The Great U.S. Match: Boston vs. Fashion
The following is an account of one of the earliest and most famous match races in American turf annals, between the great racehorse and sire, Boston, and one of America's best race mares of all-time, Fashion, as described in the popular 19th century journal American Turf Register in the years 1841-42. It was researched and prepared by Will Reed, whose own web site, where this material was previously published, has been retired. Will has allowed us to republish it here.
The South vs. The North
BOSTON'S CHALLENGE TO FASHION ACCEPTED.
| The following letter containing the acceptance of Boston's
challenge to Fashion has been communicated exclusively to
"Spirit of the Times," by the gentleman who made the
match on behalf of the friends of Fashion :- |
The acceptance above was mailed on Tuesday last, the 30th
ult., being the last day of November, according to the terms of
the challenge, and the forfeit on each side has been deposited in
one of the city banks. As the match will be a general topic of
discussion during the winter throughout the country, we have
thought the Sporting World would be obliged to us for an
authentic statement of the several performances of the two
horses, with a brief account of their characteristics, etc. With
this view we have compiled with the utmost care the following
"New York, Nov. 30, 1841. "William R. Johnson,
Esq. : Dear Sir,--The challenge from yourself and
Mr. James Long,to run Boston against Fashion,
Four mile heats, over the Union Course, L. I., agreeable to
the rules of the Course, in Spring 1842, or any day during
the month of May, for $20,000 a side (New York money),
one-half, or one-fourth forfeit, as may be agreeable to the
friends of Fashion--is accepted by me on their behalf. I name
the second Tuesday in May (the 10th), 1842, as the day of the
race ; and $5,000 (or one-fourth) as the amount of forfeit,
which sum has been placed in the hands of J. Prescott Hall,
Esq., President of the New York Jockey Club. The same amount
being received by him from you, the whole forfeit ($10,000)
will be deposited by him in one of the city Banks.
"Yours most respectfully, T."
BOSTON'S PEDIGREE, CHARACTERISTICS, AND PERFORMANCES
Boston was bred by the late John Wickham, Esq., of Richmond,
Va., the eminent jurisconsult, and was foaled in Henrico County,
in 1833. He was got by the celebrated Timoleon out of Robin
Brown's dam (an own sister to Tuckahoe, also bred by Mr. W.) by
Ball's Florizel, her dam by Imp. Alderman, out of a mare by Imp.
Clockfast--her grandam by Symmes' Wildair, etc. Boston was sold
by Mr. Wickham, in his 2 yr. old form to Mr. Nathaniel Rives, of
Richmond , Va., for $800, and was trained in 1836-37, by Capt.
John Blecher, who had charge of one "cavalry corps"
from Col. Johnson's stable, while Aurthur Taylor had another.
Cornelius, a colored lad, was Boston's jockey up to 27th April,
1839. Ever since the Spring campaign of 1838, Boston has been
trained by Arthur Taylor and ridden by Gil. Patrick, until this
Spring when Craig took Gil.'s place, the latter having gone to
Kentucky to ride several important races, all of which he won. In
May, 1839, after the 1st heat of his race against Decatur and
Vashti, Boston was sold to Mr. James Long, of Washington City,
for $12,000 and half of the purse, and he is still owned by Mr.
L. and Col. Wm. R. Johnson, of Petersburg, Va.
Boston is a chestnut , with white stockings on both hind feet,
and a white stripe down the face. In other respects than color
and marks, Boston closely resembles the British phenomeon,
Harkaway. They have alike prodigious depth of chest, and
immensely powerful loins, thighs and hocks. Boston is a trifle
only above 15 1/2 hands high, under the standard , but to the eye
seems taller, owing to his immense substance ; he is a
short-limbed horse, with a barrel rather flat, or
"slab-sided" than round, and well-ribbed home, while
his back is a prodigy of strength; ten pounds extra would hardly
"set him back any." Though he has occasionally sulked,
Boston runs on his courage, and is never ridden with spurs. He is
no beauty, his neck and head being unsightly, while his hips are
ragged, rendering him "a rum 'un to look at;" that he
is "a good 'un to go." however, we imagine will be generally
conceded after reading the the annexed recapitulation of
STARTING THIRTY-EIGHT TIMES, AND WINNING THIRTY-FIVE
RACES--TWENTY-SIX OF THEM AT FOUR MILE HEATS, AND SEVEN AT THREE
MILE HEATS-WINNING ---$49,500
IN THE SPRING(1841), BOSTON STOOD AT CHESTERFIELD,VA. AND
COVERED 42 MARES AT $100 EACH
ADD FOR HIS EARNINGS IN THE BREEDING STUD---$4,200
BOSTON'S WINNINGS AND EARNINGS AMOUNT TO THE ENORMOUS SUM OF
It is due to Boston to state that in his four year old form he was prevented from starting for the large purses offered for Four mile heats, by being in the same stable wiith Atlanta, Lady Clifden, Argyle, and Mary Blunt. And it is no less due to him than to his liberal and high spirited owners to add that from a regard to the best interests of the Turf, they have frequently allowed him to remain in his stable, when by starting him they could have taken the purses without an effort. Boston, after his match with Gano, at Augusta, could have won a Jockey Club purse there, and at Savannah and Charleston. In the spring of 1840, he started but twice, though he could easily have one every four mile purse between Petersburg and Long Island. His owners, in the latter instance, were personally appealed to and consented to send him home from Washington, while one of the Northern proprietors proposed to exclude him from running. Several other occasions might be named on which Boston has been withdrawn from the contest, at the request of the propietors of courses, upon a representation that his entrance would destroy the sport and disappoint the public.
