By Mint Julep


Twenty Grand Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

kentucky derby winner twenty grand 1931

Key Takeaways

  • Helen Hay Whitney’s Greentree Stable bred and owned Twenty Grand, a racehorse with an impressive career that went beyond just winning the Kentucky Derby.
  • In 1957, Twenty Grand was honored by being inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame, recognizing him as one of the top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century and highlighting his lasting impact on horse racing.
  • Even after retiring and facing challenges like sterility, Twenty Grand continues to be a significant figure in horse racing history. His accomplishments both on and off the racetrack are still celebrated today.

Early Life and Family Background

Born in 1928, Twenty Grand was a racehorse bred in America and owned by Helen Hay Whitney’s Greentree Stable. He was a bay colt sired by St. Germans and out of Bonus. Initially trained by Thomas W. Murphy in 1930, James G. Rowe Jr. later took over the training responsibilities for Twenty Grand, who went on to make a significant mark in the world of horse racing.

Twenty Grand quickly gained recognition for his skills on the track, leading to his induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame and being honored as one of the top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century.

Although he faced challenges after retiring due to sterility issues, Twenty Grand’s enduring influence on horse racing history is undeniable, establishing him as a legendary figure whose legacy continues to inspire both enthusiasts and professionals across generations.

Racing Career

Trainer James G. Rowe Jr. and jockey Charley Kurtsinger guided Twenty Grand to victory on the racetrack in the early 1930s, showcasing his immense talent. Competing against tough rivals like Jamestown, Mate, and Equipoise, he consistently triumphed.

His impressive list of wins included prestigious events such as the Wood Memorial Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, Dwyer Stakes, Travers Stakes, Saratoga Cup, and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Twenty Grand’s racing career was truly spectacular – each stride brimming with determination and grace as he raced toward glory. With every victory celebrated by fans and professionals alike witnessing his journey to greatness unfold before their eyes; his name became synonymous with excellence in horse racing history.

In a fiercely competitive era where success both on and off the track carried high stakes; Twenty Grand continually proved himself a champion among champions time after time. The rush of adrenaline surged through him with each thunderous hoofbeat – a thrilling display of speed echoing through crowded grandstands eager for a taste of equine brilliance.

With each triumphant finish line crossed during his remarkable career; Twenty Grand cemented himself not only as an exceptional racehorse but also an iconic figure within the sport itself – leaving behind a lasting legacy that continues to inspire awe even decades after retiring from competitive racing for good

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Horse racing makes you admire and respect the sport.
  2. It shows how both horses and jockeys are incredibly athletic and skilled.
  3. You feel the thrill and excitement of high-stakes competitions when watching horse racing.
  4. Racing legends have a rich history and traditions that stand out.
  5. Fans of all ages find entertainment and enjoyment in horse racing.
  6. Watching horse racing teaches valuable lessons in perseverance, dedication, and sportsmanship.


  1. Glorifying a sport that has faced controversies regarding animal welfare can be problematic.
  2. It might reinforce stereotypes or misunderstandings about the racing industry.
  3. This could outshine lesser-known but equally worthy figures in racing history.
  4. Raises concerns about how racehorses are treated and exploited ethically.
  5. Risks promoting unrealistic expectations or glamorizing risky behaviors associated with racing
  6. The potential to ignore the darker sides of a racer’s legacy, like scandals or controversies.

Achievements and Awards

In 1931, Twenty Grand amazed everyone with his incredible performances. He competed in 23 races and won an impressive 14 of them, earning him a well-deserved reputation as one of the best racehorses of his time. His powerful and graceful gallop down the track was like watching poetry come to life.

He was named American Champion 3-Year-Old Colt and American Horse of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments that year, adding even more shine to his already impressive record. Those who saw him race knew that Twenty Grand had a unique mix of speed, endurance, and sheer willpower that made him stand out from other horses.

Despite facing tough competition many times, Twenty Grand always rose to the occasion and delivered exceptional performances over and over again. His ability to stay at peak performance levels throughout a demanding racing season showed both his natural talent and top-notch training routine.

Twenty Grand’s legacy still inspires horse racing fans worldwide today. Even now, just hearing about Twenty Grand brings back memories of greatness and serves as a reminder that hard work, dedication, and unwavering determination can lead to excellence.

Looking back on Twenty Grand’s extraordinary career full of victories on the racetrack helps us understand why he earned a spot among the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses from the last century. Despite challenges like becoming sterile after retiring—a true signifier of lasting influence—his impact on horse racing history remains strong till this day.

Hall of Fame Induction

In 1957, Twenty Grand was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame, establishing him as a legendary figure in horse racing. His significant contributions to the sport distinguished him and earned him a well-deserved spot among the top ranks. Being named one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century highlighted his lasting impact and talent on the track.

