Lyman Horace Weeks.

The American turf: an historical account of racing in the United States : with biographical sketches of turf celebrities. 1898 online

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Online LibraryLyman Horace WeeksThe American turf: an historical account of racing in the United States : with biographical sketches of turf celebrities. 1898 → online text (page 64 of 80)
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personal relations, his sterling integrity has made him
one of the highly esteemed men of the turr.


worker, and during his career has been a conspicuous
figure in many exciting contests.



Alonzo Clayton was born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1876,
and lil<e many boys, had a fondness for riding horses.


His ambition to become a jockey soon asserted itself,
and he prevailed upon his parents to permit him to go
with Mr. E. J. Baldwin. He remained with the Bald-
win Stable one year, when he came East and engaged
with Mr. D. A. Honig, who at that time had a string at
Clifton, N. J. It was at this track that he had his first
mount, riding Redstone. For two years afterward he
continued with Mr. Honig and then Mr. Donovan, of
Elizabeth, engaged him. Clayton continued in his em-
ploy until he secured a position with Mr. Ross, of Sara-
toga, with whom he remained one season, after which
he was engaged with Richmond Smith, the Bashford
Manor Stable and the Pastime Stable.

Subsequent to this, however, Clayton rode some of the
famous horses owned by Mr. Byron McClelland, among
them being The Commoner and Halma and that star per-
former Henry of Navarre. When Mr. James G. Rowe
was engaged to train Col. W. P. Thompson's horses,
he entered into negotiations with Clayton to ride for the.
Brookdale string. There is a record of many stakes
where his name as the winning jockey appears, among
which are the Brooklyn Handicap in 1894, the Futurity
in 1894, the Cotton Stakes at Memphis, in 1895, and
the Saratoga Stakes in 1895. His brilliant win on Tillo
in the Suburban of 1898, is fresh in the mind of the turt
world. Clayton will, no doubt, add many laurels to
his credit before he ceases to be active.

In looking over the history of the turf for any great
number of years one cannot fail to be impressed with the
fact that, more than any other class of individuals con-
nected with racing, the jockeys have only a short day.
The exactions of their work have a tendency to wear
them out, but that is not the principal thing that lies in
the way of their permanency in the saddle. No matter
how small a boy may be, or how promising in the way
of limited growth or meagre flesh, the time is very likely
soon to come when he has passed beyond the limit of
usefulness in size and weight. Few of them can avoid
growing, however much they may wish to attain that
much desired consummation. Consequently the men of
years who are still in the saddle are comparatively few in

One of the oldest jockeys now in active work and as
capable as any in his class is Robert Williams, who is
better known perhaps, by his favorite nickname, "Tiny."
He was born in Chillicothe, O., December 10, 1868. His
racing experiences began in 1879. with the Messrs. Mace
Brothers and later he was engaged with other prominent
owners of that time. He had his first mount in 1883,
and his first winning race was on Lillie Dale at New
Orleans. Among the owners who have employed him
have been Messrs. W. L. Scott, E. S. Gardner, Scroggan
Brothers, E. J. Baldwin and Turney Brothers. More
recently Mr. J. E. Seagram, the great Canadian turfman.


has had the first call upon him. He is a good, service-
able rider, hard-working and reliable.

3 94


Few men known to the tarf have had more rapid
progress or higher or more marked reputation at the age
of twenty-nine than Anthony Hamilton. He was born
in Columbus, S. C, in 1866. He is a jockey to the
manner born, having from his young days been familiar
with the saddle. His apprenticeship began in the stable
of Mr. William Lakeland, for whom he rode until 1886.
His next engagement was with Mr. J. B. Haggin, with
whom he remained until 1S88. Important assignments
followed this one, including services with Senator George
Hearst, the senior August Belmont and Messrs. M. F.
Dwyer, Pierre Lorillard, J. R. Keene and August Bel-
mont, Jr., and he has also ridden independently.