Boston now at the advanced age of eight years, after a racing career of unparalleled severity is still as sound as a dollar, with legs as free from blemish as a 3 yr. old. The field of his brilliant, never-fading victories extends from New York to Georgia, and he has not only beaten, one after another, every horse within his reach, but has challenged all others, offering to meet them on their own ground. Napoleon found a Waterloo and so has Boston, but the latter is beaten not defeated ; like the former it will be found that "he is never more to be feared than in his reverses." When dead amiss he was beaten, it is true ; the race was a splendid one--one of the best ever run in America--but Boston had no part in it; he could not have beaten a cocktail on that occasion, and instead of being backed as usual at "1000 to 300, nineteen times over," his owners, did not lay out a dollar on him ! Since he was taken up this Fall his owners determined to give him a trial to see whether his speed or game had been affected by his services in the breeding stud. An eye-witness of this trial, who went over two hundred miles to see it, has assured us that it was not only the best trial Boston ever made, but it was the best trial ever made over a course which has been trained on for half a century ! Since that event Boston has offered to run four mile heats "against any two horses in the World," for $45,000, which was not accepted, and since his defeat at Camden by Fashion he has challenged her to run him next Spring for $20,000. The winner of this match will richly merit and most assuredly receive the proud title of CHAMPION OF THE AMERICAN TURF ; let us hope, therefore, that each will come to the post in tip top condition, and we may confidently anticipate witnessing the best race without exception ever run in America.
FASHION'S PEDIGREE, CHARACTERISTICS, AND PERFORMANCES
Fashion was bred by WILLIAM GIBBONS,Esq., of Madison, Morris Countv, N.J., where she was foaled on the 26th April, 1837. It would be difficult to sit down over the Stud Book and compile a richer pedigree than her's, and the same remark will apply to Boston. Each is descended from the most eminently distinguished racing families on the side of both sire and dam, that have figured on the Turf for a hundred years. Fashion was got by Mr. Livingston's Imp. Trustee, out of the celebrated Bonnets-o'-Blue by Sir Charles, and she out of Reality-, the very best race horse," says Col. Johnson, " I ever saw." Reality was got by Sir Archy, and her pedigree extends back through the imported horses Medley, Centinel, Janus, Monkey, Silver-Eye, and Spanker, to an imported Spanish mare. Trustee, the sire of Fashion, was a distinguished race horse in England, and sold at 3 yrs. old for 2000 guineas, to the Duke of Cleveland, after running 3d in the race for the Derby of 101 subscribers. He was subsequently imported by Messrs. OGDEN, CORBIN, and STOCKTON. Trustee was foaled in 1829, and was got by Clitton out of Emma by Whisker, and combines the blood of Hermes, Pipator, and Sir Peter, on his dam's side, with that of Penelope by Trumpator, and Prunella by Highflyer, on the side of his sire. Trustee is not a chance horse ; in addition to other winners of his family, in 1835, his own brother, Mundig, won the Derby of 128 subscribers.
Fashion is a rich, satin-coated chestnut, with a star, and a ring of white above the coronet of her left hind foot ; on her right quarter she is marked with three dark spots, like Plenipo, and other "terribly high- bred cattle." She is about 15 1/2 hands high under the standard, rising high on the withers, with a light head and neck, faultless legs, an oblique, well-shaped shoulder, and a roomy, deep, and capacious chest. She has good length of barrel, which is well-ribbed out, and her loins are well-arched and supported by strong fillets. Though finely put up forehanded, her great excellence consists in the muscular developments of her quarters, thighs, and gaskins. As in the greyhound and the hare, the seat of the propelling power in the horse, which enables him to move with a great degree of velocity,is centered in his hind-quarters ; necessarily in proportion to their strength there, will be the impulse which impels the whole mass forward.
Fashion has been trained for all her engagements by Mr. SAMUEL LAIRD, Of Colt's Neck, N.J., and ridden by his son Joseph, the best jockey at the North. Mr. Gibbons, her owner, having been unfortunate with his former trainer (who nearly ruined Mariner in breaking him), and who is opposed to the general plan of training colts at 2 yrs. old, resolved that Fashion should not be taken up until her form had attained a greater degree of maturity ; consequently she was not brought out until the Fall of her 3 yr. old year. Fashion goes with a long rating stroke, gathers well, and moves with the utmost ease to herself; what is rather singular she runs with a loose rein ; she is, true as steel, has a remarkable turn of speed, can be placed any where, and nothing can be finer than her disposition ; a more bloodlike, honest mare was never brought to the post. Being in a public training stable, with Clarion and Mariner,her half brother, both of them winners at Three and four mile heats, Fashion has been compelled, to "take her turn" in running for "the big things," else the amount of her winnings might have been increased as well as the number of :
STARTING, IN THREE TRAININGS, SEVEN TIMES, AND WINNING SIX RACES, ONE AT FOUR, AND TWO AT THREE MILE HEATS,WINNING---$3,800
We have noticed the fact of her not having been trained in the Spring of her 3 yr. old year ; last Spring, too, unfortunately, after her race at Camden she went amiss and was prudently turned out until the Fall, when she came out again and won not only at two and at three mile heats, but at four. Her last race is one of the best, at four mile heats, ever run in the United States. In the only race she ever lost it will be seen that she was beaten by Tyler after winning the 2d heat ; Tyler won the 3d and 4th heats, in the last of which she was 2d, having beaten Trenton (who won the Ist heat) and Telemachus. From the fact of being turned out after this race and of her having since twice beaten John Blount, who easily defeated Tyler in a match for $5000, it is fair to conclude that. on the occasion alluded to she was out of condition. The brilliant reputation she acquired by her last great performance, added to the confident impression everywhere entertained of her surpassing speed and extraordinary powers of endurance, are such, however, as to render quite gratuitous any explanation as to the cause of her having once been defeated.
As Fashion's friends have accepted the match offered by Boston, it is to be hoped that each will come to the post in condition to run for a man's life. Fashion will he trained as usual by Mr. Laird, and Boston by Arthur Taylor ; Joe, no doubt, will throw his leg across the pig skin on the mare, while Gil. Patrick, who has more strength though not, more science or coolness than Craig, will probably be put up again on Boston. The latter being an aged horse (9 yrs. old) will have to carry 126lbs. while the mares appropriate weight being then 5 yrs. old, will be III lbs. No match, THE SOUTH against The NORTH. has been made up at all comparable with this in interest, since that between Eclipse and Henry, which came off over the Union Course on the 27th of May, I823. Each champion has, and is worthy of troops of confident friends, and each is in good hands. Let them come together in good condition--give them a fair field and no favor, and who can name the winner?
In connection with the match between Boston and Fashion it is proper to state that a change has taken place in the propietorship of the Course, over which it is to come off. Capt. Branch, who retires, is succeeded by a gentleman well known as an officer of the N.Y. Jockey Club, and who has been instrumental in getting up this match. Possessed as he is, of the confidence of the Club and the public, with ample means to carry out the extensive improvements suggested by good taste, and a desire to increase the convenience and enjoyment of the guests of the Club, and the community generally, we make no doubt that the Union Course will soon be placed upon a footing of inviting respectability worthy of the Metropolitain City of the Republic. The Club having expired by limitation, at the close of the late meeting, a new one will be organized in the winter, upon a more desirable and firmer basis, when Sweepstakes will be opened and such inducements offered to the stables of distant States as will be calculated to insure their attendance. The usual time of holding the first Spring Meeting, it will be seen, has been changed from the 1st to the 2nd week in May, when the ball of the Jockey Club will be opened by the match between the North and the South. In the meantime, our readers will be kept faithfully apprised of all the movements appertaining to this matter, in which the people of the North generally have lately manifested a degree of interest, quite as unusual as it is praiseworthy and gratifying.
THE FASHION AND BOSTON MATCH RACE
UNION COURSE, LONG ISLAND.
SOUTH BEATEN BY THE NORTH, IN 7:32 1/2-7:45!
The great sectional Match for $20,000 a side, Four mile heats, between The NORTH and the SOUTH, came off on Tuesday, the 10th of May last. Since the memorable contest between Eclipse and Henry, on the 27th of May, 1823, no race, has excited so much interest and enthusiasm. It attracted hundreds of individuals from the remotest sections of the Union, and for months had been the theme of remark and speculation, not only in the Sporting Circles of this country, but in England, where the success of the Northern Champion was predicted! It was a most thrilling and exciting race!-one which throws in the shade the most celebrated of those wonderful achievements which have conferred so much distinction upon the High Mettled Racer of America!
At an early hour on the morning of the race our streets were filled with carriages of all descriptions, wending their way to the Ferries, while thousands upon thousands crossed over to the cars of the Long Island Rail Road Company. After eleven o'clock the conductors found it impossible to convey to the Course the immense crowd which filled and surrounded the cars, though the agents continued to sell tickets after they were fully sensible of the fact! Indeed, from the first, the arrangements of the Company were an imposition! It charged the most extravagant price for the transportation of passengers, and the preparations were in no way equal to the occasion; above all, its agents continued to sell tickets after they knew that several thousand more persons had purchased them than they could transport. A train bearing over
two thousand passengers, did not reach the Course until after the
first heat, and hundreds who had purchased tickets, despairing of reaching the Course on the cars, started on foot and reached it before them. At half-past eleven o'clock there were not less than five thousand persons waiting a conveyance by the cars Brooklyn terminus, all of whom had purchased tickets! The race was a golden harvest to the hack, cab, and omnibus Proprietors. The anxiety to reach the Course was so great, that ten dollars were offered for a standing-up place in a charcoal cart! Having engaged
a carriage the day previous, we were enabled to reach the Course at an early hour. The roads from town were thronged almost the entire distance with a procession of carriages, and frequently with several abreast, all crammed. It would require the pen of the "Troubadour of the Corporation Dirt Carts " to give a description of them. Flatbush wagons and six-penny bone-setters, were jammed in between four-in-hand landaus, fast crabs in match carts, elegant stanhopes, and the superb turn-outs of our wealthy cits. The Communipaw clam-boxes, stylish cabs, and every variety of barouche were inextricably mixed up and jostled by great lumbering omnibusses and thousands of fancy go-carts, wagons, and hackney coaches.
Upon reaching the Course, such a tableau was presented as we never saw before. The field inside of the Course was thronged with carriages and equestrians, while the fences, booths, and trees, were densely covered, so much so, that several accidents occurred from their breaking down. It is stated that there were no less than Six Thousand persons in the stands, and yet there were nearly as many more who could obtain but a partial view of the race, while many could not see it at all ! The number of spectators in attendance, is variously estimated at from FIFTY to SEVENTY THOUSAND!! Among them the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the British Army and Navy, as well as our own, the Bench and the Bar, and the Beauty and Fashion of New York, were all represented. The Ladies' Stand was appropriately graced by the presence of a large, number of the most brilliant of our city belles, who, with hardly an exception, gave the suffrage of their"most sweet voices" to the beautiful daughter of Bonnets of Blue! The enclosed "privileged space" in front of the stands, reserved for the Members of the Jockey Club and Strangers (who were charged $10 for admission,without distinction!) was thronged Turfmen, Breeders, amateurs! At one o'clock, however, owing to the want of an efficient police, and their inability to see the race, more than a thousand persons climbed over the pickets, from the field into the enclosed space while a mob on the outside tore down a length of fence, and stove through a door in the stand, and swarmed into the cleared space. For a time it seemed impossible for the match to take place at all! A crowd of loafers made a rush up the stairs leading to the Club Stand, but they were summarily ejected. At length Yankee Sullivan, Jeroloman, and several other distinguished members of the Fancy, undertook to clear the course, which they did in an incredibly short time, by organizing a party of their friends, who formed in line, with clasped hands, quite across the space, and marched from one end to the other, thereby driving outside of the gate every person without a badge. Of course there were among this mob several ugly customers, but Yankee Sullivan had only to "let fly with his right," or Jeroloman give any one of them "a teaser on his smeller," to fix his business! On the whole, the mob conducted themselves very well under the circumstances; the great majority were in perfectly good humor, and had the proprietors taken the precaution to paint the tops of the pickets with a thick coat of tar, and engage a strong body of police, no such disgraceful scene would have occurred.
