By Mint Julep


Henry McDaniel Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

kentucky derby winner exterminator 1918

Join us on an exciting journey delving into the impressive career of Henry McDaniel, a renowned Thoroughbred racehorse trainer celebrated for his exceptional training abilities and success with top racehorses. Explore his remarkable accomplishments, such as leading Exterminator to victory in the 1918 Kentucky Derby and clinching multiple Champion Older Horse titles. Witness how he guided Hurryoff to triumph in the 1933 Belmont Stakes. Learn about McDaniel’s enduring impact on horse racing and his well-deserved entry into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame, cementing his status among the sport’s most esteemed individuals.

Early Life and Family Background

Henry Ernest McDaniel was born on September 10, 1867 in Secaucus, New Jersey. He came from a family deeply rooted in horse racing success. His father, Col. David McDaniel, and brother William Lee McDaniel were highly respected figures in the industry.

Growing up at Stony Brook stud farm surrounded by the sounds of galloping hooves and meticulous care for horses instilled a deep love for these majestic animals that would shape Henry’s future.

From an early age, young Henry soaked up every detail of horsemanship from his father and brother at Stony Brook stud farm. Their commitment to breeding and training top-notch racehorses laid a strong foundation for Henry’s own dreams within the sport. The energetic atmosphere of the stables became like a second home—a place where hard work mixed with unwavering passion set him on course for his exciting journey ahead.

As he developed his skills under experienced trainers within his own family circle, Henry started making a name for himself as an attentive student of equine arts. The knowledge passed down through generations combined with his natural talent shaped him into a trainer whose methods soon gained recognition beyond Princeton, New Jersey. With each stride alongside powerful steeds charging towards victory on lush tracks under open skies, Henry proved himself to be more than just another face in the racing world.

Beyond familial connections lay an unbreakable bond formed between man and horse—one built not just on bloodlines or pedigrees but grounded in mutual respect and understanding. This connection fueled not only Henry’s ambitions but also infused every colt or filly under his guidance with something special—an intangible quality that distinguished them from their rivals when race day arrived. Through quiet conversations shared over stable doors or gentle pats offered before dawn workouts began, this partnership bloomed into triumphs ingrained into racing history.

During those formative years filled with scents of hay and eager whinnies announcing morning drills at Stony Brook stud farm—where aspirations soared atop strong backs thundering against green turf—the seeds were planted for what would become one man’s enduring legacy upon Thoroughbred history: Henry Ernest McDaniel rode forth onto destiny astride legends like Exterminator and Hurryoff not simply as their trainer but as their steadfast companion along winding paths leading straight to glory on racetracks across America—and beyond.”

Introduction to Racing Career

In 1884, Henry McDaniel began his journey into the world of Thoroughbred horse racing. This marked the start of an incredible legacy that lasted until he passed away in 1947. His exceptional training skills and ability to spot talent quickly made him a prominent figure in the racing community.

McDaniel became known for his success as he guided many top racehorses to victory on prestigious tracks across the country. With each win, his reputation as a masterful trainer grew, solidifying his place among the best in the sport.

One of McDaniel’s most famous trainees was Exterminator, lovingly nicknamed “Old Bones.” Under McDaniel’s expert guidance, this legendary gelding achieved remarkable feats on the racetrack, captivating fans with his determination and grit. Their partnership showcased the special bond between a skilled trainer and an outstanding racehorse.

Alongside Exterminator, Henry McDaniel also worked closely with Hurryoff, another standout performer whose impressive career highlighted McDaniel’s talent in nurturing equine potential. Together, they left their mark on racing history through thrilling victories and unforgettable displays of skill and speed.

Delving into Henry McDaniel’s illustrious six-decade career reveals that his lasting impact on Thoroughbred horse racing goes beyond just numbers or awards. His unwavering commitment to excellence and deep understanding of these majestic animals continue to inspire trainers and enthusiasts for generations to come.

The Pros & Cons of Equine Training Techniques


  1. Helps horses perform better
  2. Strengthens the bond and teamwork between horse and trainer
  3. Customized to meet each horse’s unique needs and skills
  4. Boosts the horse’s physical strength and mental health
  5. Results in successful competition performances


  1. It takes a lot of time, effort, and resources
  2. Both the horse and trainer could get hurt if not done right
  3. It might not be effective for all horses or trainers
  4. It can be mentally tough for both the horse and trainer
  5. The results may differ based on how skilled the trainer is

Major Racing Wins

Henry McDaniel, a legendary figure in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing, made a lasting impact with his exceptional skills as a trainer. His greatest achievement was guiding Exterminator to victory at the 1918 Kentucky Derby, ensuring their names would be remembered in racing history. This triumph wasn’t just another win; it showcased McDaniel’s talent for turning underdogs into champions on the racecourse.