It is a high compliment to pay to a man to say that
he has ridden a winner in every important event on the
American turf, but that assertion may correctly be ap-
plied to Hamilton. All patrons of the great races remem-
ber his exciting victories, and the events in which he
participated have been enriched by exhibitions of his
riding, such, for example, as the Brooklyn Handicap,
which he won with Exile, in 1889, and in 1895 with
Hornpipe; the Suburban, with Lazzarone, in 1895, and
the Metropolitan, with Counter Tenor, in 1896. During
his career of twelve years he has accomplished a greater

Love of horses is the prime element in the success ot
every jockey, and James Irving, who has been connected


amount of work than many men have succeeded in
getting through with in a long lifetime.


with some of the best American stables, manifested this
disposition from his earliest boyhood. He was born in
New York City, in 1873, and his first definite connec-
tion with thoroughbreds was in the stable of Mr. J. B.
Haggin, under that great trainer, Matthew Byrnes.
From the stable of Mr. Haggin he went to that of Mr.
G. Walbaum, continuing as exercise boy altogether for
two years. But during this time he received his first
mount, and also recorded his first winning, which was
on Pat Donovan. Mr. David Waldo, of Chicago, next
engaged his services, and he remained there for two
years, to his own advantages and that of his employer.
Among the winning mounts that he had from the Waldo
Stable were Carlsbad, Ida Pickwick and others.

An engagement with the Chicago Stables of Messrs.
Hankin & Johnstone followed, and during the three
years that he maintained this connection he had special
good fortune, winning an unusually large number of
stakes and handicaps, among them being the Columbus
Handicap, the Detroit Derby and the Blue Grass and the
Ladies' Stakes. Latterly he has been engaged with
Thomas J. Healey. He is looked upon as one of the
coming jockeys, and his career will be followed with
interest by his admirers.



Albert Songer is one of the many capable young men
who have come from Canada to win distinction in con-
nection with the turf. He was born in Toronto, October
4, 1880. Entering the stable of Mr. J. Doyne in the
spring of 1894, when he was only a little over thirteen
years of age, he got his first taste of the business to
which he has since devoted himself. He remained with
Mr. Doyne for one year, being employed in exercising,
and when he gave up that position it was to enter the
employ of Mr. R. Burger, where he continued for two
years. He was not long confined to the less important
work in the Burger Stable, for he commenced to ride
very soon, and with good success.

In the fu'st two years of his riding he had several hun-
dred mounts, and won a reasonably fair proportion of
the races in which he was engaged. He has piloted to
victory many prominent horses and has been the central
figure in numerous exciting finishes. Most of his career
has been through the West and in Canada, but his ap-
pearance upon the Eastern courses in the fall of 1897 was
of very satisfactory character, although he was so un-
fortunate as to meet with a fall at the Aqueduct Meeting
which temporarily incapacitated him for work. Recently
he has been engaged to ride for the stable of Mr. James
Galway, a circumstance that is the strongest testimony
to the reputation that he has achieved as a capable light-
weight. Songer rides at 9s pounds, and it is believed that,

One of the jockeys who has come decidedly to the
front in the past few seasons is Joseph S. Hewitt. In


barring accident, he has a long and useful career before
him. His services will probably be much in demand.


fact, his record has already established his right to a
place among the most prominent members of his profes-
sion, and possessing, as he does, the natural qualifica-
tions, including coolness, skill, good judgment and light
weight, together with the confidence of some of the
most prominent owners on the turf, there is every reason
to expect that his career will be successful and prosper-
ous. He comes by his qualifications as a matter of in-
heritance. He was born at Westbury, Long Island,
where his father was superintendent of the famous
Meadowbrook Hunt Club. He attended school regularly,
but at the same time was constantly among horses and
imbibed horse lore and an enthusiasm for thoroughbreds.
He was carefully instructed by his father, a respected and
experienced horseman, so that his finished style is the
outcome of no ordinary training.

In 1893, he entered upon real work by engaging with
Mr. August Belmont to exercise horses, and profited by
his experience with the crack material composing the
famous Blemton Stable. In 1895, he had his first mount
in public, riding Right Royal at the Sheepshead Bay
Course. Although he has been largely in Mr. Belmont's
service, he has ridden successfully for many owners and
made a trip to California with Harry Griffin, and while
there rode for Messrs. Burns & Waterhouse. Among
the noted horses he has piloted are Tragedian, Merry
Prince, FlorettalV., Howard Mann, Patrol and Octagon.



