Biography of Famous Horses and Jockeys: Tom Fool and Ted Atkinson

About the famous award winning horse Tom Fool and his jockey Ted Atkinson, history and biography.

Horse--Tom Fool

Jockey--Ted Atkinson

1953's Horse of the Year, Tom Fool, is perhaps better known for his achievements as a sire than as a racer. Syndicated for $1,750,000, Tom Fool repaid his backers with such progeny as Tim Tam, the 1958 Derby Winner, and the great Buckpasser. In all he sired over 30 stakes winners.

Of course, Tom Fool was no mean runner himself. He started 7 times in 1951, winning 5 and placing in the others. As a result he was named Two Year Old Champion. In 1952 he was lightly raced due to poor health; but he came back in 1953 to win 10 of 10 stakes events. Tom Fool was the 2nd of only 3 horses to win the Metropolitan, Suburban and Brooklyn Handicaps, the so-called N.Y. Handicap Triple Crown. He won 21 of 30 career starts.

A member of both the Racing Hall of Fame and the Jockey's Hall of Fame, Ted Atkinson brought in over 3,700 winners in his 21-year career. Known as the "Slasher" for the way he used his whip, Atkinson was top winner in both 1944 and 1946. He took 2/3 of the Triple Crown--the Preakness and Belmont--aboard Capot in 1949. In 1947 he won over $1 million.

A bad back forced Ted to retire in 1959, but he went on to a career as a track official.

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