McDaniel’s expertise went beyond one shining moment; it spanned decades and different races where he displayed unmatched ability in nurturing equine athletes. Leading Hurryoff to victory at the prestigious Belmont Stakes in 1933 was another highlight that demonstrated his versatility and finesse when handling high-pressure events. Each significant win added to McDaniel’s legacy, solidifying his reputation as an elite trainer who could transform potential into performance when it mattered most.

The story of Henry McDaniel’s career is filled with dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to excellence on the racetrack. His knack for spotting raw talent and developing champions like Exterminator and Hurryoff set him apart from others in horse racing history. Through hard work on dusty tracks and early mornings spent training powerful steeds under dawn’s light, McDaniel crafted a tale that transcends time—a narrative of perseverance meeting poise amidst challenges.

Every stride taken by horses trained by Henry McDaniel toward victories represents an untold yet deeply felt story understood by those aware that behind every champion stands a mentor whose guidance propels them towards success. Reflecting on these major wins—etched forever among legends—we witness more than frozen moments but tributes to one man’s enduring passion for speed, power, and beauty embodied through majestic racehorses thundering down homestretches towards greatness.

Notable Clients and Industry Figures

Henry McDaniel was a highly sought-after trainer during his time, working with influential figures such as Lucky Baldwin, Robert T. Davies, J.K.L Ross, and Joseph E. Widener. Top owners in the horse racing world sought out his expertise and successful track record.

McDaniel’s partnership with prominent clients like Lucky Baldwin not only brought victories but also solidified his place in racing history. By collaborating with industry giants, he could showcase his outstanding training skills on a big stage where every win highlighted his talent.

In the competitive realm of horse racing, teaming up with individuals like Robert T. Davies was crucial for Henry McDaniel; it ensured that he would be remembered in the annals of racing history alongside legends who knew the sport inside out at its highest level.

Legendary Trainer: Henry McDaniel’s Racing Triumphs

Occupation Born Died Major Racing Wins Racing Awards Honours Significant Horses
Trainer (1867-09-10) September 10, 1867 January 24, 1948 (aged 80) – Twin City Handicap (1895)
– Dash Stakes (1906)
– Sapphire Stakes (1906)
– Victoria Stakes (1910)
– Connaught Cup Stakes (1914, 1922, 1924)
– Great American Stakes (1917)
– Hopeful Stakes (1917, 1930)
– Saratoga Special Stakes (1917)
– Delaware Handicap (1918, 1930, 1931)
– Travers Stakes (1918)
– Ben Ali Handicap (1919)
– Champlain Handicap (1919, 1931, 1933)
– Saratoga Cup (1919)
– Pimlico Cup Handicap (1919, 1920, 1921)
– Autumn Gold Cup (1920)
– Toronto Autumn Cup (1920)
– Brookdale Handicap (1920)
– Jockey Club Cup Handicap (1920)
– Bowie Handicap (1921, 1928)
– Grey Stakes (1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926)
– King Edward Stakes (1921, 1923, 1924)
– King’s Plate (Quebec) (1921, 1926)
– Merchants and Citizens Handicap (1921)
– Philadelphia Handicap (1921, 1922, 1923)
– Windsor Hotel Cup Handicap (1921, 1922)
– Brooklyn Handicap (1922)
– Clark Handicap (1922)
– Brooklyn Handicap (1922)
– Hamilton Derby (1922)
– Rennert Handicap (1922)
– Coffroth Handicap (1923)
– Durham Cup Stakes (1923)
– Juvenile Stakes (1926)
– Quebec Derby (1926)
– Tremont Stakes (1926)
– Demoiselle Stakes (1927, 1929)
– Dwyer Stakes (1928)
– Empire City Derby (1928, 1929)
– Laurel Futurity Stakes (1929)
– Woodhaven Stakes (1929)
– Carter Handicap (1930)
– Fleetwing Handicap (1930)
– Jerome Stakes (1930)
– Manhattan Handicap (1930, 1931)
– Shevlin Stakes (1930)
– Bay Shore Handicap (1931)
– Cowdin Stakes (1935)
– Walden Stakes (1935)
– Fashion Stakes (1937)
– Butler Handicap (1939)
– Toboggan Handicap (1939)
– Queens County Handicap (1939)
– Empire City Handicap (1939)
U.S. Co-Champion Trainer by wins (1922) U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1956) (Inaugural class) Exterminator, Flying Heels, Rey del Carreres, Reigh Count, Sun Beau, Sun Briar

American Classic Race Wins

Henry McDaniel was a standout trainer in the American Classic Races, leading Exterminator to victory at the Kentucky Derby in 1918 and guiding Hurryoff to win the Belmont Stakes in 1933. These wins weren’t just ordinary; they showcased his dedication, skill, and remarkable ability to bring out the best in his horses when it counted most.

Exterminator’s incredible triumph at the Kentucky Derby with McDaniel’s guidance was truly legendary. The iron horse showed its toughness and resilience, highlighting both its strength and McDaniel’s exceptional training skills on that memorable day. It wasn’t just a race but also a powerful bond between horse and trainer overcoming challenges to emerge victorious against tough competition.

Years later, McDaniel made history once more as Hurryoff claimed victory at the prestigious Belmont Stakes. This win solidified McDaniel’s reputation as an elite trainer who could nurture champions for peak performances on big stages. His smart strategies and expert handling brought out the best in Hurryoff, marking another significant moment in his successful career.

The legacy of Henry McDaniel lives on through these iconic American Classic Race victories with Exterminator and Hurryoff standing as proof of his lasting impact on Thoroughbred racing. His ability to form strong connections between horses like Exterminator and Hurryoff while guiding them towards greatness embodies what makes him one of racing’s true legends whose influence continues inspiring generations within this sport today.

Hall of Fame Induction

In 1956, Henry McDaniel was inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame, cementing his status as a legendary figure in the racing world. His exceptional training skills and talent-spotting abilities made him stand out over many decades in Thoroughbred horse racing.

McDaniel didn’t just win races; he was known for nurturing and developing horses into champions. One standout from his stable was Exterminator, fondly called “Old Bones,” who became a beloved icon in racing history against all odds with McDaniel’s guidance.

Another shining example of McDaniel’s expertise was Hurryoff, whose success on the track showcased McDaniel’s unmatched conditioning techniques and race strategies. His meticulous training methods set a benchmark that many aspiring trainers still follow today – emphasizing patience, dedication, and understanding each horse’s unique strengths.

Looking back at Henry McDaniel’s remarkable career acknowledged by his induction to the Hall of Fame in ’56 even after his passing is not only about celebrating victories but also recognizing how he shaped modern horseracing practices. He didn’t just compete; it was about transforming potential stars from raw talent to confident racetrack conquerors through unwavering passion and dedication to these majestic animals.

Legendary Tales of a Derby Champion

  1. Exciting Stories of a Derby Champion: Henry McDaniel – Trainer Behind a Kentucky Derby Victory
  2. Unique Training Techniques: Meet Henry McDaniel, the trainer who led a horse to victory in the Kentucky Derby with his innovative training techniques. He believed in fostering a strong connection between the horse and himself, dedicating hours to grooming and chatting with them to build trust and boost confidence.
  3. Beliefs in Luck and Routines: Henry McDaniel was all about superstitions and routines. Before each race, he would perform various rituals like sporting lucky socks or carrying special charms for good fortune. It’s said that these beliefs played a role in his numerous successes.
  4. The Mystery Ingredient: Rumor has it that before major races, Henry McDaniel added a secret ingredient to his horses’ feed for an extra edge. While the precise recipe remains unknown, many speculate that this mysterious mix significantly contributed to his horses’ triumphs on the track.
  5. The Animal Communicator: Known as “The Whisperer” among racing circles, Henry McDaniel stood out for his extraordinary ability to connect with horses on a profound level by understanding their emotions and needs deeply. This unique talent enabled him to train some of the era’s top racehorses successfully.
  6. The Enduring Legacy: Despite using unconventional methods, Henry McDaniel’s impact lives through the exceptional horses he trained – including winning one at the Kentucky Derby – who went on to shine brightly in horseracing history . His legacy inspires present-day trainers , urging them not only think creatively but also prioritize their equine partners’ well-being and happiness above all else.

