Mad Hatter (horse)

Thoroughbred racehorse infobox
horsename = Mad Hatter


caption =
sire = Fair Play
grandsire = Hastings
dam = Mad Cap
damsire = Rock Sand
sex = Stallion
foaled = 1916
country = USA flagicon|USA
colour = Dark Brown
breeder = August Belmont, Jr.
owner = Rancocas Stable
trainer = Sam Hildreth
record = 41:
earnings = $70,290
race = Bellerose Stakes (1918)
Pimlico Autumn Handicap (1919)
Minneola Handicap (1919)
Latonia Championship Stakes (1919)
Yorktown Handicap (1920)
Bowie Handicap (1920)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1921-22)
Metropolitan Handicap (1921-22)
Toboggan Handicap (1923)
Suburban Handicap (1924)
Queens County Handicap (1924)
awards= U.S. Champion Older Male Horse (1921)
honours =
updated= September 20, 2006

Mad Hatter (foaled 1916 in Kentucky) was an American-bred Thoroughbred stallion racehorse. Bred by August Belmont, Jr., he was sired by the great Fair Play, which made him a half brother to Man o' War, out of another Rock Sand mare, Mad Cap. He was foaled one year earlier than Man o'War and a full brother to Belmont Stakes winner, Mad Play.

Trained by Sam Hildreth and ridden most of the time by the great jockey, Earl Sande, Mad Hatter was known as much for his erratic temperament as for his racing ability. Sande was one of the few jockeys that understood Mad Hatter, especially in his later years.

Late to mature, Mad Hatter was lightly raced and won the Bellerose Stakes as a two year old.

At three he won the Minneola Handicap easily, having only been to the post twice before and never at more than a mile. Then he lost to Sir Barton in the Maryland Handicap at Laurel Park Racecourse, placing a disheartening second after running killer fractions of :22 and two, and :46 and three. Sir Barton beat him by two lengths.

After winning the inaugural Latonia Championship Stakes over a muddy track by 8 lengths, Mad Hatter went on to Pimlico Race Course in November in the Pimlico Autumn Handicap, beating his rival Sir Barton who placed a distant third, twelve lengths behind him.

In his next race, the Saratoga Handicap, again against Sir Barton and Exterminator, he got into a speed duel with The Porter, and placed last.

It wasn't until 1921 that Mad Hatter came into his own. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Metropolitan Handicap and was named U.S. Champion Older Male Horse.

Mad Hatter continued to win graded stakes races as a campaigner with a repeat win of the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 1922, the Toboggan Handicap in 1923, and the Suburban and Queens County Handicaps in 1924.

Retirement

Fertility problems were reported for Mad Hatter and his brother, Belmont Stakes winner Mad Play, was completely sterile. However out of 177 foals, Mad Hatter did sire 23 graded stakes winners such as The Nut, Cocked Hat, Cresta Run, and the champion filly, Snowflake.

Resources

* [http://www.pedigreequery.com/mad+hatter Pedigree & Part Stats]
* [http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/FairPlay.html TB Heritage Fairplay - Mad Hatter]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9904EFDB123AE03ABC4850DFBF668382609EDE&oref=slogin NY Times Mad Hatter Minneola]


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