Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Luckiest Of The Bs

In the 20s and 30s, Colonel E.R. Bradley was basically Calumet Farm before Calumet Farm. His Idle Hour Farm dominated the Kentucky Derby during that era and he had a strong contender almost every year. He also had the habit of naming all of his horses with words that started with the letter B. Bradley's first Derby win came with Behave Yourself in 1921, while his entrymate, Black Servant, finished 2nd. Five years later, in 1926, Bradley ran 1-2 again with Bubbling Over and Bagenbaggage. Bradley took the Roses a third time in 1932 with Burgoo King, whose entrymate Brother Joe finished 19th.

The last of Bradley's Derby scores came with the most remarkable of the group. In 1933, Brokers Tip won what has become known as "The Fighting Derby". Brokers Tip won one race in his fourteen-race career, the Kentucky Derby. His jockey, Don Meade, battled all the way down the stretch of the race with Herb Fisher, the rider on Head Play. The two jockeys whacked each other with their whips and were swinging all the way home before Brokers Tip managed to prevail. Head Play came back to win the Preakness (with Charley Kurtsinger aboard), while Brokers Tip was unplaced. It is interesting to note that Kurtsinger went on the ride maybe the best horse of the 30s in War Admiral.

As for Bradley, he never won another Derby. His best horse of all might have been 1940 runner-up, Bimelech, who lost to Gallahadion at odds of less than even money. Speaking of Bimelech, he serves as the perfect lead-in for tomorrow's topic, the best horses NOT to win the Run For The Roses. Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!

No comments: