Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 1919. Never before had these three races been won by the same horse.
Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby by five lenghts and the Preakness Stakes by four lenghts, and he completed the Belmont Stakes so quickly he broke the old United States speed record for the 1 3/8 mile distance on dirt.
Racing record: 31: 13-6-5
Racing earnings: $116,857
Of his race earnings, $88, 250 came from the 1919 season. During this season, Sir Barton was the second-most prize winning thoroughbred in the United States; only Man o´ War brought in more prize money that season.
Basic information about Sir Barton
Breeder: John E. Madden
Trainer: First Billy Walker, later H. Guy Bedwell
- Sir Barton was the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes AND the Belmont Stakes in the same season. This feat would later become known as winning the Triple Crown of United States Throughbred racing.
- Sir Barton was the 1919 United States Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt and 1919 United States Horse of the Year. (The latter title was given to him retroactively.)
- Sir Barton was honored in 1950, when all horses who had previously won all three Triple Crown races were retroactively given the Triple Crown title by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations.
- Sir Barton was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1957 and into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1976.
- In Lexington, Kentucky, a street has been named after Sir Barton. Sir Barton Way runs from Winchester Road to Man O´ War Boulevard.
- A memorial commemorating Sir Barton is found in Washington Park, Douglas, Wyoming. This is also where the horse´s remains are buried.
- There is a statue of Sir Barton at Audely Farm.
- At the 100 year anniversary of Sir Barton´s Triple Crown win, University Press of Kentucky published a book about him. The title is “ Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown ”.
Triple Crown race wins
Kentucky Derby (1919)
Preakness Stakes (1919)
Belmont Stakes (1919)
Potomac Handicap (1919)
Withers Stakes (1919)
Maryland Handicap (1919)
Climax Handicap (1920)
Saratoga Handicap (1920)
Dominion Handicap (1920)
Merchants and Citizens Handicap (1920)
Rennert Handicap (1920)
Sir Barton was bred by John E. Madden at Hamburg Place Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. The foaling took place on April 26, 1916. The dam was Lady Sterling and the Sire Star Shoot. Star Shoot was a British stallion, and Sir Barton´s paternal grandsire Isinglass was the 1893 English Triple Crown champion.
Sir Barton´s first racing trainer was William Walkter, a former jockey who had been born a slave in Kentucky back in 1860 and later became a successful horse trainer and adviser.
Sir Barton´s pedigree
|Stella||Brother To Strafford|
|Bourbon Belle||Bonnie Scotland|
Sir Barton started his two-year-old season by doing four races while still owned by John E. Madden. He didn´t perform as well as expected (based on his achievements during training).
In late 1918, the Canadian businessman J.K.L Ross purchased Sir Barton and sent him to be trained by H. Guy Bedwell. Sir Barton only did two races for Ross before the season was over. The last one was the 1918 Belmont Futurity, where Sir Barton finnished runner-up.
Catastrophe struck when a stablemate kicked Sir Barton in the left hind leg and the wound got seriously infected. The infection led to sepsis – a life threatening condition – but Sir Barton managed to pull through, carefully nursed by Bedwell. Because of the illness, Belmont Futurity became Sir Barton´s last race for his two-year-old season.
Winning the 1919 Kentucky Derby
The 1919 Kentucky Derby was Sir Barton´s season debut. He took the lead early in the race and never lost it, and when he won there was a five length distance between him and the runner-up. A total of 12 horses participated in the race. Sir Barton was ridden by Johnny Loftus.
The day after his Kentucky victory, Sir Barton was shipped to Maryland, since the Preakness Stakes take place in Baltimore, Maryland.
Winning the 1919 Preakness Stakes
Sir Barton took the lead early in the race and never lost it. When he won the 1919 Preakness Stakes, he did it with a four length margin.
After the Preakness Stakes, Sir Barton was transported to New York where he was entered into – and won – the Withers Stakes on May 24.
Winning the 1919 Belmont Stakes
The 1919 Belmont Stakes took place on June 11 and the distance was 1 3/8 miles. Not only did Sir Barton win the Belmont Stakes – he also set a new U.S. speed record for 1 3/8 miles on dirt.
The Belmont Stakes victory meant that Sir Barton had won four races in the span of 32 days.
After the Triple Crown
After winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, Sir Barton started in the Dwyer Stakes and finnished runner-up after the stallion Purchase, who had caught up with Sir Barton on the race´s final furlong. After Dwyer Stakes, Sir Barton had to abstain from racing for a while due to a bruised hoof. He then did a number of other races in the 1919 season, with varying success. One of his more notable achievements after his rest was his victory in the Maryland Handicap.
In the 1920 season, Sir Barton did 12 races and won five of them, including the Merchants and Citizens Handicap. Not only did he win that race (carrying 133 lbs), he also set a new world speed record for 1 3/16 on dirt.
After the racing career
Sir Barton was retired from racing in 1921, over fears that it would damage his health to continue. In August that year, he was purchased by Montfort and B.B. Jones and went to live on Audley Farm in Berryville, Virginia. There, he got a second career as a stud. He is the sire of Easter Stocking, the filly who won the 1928 Kentucky Oaks and was crowned 1928 Champion Three Year Old Filly.
In 1932, Sir Barton became a part of the U.S. Army Remount Service and moved to Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Later, the horse breeder J.R. Hylton recieved Sir Barton from the Remount Service and brought him to his ranch in Wyoming.
Sir Barton died of colic on October 30, 1937, and was buried at Hylton´s ranch. Eventually, the remains were moved to Washington Park in nearby Douglas. A memorial has been erected in the park to commemorate Sir Barton.