,884
Major wins Aberdeen Stakes (1915)
Juvenile Stakes (1915)
Victoria Stakes (1915)
Spring Brewery Stakes (1915)
Annapolis Stakes (1915)
Warwick Handicap (1917)
Bowie Handicap (1918)
Edgemere Handicap (1918)
Excelsior Handicap (1918)
Yorktown Handicap (1918)
American Classics wins:
Kentucky Derby (1916)

Major Wins and Earnings

George Smith’s racing career showcased his exceptional talent, with an impressive record of 17 wins, 5 places, and 3 shows in just 31 starts. He proved himself as a strong competitor on the racetrack, earning a total of $42,884 – which was quite a hefty sum back then.

One of George Smith’s notable victories was at the Spring Brewery Stakes where he displayed his speed and stamina against tough competition. This win helped establish him as an up-and-coming star in the racing world. His success in the Annapolis Stakes further demonstrated his versatility and ability to perform well under various race conditions.

However, it was George Smith’s iconic win at the Kentucky Derby in 1916 that truly solidified his place in horse racing history. The Derby victory not only brought him fame but also made him one of the most celebrated horses of his time. His performance at Churchill Downs captivated audiences and left behind a lasting legacy that still resonates today.

Beyond all the awards and winnings, George Smith’s success on the track reflected his unwavering spirit and determination. Fans were drawn to him for his resilience during races; they admired both his grit and tenacity. Every victory wasn’t just about coming first but also about displaying sheer heart and dedication – qualities that made George Smith more than just a racehorse; he became a symbol of perseverance amid fierce competition.

Ownership Journey

George Smith’s journey as a racehorse had many different owners, each playing a part in his success on the track. Starting with Ed McBride’s guidance in 1915 and then John Sanford investing $22,500 in him at just two years old, Smith was passed around to various people before ending up with The Jockey Club and eventually working for the U.S. Government.

With trainers like Hollie Hughes and Preston M. Burch mentoring him, George Smith improved his skills and showed off his speed and endurance on top tracks all over the country. His owners’ faith in him pushed him to achieve great things during his racing days, making him stand out as an amazing talent destined for greatness.

Moving from private ownership under important individuals to being part of The Jockey Club not only demonstrated George Smith’s versatility but also solidified his place in history as a respected figure both on and off the racetrack. Working for the U.S. Government further highlighted how significant he was beyond just competing – it showed that he made an impact that still matters today in horse racing circles.

Legendary Tales of George Smith’s Racing Legacy

  1. Exciting Stories of George Smith’s Racing Achievements:
  2. George Smith’s Unique Training Techniques:
  3. – George Smith stood out for his creative training methods, such as having his horses swim in the Ohio River to boost their strength and stamina.
  4. The Enigmatic Beginnings of George Smith:
  5. – Tales suggest that George Smith emerged mysteriously, without any known background or history prior to making a name for himself in the racing scene.
  6. George Smith’s Speedy Triumphs:
  7. – Known for his lightning-fast pace on the racetrack, George Smith broke numerous records and earned the title “The Flying Phenom” from avid racing fans.
  8. The Legend of the Black Stallion’s Curse:
  9. – Whispers spread about a supposed curse linked to Midnight Shadow, George Smith’s treasured black stallion, believed to bring misfortune upon those who dared ride him.
  10. Beyond Kentucky Derby Wins:
  11. – While most remember him for triumphs at the Kentucky Derby, what set apart was his impact on horse racing beyond this event – motivating jockeys and trainers across generations to push boundaries and achieve new heights on the track.

Legacy Beyond Racing

After retiring from racing, George Smith didn’t achieve the expected success as a sire in breeding circles. However, he carved out a new path and made a lasting impact by serving as a military horse sire. Beyond the racetracks, his versatility shined bright and he made significant contributions to national efforts during times of need. This new role showcased George Smith’s adaptability and unwavering spirit when duty called.

As a military horse sire, George Smith showed qualities that went beyond mere pedigree or speed on the track. He embodied resilience, courage, and strength – traits that resonated with those who worked alongside him during crucial periods in history. His offspring became known for their reliability and stamina influenced by their illustrious father.

Although some may have underestimated George Smith’s legacy due to his perceived shortcomings in the breeding world post-racing career, it was within the military realm where he truly left an indelible mark. The impact of his descendants extended far beyond prestigious race wins; they played essential roles in supporting national interests and security efforts during tumultuous times. In this way, George Smith’s influence continued long after his own days on the track had ended.

Through his service as a military horse sire, George Smith solidified himself not just as a champion racehorse but also as a noble contributor to broader societal causes. His story is proof that greatness can manifest itself unexpectedly; sometimes straying from the anticipated path leads to even grander legacies than initially imagined.

Reflecting on George Smith’s journey from racing glory to service excellence reminds us that true significance transcends singular realms and permeates various facets of life with enduring impact.


1. What were George Smith’s most notable racing triumphs leading up to the Kentucky Derby?

Before the Kentucky Derby, George Smith won the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, proving his incredible skill and showing he was a strong competitor in horse racing.

2. How did George Smith’s pedigree contribute to his success on the racetrack?

George Smith came from a long line of famous racehorses, including Lexington and Pocahontas. This impressive lineage gave him a unique mix of speed, endurance, and toughness that helped him win many races.

3. What impact did George Smith have as a sire in the world of horse breeding?

George Smith made a significant impact as a stallion in the horse breeding industry, passing down his impressive speed and endurance to his young. Many of them later excelled on the racetrack and contributed to successful breeding programs globally.

4. How did George Smith’s military service influence his legacy as a racehorse and sire?

George Smith learned important values like discipline, courage, and resilience during his time in the military. He then shared these traits with his children, influencing his reputation as a successful racehorse and sire who produced strong and adaptable offspring.

5. What was George Smith’s performance like at the Kentucky Derby, and how did it shape his reputation?

In 1916, George Smith raced in the Kentucky Derby and came in second place. This achievement showcased his skill and competitiveness as a top-notch racehorse.

6. How is George Smith remembered in the annals of horse racing history, particularly in relation to other legendary racehorses of his time?

People really look up to George Smith because he was a super successful racehorse back in the day. He had an awesome family background, won the Kentucky Derby, and left a big mark as a top dad for military horses.