The race commenced about two o'clock. For more than a quarter of a mile in
front of the stands, the spectators ranged on the side of the Course and of the field, presented one dense mass of thousands, through which the horses ran the gauntlet. The Course itself, owing to the rain of the previous Sunday night, was not deemed quite so well adapted for speed as upon some other occasions; still it was in fine order. The prospect of the weather in the morning was unfavorable, but though at ten o'clock there was a slight sprinkling of rain, it soon cleared off. The day was warm and pleasant, but with scarce a glimpse of the sun.
The betting on Monday evening was a shade in Boston's favor. Before the race came off, however, his friends were obliged, in order to get on their money, to lay 100 to 60, and in some cases 2 to 1. We never saw so little money bet on a race here of any importance; of heavy betting we did not hear of a solitary transaction, though the backers of each were sanguine.
Having previously given in this magazine complete Memoirs of the rival Champions [vide pages 682-7, vol. xii., and pages 90-8 of the present vol.,] with their pedigrees, characteristics and performances, in detail, we have only to speak of their condition. Both stripped well ; Boston, to our eye, was drawn unusually fine, his coat looked and felt like satin. His trainer (Arthur Taylor) thought he required more "seasoning" to make a bruising race ; but every one else considered him to be in superb condition. For some weeks previous to the Match, Fashion's friends were very apprehensive that she had thrown
out a curb but as she was not in the slightest degree lame, we are inclined to think the prominent and unslightly mark on her leg proceeded from a bruise. It was blistered last Fall as a curb. In other respects she was brought to the post in condition to run for a man's life. She was admirably trained,and managed in the race, by Mr. Laird ; while ,his son Joseph no less distinguished himself as her jockey. Boston's running was, of course directed by Col. Johnson ; he was, ridden by Gil. Patrick in his usual superb style, and the first heat without a spur! The jockies having received their orders
mounted, and had their, girths taken up another hole, brought their horses up in fine style without any assistance whatever from their trainers, and were off with a running start for The First Heat
Boston-Fashion Match Race
First Heat-Boston, on the inside, went away with the lead at a rattling pace, the mare laying up, within two lengths of him down the straight run on the back stretch ; the half mile was run in 55 seconds. The same position was maintained to the end of the mile (run in 1:53), but soon after Fashion made play and the pace improved. Both made strong running down the back stretch, over the hill (opposite the half mile post) and down the slight descent which succeeds, and though this seemed favorable ground for Boston the mare gained on him, at this place, in this mile, and placed herself well up. Boston threw her off on the turn, and led through clear, running this mile in 1:50 1/2. The pace seemed too good to last, and Boston's friends, as he led cleverly down the back stretch, were "snatching and eager" to take anything offered. Again Boston led through, this mile (the 3rd) being run in 1:54, Fashion keeping him up to the top of his rate. The contest was beautiful and exciting beyond description ; there was no clambering, no faltering, no dwelling, on the part of either; each ran with a long rating stroke, and at a pace that kills. Soon after commencing the fourth mile, Joe Laird shook his whip over her head, and gave Fashion an eye-opener or two with the spur, and not a hundred yards from the ground where Boston took the track from Charles Carter, she collared and passed him in half a dozen strokes, at a flight of speed we never saw equalled, except in the desperate rush at the stand between Grey Medoc and Altorf, in their dead heat! When Fashion responded, to the call upon her, and took the track in such splendid style, the cheers sent up from the "rude throats" of thousands might have been heard for miles! Fashion made her challenge after getting through the drawgate, and took the lead opposite the quarter mile post. Boston, however, like a trump ; as he is, did not give back an inch, and though it was manifest the Northern Phenomenon had the foot of him he gave her no respite. He lapped her down the back stretch for three hundred yards, when Gil. Patrick very sensibly took a strong bracing pull on him, and bottled him up for a desperate brush up the hill, where Eclipse passed Henry. Here Gil.again let him out, but unfortunately he pulled him inside so near the fence, that Boston struck his hip against a post, and hitting a sharp knot or a nail, cut through the skin on his quarter for seven or eight inches! He struck hard enough to jar himself very much, and we observed him to falter but he soon recovered, and though at this moment Fashion led him nearly three lengths, he gradually closed the gap round the turn to within a few feet. At this moment the excited multitude broke through all restraint in their anxiety to witness the termination of the heat, and the course was nearly blocked up! on coming out through a narrow gauntlet of thousands of spectators, excited to the highest pitch, both horses very naturally faltered at the tremendous shouts which made the welkin[sky;heavensweb.note] ring! Up the quarter stretch Gil. made another desparate effort to win the race out of the fire. He applied his thong freely, while Joe Laird drew his whip on the mare more than once, and tapped her claret at the same time. Inside of the gate it was a "hollow thing," though Boston nearly closed the gap at the distance stand, as Gil. fairly caught Joe by surprise, but at this critical moment a friend of Fashion shouted to Joe to "rouse up the mare !-Boston's on you !" when he gave her the spur and a severe cut with his thong. True as steel Fashion responded to the call! She instantly recovered her stride, and came in about a length ahead, with apparently something in hand to spare, closing the heat in 7:32 1/2 the fastest, by all odds, ever run in America!
The time was kept on the Jockey Club Stand by Messrs. Robert L. and James Stevens, and in the Judges' Stand by Senator Barrow, of Louisiana, Hon. Mr. BOTTS, of Virginia, and J. HAMILTON WILKES,Esq., the official Timers and Judges of the race. We took the time each mile from the Messrs. S., between whom we stood. Mr. S. NEILL,Maj. Ringgold, U. S. A., and other gentlemen of acknowledged accuracy as timers stood in the same circle, and there was but a fraction of difference in the time each declared. Messrs. S. made the time 7:33, but as they kept the time of he half, and in some cases of the quarter, miles, their difference of but half a second from the Timers in the Judges' Stand demonstrates the remarkable accuracy of the parties.
The result of the heat was the more astonishing to a few of Boston's friends, as no one ever supposed Fashion could make this time, though she might beat him. We were prepared to expect the best time on record, not only from the fact that we had been informed of the result of Fashion's private trial on the 25th April, but from a circumstance which we shall be excused, we trust, for alluding to here. After retiring to our room at the Astor House on Monday night, at a late hour, we had the pleasure of a "domiciliary visit" from Mr. Long, the owner of Boston, and several mutual friends. The "party" were attired in costumes that would be esteemed somewhat unique out of the circle of the Marquis of Waterford's friends, who ride steeple chases in their shirts and drawers! Nevertheless, there was no lack of fun nor spirit ; in the course of an interesting "horse talk," Mr. Long gave us several "items," one of which was that Boston would run the first heat, "sure," in 7:34! Said Mr. L., "He will run the first mile in about l:53, the second in 1:52, the third in 1:54, "and the fourth in 1:55" After he retired we made a memorandum of the time as a curiosity after the race. And we refer to it now to show that, though beaten by the Northern Phenomenon, the valiant Boston amply sustained all the expectations formed of him from his trials and previous performances. He not only made vastly better time than he ever did before, but better time than ever had been made! --time that quite eclipses the most wonderful achievements on the American Turf! The vaunted performances of the Southern "cracks" at New Orleans are almost thrown in the shade, wonderful as they are! Had any one offered to beat the time of Eclipse and Henry on the Union Course, 3 to 1 would have been laid against it ; or had the friends of Boston been assured that he could run, as Mr. Long told us he could, in 7:34, his friends would have staked a million of dollars upon his winning the Match. For the first two miles Boston, in the opinion of many shrewd judges, had the foot of the mare, and it is thought that had he trailed her as he did Charles Carter, the result of the first heat might have been different. But what shall be said of the incomparable Daughter of Trustee and Bonnets o' Blue? Too much cannot be said of her, or of her jockey. She ran as true as steel, as game and honest a race as was ever recorded of a High Mettled Racer!
Both horses cooled out well. Boston always blows tremendously, even after a gallop, but he seemed little distressed. Neither was Fashion, her action is superb, and as she came through on the fourth mile, it was remarked that she was playing her ears as if taking her exercise. She recovered sooner than Boston, and though her friends now offered large odds on her, Boston's were no less confident; the seventh mile they thought, would "fetch her." We should not have been surprised to have seen both swell over the loins, nor to have found them greatly distressed. We examined them carefully after the heat, and state with great pleasure, that though they "blowed strong," they recovered in a few minutes, and came to the post again comparatively fresh. After the heat was over, the crowd rushed into the enclosed space en masse; an endeavor was made to clear a portion of the track of the multitude who had now taken possession of it, and after great exertions a line was formed through which the horses came up for the
Second HeatFashion led off with a moderate stroke, and carried on the running down the back stretch with a lead of about three lengths. After making the ascent of the hill Boston challenged, closed the gap, and lapped her. A tremendous shout arose on all hands at this rally, but as it subsided on the part of Boston's friends, it was again more tumultuously caught up by the friends of the mare, as she outfooted him before reaching the head of the quarter stretch. She came through (in 1:59) three or four lengths ahead, and kept up her rate down the entire straight stretch on the rear of the Course. After getting over the hill, Boston, as before, made a rush, and succeeded in collaring the mare, while she, as before, again threw him off, and led through by two or three lengths, in 1:57. Gil. relieved his horse for the next six hundred yards, but instead of waiting for Fashion to ascend the hill at the half mile post alone, he called on Boston just before reaching it, and the two went over it nearly together; no sooner had they commenced the descending ground, than gathering all his energies for a final and desperate effort, Boston made a dash, and this time he succeeded in taking the track! The scene which ensued we have no words to describe. Such cheering, such betting, and so many long faces was never seen nor heard before. After being compelled to give up the track, Joe Laird, with the utmost prudence and good sense, took his mare in hand, and gave her time to recover her wind. This run took the shine out of Boston! Instead of pulling him steadily, and refreshing him with a slight respite, Gil.
Patrick kept him at this work after he took the track, and ran this mile (the third) in 151 1/2! The pace was tremendous! Nothing short of limbs of steel and sinews of catgut could stand up under such a press! On the first turn after passing the Stand, Fashion, now fresh again, rallied, and as Boston had not another run left in him, she cut him down in her stride opposite the quarter Milepost, and the thing was out! The race, so far as Boston was concerned, was past praying for! If anything can parallel Fashion's turn of speed it is her invincible game. She now gradually dropped him, and without another effort on his part to retrieve the fortunes of the day, she came home a gallant and easy winner in 7:45 ! Boston pulled up inside of the Distance Stand, and walked in! As she came under the Judges' cord extended across the Course, Boston was exactly sixty yards behind, though he could have placed himself in a better position had Gil. called upon him. As Joe Laird rode Fashion back to the Stand, the shouts were so deafening, that had not the President of the Club and another gentleman held on to her bridle, she would have not only "enlarged the circle of her aquaintance" very speedily, but "made a mash" of some dozen of "the rank and file" then and there assembled. She looked as if another heat would not "set her back any."
TUESDAY, May 10, 1842. Match, THE NORTH vs. THE SOUTH, $20,00O a side,
$5000 ft. Four mile heats.
Henry K. Toler's (William Gibbons') ch. M. Fashion, by Imp. Trustee
out of Bonnets o' Blue (Mariner's dam) by Sir Charles, 5 yrs...111 lbs
Jockey.................................... Joseph Laird. 1 1
Col. Wrn. R. Johnson's & James Long's ch. h. Boston, by Timolean
out of Robin Brown's dam by Ball's Florizel, 9 yrs.............126 lbs
Jockey.................................... Gil. Patrick. 2 2
First Heat. |
Time of First mile- - 1:53
" " Second mile - 1:50 1/2
" " Third mile- - 1:54
" " Fourth mile - 1:55
Time of First Heat - 7:32 1/2
| Time of First mile- 1:59
| " " Second mile 1:57
| " " Third mile- 1:51 1/2
| " " Fourth mile 1:57 1/2
| Time of Second Heat 7:45
And thus did The North settle its account with The South for the victory achieved by BASCOMBE over POST BOY! It was a magnificent race-one which will be remembered by every one who witnessed it "while memory holds her seat!" Though beaten, it is conceded on all hands that Boston has acquired a more "vast reknown" by this wonderful race than by his Thirty-five previous victories combined! He is worth more since than he was before the Match."All that can be said is, that Boston has beaten himself, and Fashion has beaten Boston!" The spirit of his owners on this as upon a like memorable occasion in May, 1823, is worthy of them and of the old Dominion. Of one of them it has been well said, that, "like another Napolean, he is never more to be feared than in his reverses!" |
In congratulating each other upon the brilliant triumph by the Northern
Champion --now the Champion of the American Turf-- let no one forget to do honor to those whose admirable skill and judgment The North is mainly indebted for its victory! To Mr. Samuel Laird, the trainer and manager of Fashion, and to his fine spirited son, who jockied her in a style that would have conferred credit upon Jem Robinson, too much credit cannot be given. Nor let us forget that to the gallant Boston we are indebted for ascertaining the indomitable game and surpassing speed of our Champion! What else could have displayed it in such bold and beautiful relief? Arthur Taylor brought him to the post in the very finest condition, and Gil. Patrick, his jockey, rarely distinguished himself more than upon this occasion. Most of our contemporaries state that he rode with spurs. He wore but one and that only in the second heat.
It is peculiarly gratifying to ourselves, though we have the pleasure of numbering all the parties among our personal frends, that Mr. Gibbons, the owner of Fashion, is among the oldest, most staunch and most generous of the number. Unfortunately he was prevented from witnessing the race in consequence of an accident which for some time has confined him at home. In his absence, another tried friend, Walter Livingston, Esq., the owner of Trustee, (the sire of Fashion,) was congratulated on all hands ; he has never doubted Fashion's success from the first. Nor should it go unrecorded that Col. Johnson was by no means forgotten in the general outburst of congratulation. He " sold the stick which broke his own head," and make no mistake, for after breeding Bonnets O' Blue from his own Reality and Sir Charles, and running her with great success, he parted with her to Mr. Gibbons, who bred from her a filly which has beaten the best horse Col. J., has ever had in his stable since the days of his favorite Reality, the renowned grandam of Fashion herself!
At the Jockey Club Dinner, after the Match, Mr. Long offered to run Boston against Fashion, for $20 000, and $5,000 forfeit, Four Mile heats, at any time to be agreed upon by the parties between the 25th of September and the 25th of October next.
He also authorized us to state (in an Extra issued from this office on the evening of the race,) that he would bet $1000 he won with Boston the regular Jockey Club Purse, Four mile heats on Friday, on the Union Course, -$1000 that Boston won the J. C. Purse at Trenton, and $1000 that Boston won the J. C. Purse at Camden, the week following!
Subsequent Impressions of the Race
Now that the Great Match is over, and people have recovered somewhat from the fierce excitement and enthusiasm consequent upon the event - now that they can reflect dispassionately upon all the facts in the case, and soberly discuss the incidents attendant upon it, we propose to review some of its leading features. But we must premise before entering upon the subject, that on, the friday following his Match with Fashion, Boston beat Mariner, (her half brother) on the course, at four mile heats, in 8:13-7:46-7:58 1/2, Mariner winning the first heat. B.resigned the Jockey Club Purse at Trenton to his stable companion, Cassandra, who beat beat Mariner there, the following week won the Jockey Club Purse at Camden, beating Treasurer! To go back to the Match. It is surprising that so little money changed hands upon the race, as both parties were sanguine. From his trials, Col. Johnson, and Arthur Taylor, his trainer, knew that Boston could beat the time of Eclipse and Henry with ease! Of course they supposed the Match was an open-and-shut affair! Mr. Long, the night before the race, informed us of the time of each mile in which Boston would run the first heat if called upon, making 7:34 --better time than was on record! What is singular enough, Boston ran three of the
miles exactly the time Mr. L. assured us he would, and the other mile he ran faster(by a second and a half)! And yet he lost the heat! Had Boston's friends been assured that he could run the first heat in 7:34 and repeat it in 7:45, thousands of individuals would have laid out upon him every dollar that they could raise ! Every friend of Old Whitenose would have been flat broke! The friends of Fashion, too, had they been aware of the time of her trial on tbe, 25th of April, would have laid out half a million of dollars upon her! But five or six, persons, however, knew of her time; three gentlemen interested in the Match were of the number. They had " a sure thing," as they supposed, and they kept it close. Heretofore, in almost every match, W. M'Coun, of Long Island, has contrived to be in the secret of both stables, as much as if he slept under the muzzles of the horses; but the Fashion party were a little too cute, this time, for even Willett himself! Quite a number of Fashion's friends won about $1500 each, though but one, that we have heard of, "gobbled up " the thousands! As many Southerners won upon the mare as Northerners, probably. The greatest amount lost by any one gentleman on Boston was $10,000 and a few hundreds, by one of his owners. As the same gentleman has won above $50,000 upon him, the loss does not "set him back any!" He is ready, able, and anxious, for "another show!" and for a like amount!
Considerable discussion has taken place since the Match as to which horse had the most speed, but as Boston's friends claim it for him, and many of Fashion's concede the point, we assume it as a fact that Boston was able to outfoot the mare in the first heat. He was trained to run ahead, and accordingly he went off from the score in the first heat at the top of his rate. (Cassandra, Mr. Long's Priam mare, Blue Dick, by Margrave, two of the fastest horses in the Union, were his trial nags.) Had he trailed,
Fashion as he did Charles Carter very possibly he would have won the first heat, though he probably would have lost the race. We are glad now that he did not trail the mare, for had he done so she would have pulled to him (such, were Mr. Laird's orders), and the first mile would not have been run under two minutes, and the heat somewhere in the vicinity of 7:38; -- we shoul yet be comparatively in the dark as to the remarkable racing powers of the two horses. Boston's only drawback was declared on the morning of the race by his trainer;--Arthur said, and truly, that he wanted seasoning ; the old horse had plenty of foot, but his flesh was not hard enough, nor his muscles firm enough, to enable him to hold his own heel of a hard race.
