1920 Lawrence Realization Stakes

In this Charles Christian Cook photograph, lone rival Hoodwink (Eddie Ambrose up) trails Man o’ War (Clarence Kummer up) in Belmont’s Lawrence Realization Stakes on September 4, 1920. With his win, Man o’ War set a record (2:40 4/5) for the mile and five-eighths. 

The first description of the race below is from racing official C. J. Fitzgerald. Also featured are commentary from Turf writer B. K. Beckwith and excerpts from The Sun and New York Herald and the Thoroughbred Record.

 

1920 Lawrence Realization Stakes

"He came through the final stages of the race like some great bird in full flight. His body beautifully poised and his great muscular legs plying with the precision of pistons, the dirt rising in little clouds where his feet had spurned the earth.”

 - C. J. Fitzgerald1

“A good many of those who go to the track on days when Man o’ War is scheduled to start really do not care whether he is confronted with a contest or a mere gallop. They want to see him take those twenty-five foot strides, throw back that grand head of his and move along like nothing else which is animal.”

- The Sun and New York Herald, 19202

“The most astounding display of arrogant annihilation I ever witnessed on a race track was the day Man o’ War won the Lawrence Realization… when he turned for home on that long Belmont Park stretch, collecting as high as a kangaroo, he was one of the most magnificent and appalling sights you ever saw. He was like a big red sheet of flame running before a prairie wind, and every bound he took opened up more daylight.”

- B. K. Beckwith3 

“Samuel D. Riddle’s incomparable Man o’ War has lowered so many records in his brilliant career as a three-year-old that neither times nor rivals seem to mean much to him, but at Belmont Park yesterday he gave what was undoubtedly the greatest exhibition of speed over a considerable distance of ground ever witnessed anywhere. In adding the historic Lawrence Realization Stakes to his numerous victories he shattered the world’s record for a mile and five furlongs, and set a mark that only super-horse can ever equal.”

- Thoroughbred Record, 19204




1. The Field Illustrated (July 1925). “Man o’ War, Turf Idol and Sire”
2. The Sun and New York Herald (September 4, 1920). “High Lights and Shadows in All Spheres of Sport”
3. B. K. Beckwith (1967). Step and Go Together. South Brunswick, New Jersey: A.S. Barnes, p. 58
4. Thoroughbred Record (September 11, 1920). “Man o War Runs 1 5/8 miles in 2:40 4/5”