Lightweight jockeys who combine with this advantage
not only si<ill and judgment, but the necessary amount


of physical force, are sought for in the racing world
much more frequently than they are found. Thomas
Powers is one of the few now in the saddle who can
be classed in this category. Riding at about ninety-five
pounds, he has given evidence of some superior ability
in his profession. Powers began his turf career with
George Newton, for whom he exercised, and it was
while employed by Mr. Newton and on that owner's
horses that he made his initial appearance as a rider on
the track. After a year and a half's experience he en-
gaged with Mr. W. J. Roche, who owned Free Lance,
Sir Knight, Blue Knight and other good horses, and then
became connected with the stable of R. Bradley, for
whom he rode Panway, Cliquot, Second Chance, Lady
Greenway and other members of the string.

At the same time his services have been in request for
other owners than those with whom he has been per-
manently connected. Among the mounts with which
he has been intrusted are such horses as Petrel, Crom-
well, Urania, Set Fast, Jefferson, Refugee, Sir Vassar and
a great number of others, in a majority of instances scor-
ing victories upon them. When Mr. Pierre Lorillard
lately transferred his racing interests from the American
to the English turf, he made Powers a flattering offer to
cross the ocean and ride upon the courses of the Old
Country. This offer was declined for personal reasons,
but it is generally thought that the American rider, had
he decided to go, would have made a good record in
competition with the best leading jockeys of England.

During a period covering almost ten years Wil-
liam H. McDermott has been identified with racing
in and about New York and also on the other great tracks
of the country. He is one of that large class of horse-
men who are natives of New York City and get their
first inspiration in racing matters on the great Eastern
tracks. He was sixteen years of age when he entered
the ranks in 1890, being employed by William McMahon,
who, by the way, is the father-in-law of the celebrated
jockey, " Snapper " Garrison. With Mr. McMahon he
remained for three years, at the outset as exercising boy.
The art of jockeyship came to him quickly, however, and
before he had served a full year of his apprenticeship he
began to ride in races. While he remained with Mr.
McMahon he was favored with some three hundred
mounts and came in winner about fifty times. The most
prominent horses that he rode were Prince Edward, Long
Jack and others of similar class.

After leaving the employ of Mr. McMahon he had an
engagement with Mr. Frank Engeman for one year, win-
ning about 40 races for that owner's stable; on Chateau
alone he won 12 races. His next engagement was with
Mr. William Phillips, during which he won about 30 races
out of 200 mounts, the best horses that he piloted
being Lottie A., Schoolmarm and Sir Clifton. During the
season of 1897, he was engaged with Mr. Jere Dunn, riding
Sunny Slope, Ruby Lips, Blissful, Diana's Daughter and
others. On the whole, he has had a very good record,



holds a fixed position, and seems likely to be heard from
in the near future. His riding weight is ninety pounds.



Born in Fordham, N. Y., November 12, 1877, Robert
Harrison was fortunate in being brought up in the racing
atmosphere that has long pertained to Westchester
County, and especially to the neighborhood of Jerome
Park and Morris Park. His racing experience began in
1889, when he was engaged in the stable of W. J.
Spiers. His maiden race was won on Lansdale. In
i8q5, after having been with Mr. Spiers for several years,
he engaged with Robert Clare, who was then training
the stable of Mr. Arthur White, and he rode Challenger,
Christmas, Titmouse and other horses. His next en-
gagement was with John Hynes, who in recent years has
had such good horses in training as Brisk, Declare, Pass-
over, Ma Petite and others.

Harrison has won on Brisk, Lida Woodlands, Ma
Petite, Watercress and many others, his successes being
generally of a clever character and showing good skill
and self-possession. His average riding weight is ninety-
eight pounds. Besides the horses mentioned he has rid-
den others of distinction, and has won many races.
He has been particularly successful in the West, where
he is regarded in good favor. He is skilful in his work,
and his career has been characterized by strict attention

Coming of a racing family, Eugene Van Keuren has
fully justified his name by his turf exploits. His brother,




to business and careful consideration of the best interests
of the stables with which he has been connected.