Twenty Grand captured hearts and sparked imaginations during his impressive career with grace and power. His legacy lives on through tales shared by generations of racing fans who were amazed by his speed and determination. The echoes of his victories resonate over time, reminding us all what true greatness looks like in horse form.

Despite facing challenges such as sterility after retiring, Twenty Grand’s influence remained strong within the racing community. While he couldn’t pass on his genes, he did leave behind a legacy that transcends bloodlines and resonates with fans worldwide. His spirit continues to inspire both experienced professionals and aspiring jockeys pursuing their own dreams on racecourses.

The aura surrounding Twenty Grand’s induction into the Hall of Fame is akin to witnessing a shooting star streaking across an indigo night sky – rare, magical, unforgettable. It symbolizes not only individual achievement but also represents collective recognition from peers and industry experts that he was truly exceptional. By honoring him with this prestigious award, we pay tribute to an icon whose hoofprints left an enduring mark on turf tracks nationwide.

Reflecting on Twenty Grand’s journey from modest beginnings to revered halls reserved for champions reminds us that greatness knows no limits when driven by passion and perseverance. His story serves as a guiding light for those navigating their own paths – showing us that even amidst setbacks like sterility or retirement, our legacies can endure if founded upon integrity and excellence forged through competition’s trials

Twenty Grand: Racing Legend Extraordinaire

Attribute Information
Sire St. Germans
Grandsire Swynford
Dam Bonus
Damsire All Gold
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1928
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Greentree Stable
Owner Greentree Stable (Silks: Pink, Black Stripes on Sleeves, Black Cap)
Trainer Thomas W. Murphy (1930), James G. Rowe Jr.
Record 23: 14-4-3
Earnings $261,790
Major wins Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (1930), Junior Champion Stakes (1930), Wood Memorial Stakes (1931), Dwyer Stakes (1931), Lawrence Realization Stakes (1931), Travers Stakes (1931), Saratoga Cup (1931), Jockey Club Gold Cup (1931), Kentucky Derby (1931), Belmont Stakes (1931)
Awards American Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1931), American Horse of the Year (1931)
Honors United States Racing Hall of Fame (1957), #52 – Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century

Legacy Beyond Racing

Twenty Grand was not just a famous racehorse; he made history by becoming one of the most respected and beloved horses of all time. His popularity soared when Axton-Fisher Tobacco Co. decided to feature him on their cigarette brand, showing that his appeal extended far beyond the world of horse racing.

Teaming up with Axton-Fisher Tobacco Co. helped solidify Twenty Grand’s reputation as a cultural icon and demonstrated his lasting impact even after retiring from competitive racing. Despite facing challenges like sterility in his later years, Twenty Grand continued to inspire fans and enthusiasts alike, proving that he was more than just a talented racer – he was an enduring symbol in the sport.

Named one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Twenty Grand left a lasting impression that still resonates within the horse racing community today. His induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame further highlights his exceptional talent and contributions to the sport. Through triumphs and setbacks, Twenty Grand’s legacy remains a powerful reminder of his unmatched skill, resilience, and everlasting presence in horse racing history.

Camp Twenty Grand

During World War II, Camp Twenty Grand was a popular American Army base located near Le Havre, France. It got its name from the famous cigarette brand associated with Twenty Grand himself. This camp became a central place for soldiers to bond and share their experiences while stationed there. Despite the challenges of wartime, it offered a sense of familiarity and support.

Soldiers at Camp Twenty Grand found comfort in spending time with their fellow comrades while talking about the legendary racehorse that shared its name. Even though they were far away from home, these soldiers formed strong connections that would last a lifetime, brought together by their service and connection to Twenty Grand’s legacy in horse racing.

The atmosphere at Camp Twenty Grand reflected resilience and determination in dealing with tough situations—a reflection of both the horse’s victories on the racetrack and the soldiers’ unwavering commitment to their duty. Through sharing stories under starry skies or chatting over coffee in makeshift dining areas, these individuals drew strength from unity during uncertain times.

As historical events unfolded within its walls, Camp Twenty Grand stood as proof of perseverance and solidarity—evoking memories of past triumphs but also representing hope for better days ahead. Just like its namesake who raced his way into history across America’s tracks, this camp embodied endurance amidst chaos—a place where tales were told, friendships made, and spirits lifted high amid wartime challenges.

Legendary Tales: Twenty Grand and the Derby

  1. Legendary Horse Tales: Twenty Grand and the Derby
  2. In 1931, the racehorse Twenty Grand clinched victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby with jockey Charley Kurtsinger guiding him to success. This triumph marked the start of an exceptional career in horse racing for Twenty Grand.
  3. Despite high expectations for winning the Triple Crown that year, Twenty Grand faced disappointment at the Preakness Stakes. Nonetheless, he went on to dominate races like the Belmont Stakes and various other prestigious events throughout his remarkable career.
  4. The owner of Twenty Grand was William Woodward Sr., a well-known figure in horse racing circles during the early 1900s. Woodward’s stables produced numerous champion racehorses, including War Admiral who would become legendary in his own right.
  5. The intense rivalry between Twenty Grand and War Admiral captivated audiences within horse racing communities during the ’30s decade. Their eagerly anticipated match-ups drew large crowds and solidified their spots as icons in horse racing history.
  6. Beyond his achievements on track, Twenty Grand left behind a lasting legacy as one of his era’s greatest racehorses—a source of inspiration for generations of equestrian enthusiasts due to his extraordinary feats under pressure while competing on course tracks around America.

Influence on Pop Culture

Twenty Grand didn’t just make an impact on the racetrack – his influence reached unexpected places, leaving a lasting mark on pop culture. From cigarette brands to military camps during World War II, people associated his name with strength and excellence. This enduring legacy shows how he went beyond horse racing fans, making a significant impression on society.

Just hearing about Twenty Grand brings to mind power and prestige, like thinking of a classic that never fades away. His name still resonates in history books, reminding us of a time when greatness was embodied by horses. It’s as if he not only left hoofprints on tracks but also imprinted himself in the minds of those who heard stories about his remarkable achievements.

In today’s fast-moving world where trends come and go quickly, Twenty Grand remains a symbol of unwavering influence that stands the test of time. Like fine wine improving with age, his legacy becomes richer each year. The fact that even in times of war his name had significance speaks volumes about how deeply he impacted popular culture – surpassing typical boundaries.

The next time you hear someone mention Twenty Grand outside horse racing or see references to him unexpectedly placed around you, take a moment to appreciate the depth of his impact. Despite facing challenges post-retirement like sterility, nothing could diminish his stature as one of the Top 100 U.S Racehorses from the 20th Century—a title earned not just for speed but for timeless charisma that captured hearts then and continues to do so now.”

Continued Recognition

Despite encountering difficulties such as sterility after retiring, Twenty Grand’s impact on the horse racing world remains unforgettable. He was honored with induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1957, joining some of the greatest horses to ever race. Being named one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century solidifies his place in history and showcases his exceptional talent and unwavering spirit on the racetrack.

Twenty Grand’s story serves as a powerful reminder that greatness can overcome obstacles and setbacks. Even though he faced challenges with sterility post-retirement which prevented him from having offspring, his legacy lives on through fans who admire his speed, grace, and determination. This demonstrates that leaving a lasting impression is not just about physical accomplishments but also about touching people’s hearts and minds for years to come.

The fact that Twenty Grand is still remembered among top U.S. racehorses decades later speaks volumes about his enduring influence on horse racing culture. Although unforeseen circumstances led to an early end to his remarkable career, what he achieved during his time competing echoes throughout history with respect and admiration.

Despite facing hurdles like sterility post-retirement – an issue that would have stopped many other stallions’ legacies – Twenty Grand managed to secure a permanent place for himself in horse racing lore thanks to sheer talent and charisma alone. His recognition by being elected into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame highlights how he surpassed biological limitations as well as conventional expectations.

In conclusion, even though unable to continue genetically as a stud following retirement due to sterility complications – circumstances which could have easily pushed him into obscurity – Twenty Grand rose above these challenges with grace and resilience befitting a true champion. His ongoing acknowledgment among elite U.S. racehorses shines brightly across time, proving that individuals facing adversity can etch their names into eternity through sheer determination excellence at their craft.


1. How did Twenty Grand’s victory in the Kentucky Derby contribute to his legacy in horse racing?

Twenty Grand made history by winning the Kentucky Derby, which elevated his status in horse racing. He went on to be recognized as one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century and was later honored with induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame.

2. What were some of Twenty Grand’s most notable achievements on the racetrack besides winning the Kentucky Derby?

Twenty Grand, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1931, also claimed victory in races like the Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. These wins established him as one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century and led to his induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame.

3. How did Twenty Grand’s induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame solidify his place as a racing icon?

Induction into the United States Racing Hall of Fame has now officially made Twenty Grand a racing legend. This honor acknowledges his outstanding skills, accomplishments, and enduring influence on the sport. It solidifies his legacy for future generations to admire and appreciate.

4. Despite facing sterility post-retirement, how has Twenty Grand continued to influence the world of horse racing?

Twenty Grand left a lasting mark on horse racing, earning his spot in the United States Racing Hall of Fame and being named one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. These honors show that he is a legendary figure whose influence goes beyond his retirement years.

5. In what ways has Twenty Grand been remembered and celebrated as one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century?

Twenty Grand made a name for himself as one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century when he was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame. This highlights his long-lasting influence and legacy in horse racing that continues to be remembered today.

6. What enduring qualities or characteristics of Twenty Grand have made him a legendary figure in horse racing history?

Twenty Grand became a legend in horse racing history due to his incredible talent, impressive accomplishments on the racetrack, and being honored as one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century by being inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame.