Man o’ War Regarding his Prototype

Man o' War, with his groom Will Harbut, is pictured regarding a prototype of his statue. Herbert Haseltine was commissioned to create the bronze of Man o’ War that stood at Faraway Farm before its move to the Kentucky Horse Park in 1977.

The accompanying description of Man o’ War’s first race appeared in the March 1960 issue of Turf and Sport Digest. The remarks by racing historian Edward L. Bowen below were published in 2000.


Keeneland Library Archives - Man o' War with Will Harbut looking at statue prototype.jpg

On the afternoon of June 6, 1919, Trainer Louis Feustel saddled a big, powerful, leggy colt for his first race, a maiden dash of five-eighths of a mile over the old straight course at Belmont Park. Johnny Loftus had the mount, and wore the silks of Samuel D. Riddle’s Glen Riddle Farm – black with yellow sash and sleeve hoops.

"Already the imperious colt had attracted attention by his training moves, and he was backed down to 3 to 5 in the betting ring. He was away quickly, reaching out with tremendous strides, and kept getting ‘firster,’ winning by six widening lengths.

"He won all but one of the rest of his starts to become, in the estimation of competent observers, the greatest horse ever to set hoof on an American racetrack.”

- Frank Talmadge Phelps, 19601

“He was voted the best American racehorse of the first half of the 20th century in an Associated Press poll of sports writers in 1950. In 1999, The Blood-Horse magazine convened a panel of racing historians to rank the century’s top hundred horses, and Man o’ War came out on top. The Associated Press also conducted another poll in 1999, and, again, Man o’ War prevailed as the century’s best.”

- Edward L. Bowen, 20002


1. Frank Talmadge Phelps (March 1960). “He Wuz de Mostes’ Hoss,” Turf and Sport Digest
2. Edward L. Bowen (2000). Man o’ War: Thoroughbred Legends No.1. Lexington, Kentucky: Eclipse Press, p. 149

A Retrospective
Man o’ War Regarding his Prototype