William Van Keuren, will be recalled as a former jockey,
and now as one of our owners and trainers. Eugene
Van Keuren was born in Port Jervis, N. J., October 18,
1 87 1. He began his racing experience in 1886 in the
stable of the Messrs. Dwyer Brothers. After a brief
term of service for the Chicago Stable, he returned to
his former employers and was also promoted to ride.
His first mount was on Battery, and his first win was on

Subsequently he rode for W. H. Timmons, when that
turfman had One, False Ahrens and other noted thor-
oughbreds. Next Van Keuren signed with Mr. E. J.
Baldwin, and then went with the Springhurst Stable.
Beginning with the season of 1897, he engaged with
Covington & Kent. Still later he has been again with
the stable of Mr. Timmons. He has ridden on nearly
all the tracks in America, has had good mounts and cor-
respondingly good success. His average riding weight
is 102 pounds. The fact that he has already attained his
full growth should enable him to ride for many years to
come, while with the skill that he has shown, there is
every reason why he should be expected to hold a good
position in his profession.



Born in New York City, Ciiarles O'Donnell, wiio is
one of tile good lightweigiit jockeys of this period,
began his racing experience with the stable of W. H.
Roller. At that time Mr. Roller owned Azrael, Little
Fred, Lestei'and other horses of prominence, and in their
company O'Donnell had a very good introduction to the
thoroughbred family. With Mr. Roller, O'Donnell re-
mained for a single year, and then, in 1893, engaged to
ride for James Shields. He was occupied in exercising
only a comparatively short time before he was promoted
to ride in races. His maiden race was on Juliette, and
it was also his first win, naturally to the great delight
of not only himself, but also his employer.

Afterward he went to New Orleans, where he rode
largely for Mr. J. E. Madden, but had mounts from
other stables. Among his sensational races was one on
Lineage at New Orleans. At Baltimore, in 1896, he won
nearly every race that he rode. At St. Asaph one season
he won six races, all of which were surprises to the
public. His riding in the East in 1897, attracted the
attention of Mr. James H. McCormick, the trainer for
Messrs. Burns & Waterhouse, and he was assigned to
ride for that stable. One of the best races that he ever
placed to his credit was on the grass at Sheepshead Bay,
when he won with Hugh Penny, defeating Sun Up and

The first experience of John T. Coylie, another of the
large class of eminent lightweights, was with Mr. Will-



others. He is a jockey of strong calibre, and able to give a
good report of himself even when in the best of company.


iam A. Engeman. He remained with Mr.
exercising horses, for one year. This was in 1891,
when he was fourteen years of age, having been born
in 1877, in Meriden, Conn. Subsequently he was con-
nected with James McLaughlin for four years. His work
was of an admirable character and attracted a great deal
of attention. He weighed some seventy-five pounds,
and displayed skill almost beyond his weight and
years. During the season of 1893, he rode only a small
number of races, about twelve, of which he was suc-
cessful in winning several. The following year he had
a mount some fifty times and was successful in coming
in at the head ten times.

In 1895, he had advanced to an even better standing,
carrying to his credit some thirty out of one hundred
races, among them being several stakes and handicaps.
During the season of 1896, he rode only part of the time,
having met with an accident. The season of 1897 "was
a particularly successful one for him, -and his riding of
Premier in races against more experienced jockeys was
often and favorably commented upon. Upon this horse
he won several consecutive races, and in most of the
events in which he was engaged he was part of an ex-
ceedingly close finish. Among the stakes he won with
Premier was the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct. More
recently he has made a first-class connection with the
stable of Mr. Sydney Paget, and has a promising future,



Although the State of Pennsylvania has never been
particularly noted for its concern for the thoroughbred,


yet within the confines of that commonwealth have
been two of the most noted later day breeding and rac-
ing establishments. Only the merest mention of the
names of these two places, the Algeria of the Honorable
William L. Scott, and the Erdenheim of Mr. Aristides
Welch, is necessary in this connection. The former
gained distinction for itself and for the American turf
through the imported stallion. Rayon d'Or; the latter
was not less famous through the glories of imported
Leamington, and, in later day, the noble Parole.

At Chestnut Hill was the Erdenheim Stud, and it was
in that neighborhood that the young jockey, Hill, was
brought up. Beginning his racing career in 1892, when
he was a boy of twelve years of age, he was engaged in
the stable of Mr. Walter Gratz, and remained there for
some two years, being principally employed in exercis-
ing. ^ In 1894, his services were engaged by Mr. John V.
Elliott as a lightweight, and with that gentleman he
remained for a single season. Subsequently, in 1896, he
was employed by Mr. M. F. Dwyer. Remaining with the
Dwyer Stable during 1897, he rode Ben Ronald, Hardly,
Wadsworth and others, and also had mounts for outside
owners. He won a number of races on Ben Ronald and
Wadsworth. Still connected with the Dwyer Stable, he is
regarded as a good rider and holds an excellent rank
among the lightweights who are now coming to the
front so strongly and in such large numbers.