The principal official timer was the Hon. Mr. Botts, of Virginia; he made the time of the first heat 7:32 1/2, while the Messrs. Stevens made it 7:33. Instead of 7:32 1/2, the time of the first heat would have been 7:31, but for the fact that both horses, and Fashion especially, faltered in running the gauntlet through a narrow lane between ten thousand excited spectators, reaching from the head of the quarter stretch to the Stand! Twice the mare was inclined to balk! Between the head of the stretch and the Distance Stand Boston made up a gap of several lengths, and he would have won the heat as it was, had not Joe Laird given Fashion a furious stab with his spurs, and drawn his whip on her! The course and weather were not so well adapted for making quick time as on any other day during the week.
Gil. Patrick labored under serious disadvantage in riding the race. He was obliged to whip Boston on the near side, to keep him off the fence, and to have his thong attached to his left wrist instead of his right. Notwithstanding all his efforts to guard against it Boston did hit the fence in running the fourth mile, and though he may not have sulked in consequence in finishing the heat, he certainly did in the second heat, from that or some other cause. Gil. rode the first heat without a spur, though our contemporaries, in their reports, talk continually of his spurring and goring the old horse, and of his "bloody flanks." In the second heat Col. Johnson ordered Gil. to put on one, very much against the wishes of Arthur Taylor and Mr. Long; their objection was overruled, as, said Col. Johnson, "he is not obliged to use it." But Arthur and Mr. L. felt a great degree of assurance that Gil.'s spur would excite little viciousness of Boston's disposition, and possibly induce him to sulk. It is, recorded of one of the horses of Sir Tregonwell Frampton, the "Father of the English Turf," that in running a match in which he was beaten after a very severe and close race, he actually laid hold of his competitor with his teeth, as the latter was in the act of passing him, and endeavored in this way to prevent his reaching the winning post ahead! Whether Boston acted from a similar impulse we cannot say, but it is certain that when Fashion, was in the act of passing him, he snapped at her twice, and bit her smartly in the second attempt! In his race, three days subsquently, with Mariner, Boston bit him severely on his flank, as he was passing, and came very near nipping a piece out of Joe Laird's leg! Joe has hardly got over his fright to this day!
Boston's race with Mariner, on Friday, we regard one of the most remarkable events recorded in the Annals of the Turf. That he should, after two days' rest only, come out again, after a performance so unparalleled as that on Tuesday, and win a second four mile heat in 7:46, and a third in 7:58 1/2, he proves him to be decidely the best horse we have ever had on the American Turf! He was, of course, very sore, and in the first heat would not extend himself. Indeed Col. Johnson started him only at Mr. Long's earnest desire. But what is no less surprising, Boston ran his eleventh and twelfth miles on Friday in less time than he ran his seventh and eighth miles on Tuesday!-that is, in 3:48! If beaten himself, Boston's twenty miles in three days, quite eclipses any performance on record! In regarding him as the most remarkable horse on the Turf we do not detract from Fashion. Boston, before his Match, was properly regarded as " the foremost horse of all this world." He had started Thirty-eight times and known but three defeats-none of which tarnished his laurels-and he had won in Purses and Stake's the enormous sum of Forty-nine Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ! Fashion, on the contrary, had started but seven times losing but once, and though public expectation was greatly excited in her favor, by her race with John Blount, no one expected her to turn out to be the PHENOMENON she has proved herself! And really and truly she is a phenomenon. Months ago we claimed her to be the very best mare ever bred North of the Potomac! We now claim her to be the very best mare, by all odds, ever bred in the United States!
The Richmond " Whig," in publishing the "Spirit of the Times" Extra, issued from this office on the evening of the Match, remarks to the following effect:--
" We do not understand the second beat. Boston took the track from Fashion in the third mile, and lost it again in the fourth. This might not be wonderful in respect to any other horse-but as to Boston, it is surprising beyond measure. It is out of all character with the reputation he has won in many a hard fought field. It has been his boast, that the more he ran, the faster he ran. He was always fleeter in the twelfth mile than in the fourth-and so remarkable was he for his unfathomable bottom and increasing speed, that we have heard it said of him, that if he were kept running, he would become invisible. No trial had ever tested his bottom and speed combined. And yet, after losing the fourth Mile by a hand's breadth, we find him fifty yards in the rear in the eighth mile-when, according to all precedent, he should have been one hundred yards in advance.
"The matter needs explanation.And when explained, we are not certain that we shall be awhit better satisfied than we are now. We cannot be brought to contemplate, with any degree of composure, the defeat of that noble steed- the loss of laurels gloriously won, and the bitter anguish which must rend his proud bosom. The sorrow which Achilles' immortal steeds expressed for Patroclus slain was not at all comparable to the intense agony experienced by this absolute Monarch of the Turf, at the sight of a contemptible little animal, whom in his soul he must have despised, passing the Judges' Stand ahead of him, and in despite of his utmost exertions. It was enough to break his Mighty heart!"
We can explain why" Boston took the track from Fashion in the
3rd mile and lost it again in the 4th." In the first place he wanted seasoning,-Fashion had the advantage of him in condition as well as in ability to keep up her stride. Before the start Arthur thought Boston would not run on improving,as usual. In the 2d place, Boston sulked! Does not his race with Mariner prove this? Notwithstanding his soreness consequent upon his tremendous race on Tuesday, he ran his 19th and 20th miles in less time on Friday than his 7th and 8th miles, when perfectly fresh, three days before!