Significant Horses Trained

Henry McDaniel was a top-notch trainer who excelled in working with the famous racehorse Exterminator, affectionately known as “Old Bones.” This tough gelding defied expectations and won over fans with his incredible victories in many high-stakes races. With McDaniel’s expert guidance, Exterminator showed true grit and determination, making him a favorite among spectators for his never-give-up attitude on the racetrack.

Another highlight of Henry McDaniel’s impressive career was Flying Heels. This talented Thoroughbred wowed audiences with his lightning-fast speed and flawless form under McDaniel’s skilled coaching. The pair had an amazing connection that led to multiple wins for Flying Heels, establishing both horse and trainer as powerful forces in the racing scene.

Rey del Carreres emerged as a standout among Henry McDaniel’s successful trainees. Through careful attention to detail and strategic training techniques, McDaniel turned Rey del Carreres into a strong competitor on the track. Their teamwork resulted in victories that earned them spots in racing history books, demonstrating how McDaniel could nurture raw talent into triumphs.

McDaniel’s work with Reigh Count is another example of his exceptional training skills. Taking this promising colt to greatness required precise skill and unwavering dedication from both horse and trainer. Together, they tackled challenging races while making a lasting impact on Thoroughbred racing for years to come.

Legacy and Contributions to Horse Racing

Henry McDaniel made an unforgettable impact on the world of Thoroughbred horse racing, much like a shooting star lighting up the night sky. His expert training skills and passion for horses continue to inspire trainers and fans around the globe.

He was known for turning promising young horses into champions, revolutionizing the sport with his dedication to excellence. Every win showcased his knowledge and commitment to success.

McDaniel didn’t just focus on numbers; he deeply influenced the essence of horse racing itself. By spotting talent in unexpected places, he transformed ordinary horses into legendary racers who etched their names alongside his in history.

From Exterminator’s impressive victories to Hurryoff’s stunning speed and endurance, McDaniel shaped these animals into icons of racing prowess. Each triumph highlighted his expertise as a trainer orchestrating performances filled with skill, stamina, and sheer willpower.

Reflecting on Henry McDaniel’s illustrious career evokes respect and awe. We honor not only an outstanding trainer but also a visionary whose legacy continues shaping Thoroughbred horse racing today. In each thunderous gallop towards victory, in every cheer from spectators witnessing greatness unfold – we hear echoes of Henry McDaniel’s enduring influence: immortalized in hoofbeats resonating through time.


1. What made Henry McDaniel’s training methods unique and successful in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing?

Henry McDaniel stood out as a top trainer in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing because he used cutting-edge training techniques that focused on giving personalized care to every horse and meeting their unique needs. His exceptional talent for spotting potential and his outstanding horsemanship skills also contributed to his success and reputation in the industry.

2. How did Henry McDaniel’s partnership with legendary jockey Willie Saunders contribute to his success as a trainer?

Henry McDaniel became a successful trainer with the help of legendary jockey Willie Saunders. Together, they won big races with famous horses like Exterminator and Hurryoff. Their partnership was key to their success as Saunders’ excellent riding skills and thorough knowledge of McDaniel’s training techniques played a vital role in achieving remarkable victories on the track.

3. Can you elaborate on some of the most memorable racehorses trained by Henry McDaniel, such as Exterminator and Hurryoff?

Henry McDaniel’s amazing ability to train racehorses led to the creation of iconic champions such as Exterminator, who won a remarkable 50 races including the prestigious 1918 Kentucky Derby, and Hurryoff, a skilled runner celebrated for his impressive triumphs on the racetrack.

4. What role did Henry McDaniel play in shaping the legacy of the Kentucky Derby through his training achievements?

Henry McDaniel made a huge impact on the history of the Kentucky Derby by training famous racehorses like Exterminator and Hurryoff. His exceptional skills as a trainer solidified his reputation as one of the best in Thoroughbred horse racing.

5. How did Henry McDaniel’s approach to horsemanship and training differ from his contemporaries in the early 20th century?

In the early 1900s, Henry McDaniel stood out from other horse trainers by focusing on personalized care, patience, and a thorough grasp of each horse’s distinct talents and behavior.

6. What lasting impact has Henry McDaniel had on the sport of horse racing, particularly in terms of his influence on future generations of trainers and racehorses?

Henry McDaniel left a lasting mark on horse racing through his exceptional training techniques and ability to spot talent, inspiring future trainers to aim for greatness. His methods produced legendary racehorses such as Exterminator and Hurryoff, setting a high standard for the sport.