This year marks the 100th anniversary of the great Man o' War, the chestnut thoroughbred who captured the imagination of the American public during a spectacular racing career spanning 1919-20. Born March 29, 1917, the colt first nicknamed "Big Red" shared the same moniker affectionately invoked some five decades later to describe Secretariat. Both horses were public icons with their larger-than-life legacies that will endure for generations to come.
Like Secretariat, Man o' War started 21 times over the span of two years - winning the most prestigious races of his day including the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, as well as the match race over 1919 Triple Crown winner Sir Barton. His lone defeat in the Sanford Stakes during his juvenile season to a swift colt named "Upset" popularized the word's association with a "surprising loss," forever entrenching the term in the lexicon of American sports vocabulary.
As a stallion Man o' War had an enduring impact on racing, siring over 379 foals of which 64 were stakes winners. His bloodline received great acclaim with the release of the 2004 film, Seabiscuit, as he was the grandsire of that courageous handicap champion as well as the sire of Seabiscuit's adversary, 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral.
This rarely seen image features Man o' War in a morning work at Saratoga Racecourse. The vintage photo is amazingly similar to the famous Bob Coglianese image capturing Secretariat during an early morning workout in March of 1973. Both photos feature the athletic form, balanced extension, and enormous stride common to each of these racing legends.
The anniversary photo is available individually, and for a limited time as part of a tandem offering along with Secretariat's Morning Workout photo as a Signature Special with the addition of jockey Ron Turcotte's autograph at no extra charge!