Born in Fredericksburg, Tex., in 1880, Max Hirsch, one
of the bright young lightweights of the present era,
attended school only until he was eight years of age,
and soon after that entered upon a racing career. First
he was heard of in quarter racing around the county fairs
of his native State. Then engaged with the Morris Farm
in Texas, where he was employed for two years. There
his work was of such a satisfactory character that Mr.
R. W. Walden brought him East and has since kept him
busy for himself and for the stable of Messrs. A. H. &
D. H. Morris. He has ridden upon all the prominent
courses in the South, West and East.

During his entire career in the saddle he has been con-
nected with the Morrises, but has occasionally ridden for
outside owners. In fact, owners and trainers have come
to be specially desirous of his services for their horses let
in at lightweight. His work has always been of good
character. He is a capable jockey, well liked by his
employers, and also a favorite with the public and with


his fellow riders. Those who know him best consider
that he has a long and bright future before him.



Considering liis siiort connection wilii tlie turf, few
riders iiave made a more favorable impression tlian


Ciiarles F. Garrigan. He does not ride as frequently as
some others, but is especially noted for his reliability and
caution. Born in 1874, on Staten Island, he has had
the advantage of a thorough schooling, his studies con-
tinuing until he was nineteen years of age. Then, in
1893, he entered the stable of the Burridge Brothers as
an exercise boy. His aptness became apparent, and
within one year he made his first trial as a rider, having
a mount on Surgeon, which horse he brought through a
big bunch to a place. Afterward he rode The Baroness,
Samaritan, Corn Cob, Emma and others, winning with
Emma at 30 to i , beating Gutta Percha and others, and
winning with The Baroness at a mile and a half.

In addition to riding for the Burridge Brothers, he has
ridden for the Goughacres Stable and Messrs.W. J. Roche,
J. V. Elliott, Charles Miller, R. McBride, D. T. Pulsifer
and others. He has had some notable wins besides
those already mentioned, especially on Defender and on
Lochinvar at long odds. On Defender, at a mile, he
beat Garrison, who rode Mirage, in a drive, by a head.
He is a jockey with tenacity, intelligence and firm guiding
power, and whenever he rides can be depended upon not
to disappoint either his principal or the public. He has
been making an imprpssion with his skilful, jockeyship
during the few years that he has been actively engaged,
and seems destined to leave behind him, before his career
shall have ended, a very substantial record.

Although recently in the field, Walter Willhite has
already attracted attention by his consistent and often
brilliant work. The greater part of his career has been
in the West, but he has also met with fair success upon
the tracks of the East in recent seasons. He is a native
of Illinois, the town of Milan, in that State, being his
birthplace. He has been upon the turf only a few years,
beginning, in 189s, as an exercise boy for the stable of
Mr. William Arnett, who owned Flying Dutchman,
Dutch Arrow and others. His first win was on Hymenia
as a two-year old.

His next engagements were successively with Mr. John
W. Shaw and Mr. J. E. Madden, his contract with the
last named horseman running over the season of 1898.
Besides the tracks of the East, Willhite has ridden at
New Orleans, Louisville, Memphis, Little Rock and Lex-
ington. His claim to rank among the strong lightweight
riders was demonstrated by his riding of that great two-
year old, Hamburg, in the Trial Stakes of 1897. His
clever, cool-headed work upon that occasion won for


him many admirers, who are still watching his career
with more than ordinary interest and admiration.



Some of the best judges have gone on record as say-
ing that Michael F. Hennessey's riding is often a treat to


those who appreciate good horsemanship. It may also
be added that his brother jockeys confirm that estimate
of his powers. Although he was born at Pittsfield,
Mass., August 28, 1868, Hennessey's life has been largely
spent in the West. He began his turf career in i88s,
when he engaged with Mr. J. B. Haggin, his first mount
and winning race being on Surname. He spent four
years with Mr. Haggin, and then engaged with Mr.

Online LibraryLyman Horace WeeksThe American turf: an historical account of racing in the United States : with biographical sketches of turf celebrities. 1898 → online text (page 64 of 80)