Widener Handicap

The Widener Handicap at Hialeah Park in Miami, Florida was a Grade I stakes race for Thoroughbred racehorses 4-years-old and up. It was run over a distance of 1¼ miles (10 furlongs). Initially called the Widener Challenge Cup Handicap, the race was named for Hialeah Park owner Joseph E. Widener. It was first raced in 1936 as the East Coast counterpart to the Santa Anita Handicap in California.

The magnificence of the track facilities drew the rich and famous to the track and a purse of $50,000 quickly made the Widener Handicap one of the major events of the winter racing season, drawing many of the country's top horses. The March 16, 1942 TIME magazine said: " nearly every glamor horse in the U.S. was entered in Florida's Widener Handicap, richest race of the winter season." [http://jcgi.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801393,00.html]

The Widener Handicap was a Grade I stakes race won by Hall of Fame horses such as War Admiral, Citation, Armed, Coaltown, Nashua, Bold Ruler and Forego. A life-size statue of Citation was erected in his honor. Compertition from other racetracks in the area and from other entertainment sources plus the advent of the Breeders Cup races in 1984 saw the race decline in popularity to the point where it was reduced to a Grade III stakes. In 2001, financial difficulties spelled the demise of Hialeah Park and with it the Widener Handicap.

Past winners

* 1936 :
* 1937 :
* 1938 : War Admiral
* 1939 : Bull Lea
* 1940: Many Stings
* 1941 : Big Pebble
* 1942 : The Rhymer
* 1943 :
* 1944 : Four Freedoms
* 1945
* 1946 : Armed
* 1947 : Armed
* 1948 : El Mono
* 1949 : Coaltown
* 1950 : Royal Governor
* 1951 : Sunglow
* 1952 : Oil Capitol
* 1953 : Spartan Valor
* 1954 :
* 1955 : Hasty Road
* 1956 : Nashua
* 1957 : Bardstown
* 1958 : Oligarchy
* 1959 : Bardstown
* 1960 : Bald Eagle
* 1961 :
* 1962 : Yorky
* 1963 : Beau Purple
* 1964 : Mongo
* 1965 : Primordial
* 1966 : Pia Star
* 1967 : Ring Twice
* 1968 : Sette Bello
* 1969 : Yumbel
* 1970 : Never Bow
* 1971 : True North
* 1972 : Good Counsel
* 1973 : Vertee
* 1974 : Forego
* 1975 : Forego
* 1976 : Hatchet Man
* 1977 : Yamanin
* 1978 : Silver series
* 1979 : Jumping Hill
* 1980 : Private Account
* 1981 : Land of Éire
* 1982 : Lord Darnley
* 1983 : Swing Till Dawn
* 1984 : Mat Boy
* 1985 : Pine Circle
* 1986 : Turkoman
* 1987 : Launch a Pegasus
* 1988 : Personal Flag
* 1989 : Cryptoclearance
* 1990 :
* 1991 : Sports View
* 1992 :
* 1993 : Honest Ensign
* 1994 : West By West
* 1995 : Party Manners
* 1996 : Mecke
* 1997 : Tejano Run
* 1998 : Frisk Me Now
* 1999 : Golden Missile
* 2000 : Blazing Sword
* 2001 : Albert the Great


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