Biography of Famous Horses and Jockeys: War Admiral and Charlie Kurtsinger

Abou the famous award winning horse War Admiral and his jockey Charlie Kurtsinger, history and biography.

Horse--War Admiral

Jockey--Charlie Kurtsinger

Despite being a Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year in 1937, there is no doubt that War Admiral is most famous for one race he lost!

"The Bay Dancer" was born to success. Smaller than his sire, Man o' War, but with the same spirit and perfect conformation, War Admiral was favored in every race he ran. He took the Derby at 3-5 and went on to sweep all his races in 1937. Winning the Belmont, he broke the track record for the mile and a half.

But War Admiral had to share the limelight with another great horse, Seabiscuit. Finally, a match race was arranged at Pimlico, in November, 1938. Over 40,000 fans installed War Admiral as the 1-4 favorite. The race was close down the stretch, with Seabiscuit maintaining a slim lead throughout. War Admiral made a final attempt to overtake the leader, and failed. This race stands with Man o' War-Sir Barton (1920) and Nashua-Swaps (1955) as one of the 3 classic matches of all time.

Charlie Kurtsinger was in the twilight of a successful career when he rode War Admiral. He had already won a Derby, 2 Belmonts, a Preakness and 2 Jockey Club Gold Cups. Kurtsinger took a severe spill in the 1938 Travers. He expressed his willingness to return to riding, but only if he could stay with War Admiral. When the horse's owners decided otherwise, Charlie Kurtsinger retired.

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