It should be stated that the gallant veteran had nearly or quite lost the use of one eye before the Match, from hard work, and that his other eye, from sympathy, was seriously affected. Moreover, having been one season in the stud, being nine years old, being ridden for first time for years with a spur, and having, in striking against the fence, in the 1st heat, cut a gash of eight inches long on his quarter, it is not at all surprising that he should have sulked!
In the first heat of his race with Mariner, Boston would not run at all! In the third heat his 11th and 12th miles were run in 3:48! Nor would he have won the second, probably, but for the following circumstance. Mariner led him on the 4th mile several lengths as he swung into the quarter stretch, where Gil. made play with him, and before reaching the drawgate he had closed the gap and lapped Mariner. Here Boston hung, and as they passed the gate, one of Boston's rubbers--a stout, stalwart, black fellow--walked up close to him, and giving him a shout,-threw his cap at him with all his might! Whether it was the familiar threatening voice of his stable campanion, or the fright from the cap, we do not know, but we do know that Boston's stride, until he was clear ahead of Mariner, was twenty-three feet! Such a burst of speed for sixty yards has not been seen since he cut down Charles Carter! It was a prodigious effort! One gentleman, in the Club Stand, who had laid $400 to $60 on him, had told the stakeholder to pay over the money, and was leaving the Stand when the tremendous cheering, caused him to take another look at the horses, and to his astonishment, he found that in the course of a few seconds-- in an incredibly short time-- Boston, instead of being dead beat was winning at his ease like a trump! Perhaps "he" didn't join in the shouts which rent the air ! After the second heat, and while they were running the third, the odds were ridiculous. A friend of ours held two bets of $100 vs.$1, while in one instance we knew $100 to be put up againist twenty-five cents!
If Boston was sore on the Friday after the Match, he was not so alone. We saw Fashion on Thursday, and Mr. Laird was kind enough to have her stripped and led out for us. She was stiff and sore, though she had recovered finely from her race. She is a beautiful mare and but that her hair is somewhat harsh and long, she would be as handsome as Fanny, the Champion of South Carolina. Mariner's coat, on tbe contrary, is unusually soft and satin-like. It is proper to state here that Mr. Gibbons, her owner, wrote Mr. Laird that whether Fashion won or lost the match, he desired him to send her home after the race. She was accordingly sent home on the Saturday afterwards, to be thrown out, of course very much to the regret of Mr. Laird and her numerous friends, not less so to the owners Boston. But for this determination Mr. L. would have started her again against Boston at Trenton or Camden. Will not the two still rival champions "meet again at Phillippi!"
As is 1823, when Col. Johnson lost his Match with Henry against Eclipse, he carried off every Jockey Club Purse! offered during the meeting, Tyler winning at two mile heats, Cassandra as three mile heats, and Boston at four mile heats! His stable has won every purse, save one, offered at Trenton and at Camden, including a Match for $2000, P. P.!! As the acknowledged leader of our Southern competitors, The North has been obliged to "acknowledge the corn" to him, in the cases of Trifle, of Bascombe, and several others. But "the vast renown we've gained by conquering" two such "Richards" as Henry and Boston, will inspirit him, to "deeds of high emprise," that will be apt to "fright the soul's of fearful adversaries."
We directed attention in a previous paragraph to those to whose skill, tact, and admirable judgment, The North was mainly indebted for its Victory. And we alude to it now to add, that owing to the exertions of the President of the Ciub, Joe Laird is worth several hundred dollars more than he was before he rode the winner of "the best race ever run in America!", By previous agreement, Mr. Laird, the trainer of Fashion, was paid $1000. We are told that Fashion is the easiest mare to ride, that young Laird ever threw his leg over; she can be placed anywhere, is as kind and gentle as a lady's palfrey, whether you wish her to "take the lead and keep it" or run a trailing race, she is equally "on hand," ready at any moment to respond, to any call upon her. Instead of running under a bracing pull, she goes with a loose rein, like a shuffling pony, and is guided as easily. Remarkable as her turn of speed is allowed to be, it is surpassed by her indomitable game; a more enduring, honest mare, never looked through a bridle.
Let it not be supposed that in consequence of the loss of the Match "the familiars" of Boston were forgotten. Had not our old friend Arthur Taylor, come on with him disguised under a new hat, we should have been more sanguine of his success. He brought him to the post in superb condition though he confessed that the horse was short of work; other trainers and many of the friends of Boston, on the contrary, considered him too low; they thought he had shrunk very much since he ran here last, and he was evidently drawn finer than ever before. Gil. Patrick rarely distinguished himself more than in this race; he jockied his horse-- always a very difficult one to ride-- with consummate skill and coolness and a gallant British Officer present, well known on the Turf at home and in Canada, assured us that the exhibition of Gil. Patrick and Laird would have done credit to Bill Scott or Jem Robinson-- that it was worthy of the top sawyers of Newmarket and Doncaster. Mr. Long, with his characteristic liberality, presented Gil. Patrick with $500 as his own private contribution, nor was he forgotten in other quarters. His half of the $500 purse won by Cassandra, Mr. Long also distributed among the rubbers and boys in Bostons stable. Such spirit and generosity deserves success!
Boston has now won, at four mile heats alone, Twenty-eight times, and has netted his owners in stakes, purses, etc., the enormous sum of $55,000! This amount, added to the Long odds won upon his Thirty-seven winning races by "the Boston Party," exceeds $100,000! How long the gallant veteran will continue to run, Heaven only knows. His legs are as sound as a colt's, and Arthur Taylor says that his two four mile races since the Match have "seasoned" him for a tremendous contest. At the Camden Meeting Mr. Long made the following proposition :--He would run Boston vs. Fashion, four mile heats, this Fall, at Camden, for $20,000 even! Or he would take $25,000 to $20,000 and run the Match on Long Island, or lay $25,000 to $20,000 if Fashion would meet him at Petersburg! In all probability the two rival Champions will meet again this Fall, and we hope they may not only come to the post in the very highest possible condition, but that we may again "be there to see!"