saratoga racing

(Volunteering in my son’s classroom yesterday)
Me: “So what are you going to be for Halloween?”
5yo friend: “A jockey!”
Me: “Wow! How do you know what a jockey is?”
5yo friend: “I watch the races at Saratoga, like, every day.”

Onion

1969-1995
Raced from 1972 - 1977
Thoroughbred Gelding - United States

With the recent defeat of American Pharoah by Keen Ice in the Travers, this is a horse I’ve seen named on several occasions. So I have decided to feature him! :D

I cannot find any record as to how Onion got his name.

Onion started his career in the bottom rungs of the racing world, competing in low-grade non stakes races. However, eventually one of his races at Saratoga convinced his owner to enter him in something greater when he broke the track record for six furlongs.

He entered into the Whitney Handicap, which already brimming with top horses including the great Secretariat who was taking on older horses for the first time. Despite having some sub-par workouts leading up the to the race, Secretariat entered into the starting gate along with Onion. The gates opened, and Onion took the lead and never looked back.

Secretariat attempted to take the lead but Onion pulled away to win by a length. After the race it turned out Secretariat was running a low grade fever. Even Onion’s jockey claimed that Onion was never on the same level as the Triple Crown winner, and he just got lucky that the champ had a bad day, and his horse had a better day and loved the Saratoga track.

Secretariat would face Onion a second time in the Marlboro Cup Invitation, where this time he soundly beat him and all the other rivals while setting a new record. Onion finished fourth in that race. He would never win another stakes race after the Whitney, and his remaining career fell into the claiming ranks where he dealt with on and off injuries.

He was retired from racing in 1977 and lived happily on his owner’s farm until his death in 1995.

Sire: Third Martini
Dam: With a Flair (by Beau Gar)

Breeder: Hobeau Farm
Owners: Hobeau Farm
Trainers: H. Allen Jerkens

54 Races
15 wins
12 Places
5 Shows

Earnings: $243,547