Horse Racing: John Henry, the American thoroughbred racehorse
Sired by Ole Bob Bowers, the thoroughbred racehorse was foaled on the 9th of March 1975. The brown gelding was bred by the Golden Chance Farm and owned by Dotsam Stable. John Henry won a couple of major races in the United States under the training
of Robert Donato, Lefty Nickerson and Ron McAnally.
The racehorse was sold at Keenland January Mixed sale, while he was still a yearling for $ 1100. He was bought by John Calloway, who also gave the colt his name. Due to a flaw in his knee, and being plainly bred, the undersized racehorse was one of those
who only contended minor stakes, allowance races and mid-level claiming races. The most significant race that John Henry contended was the one that took place on the 8th of August 1978 at the Saratoga Race Course. This particular race was contended
by two Hall of Fame horses. John Henry was the second place finisher in this event, behind Darby Creek Road who finished the 7 furlong race in a track record time of 1 minute and 20 2/5 seconds.
John Henry then went on to contend other stakes and handicap races. His first major win was bagged by him at the age of five when he emerged victorious from the Hialeah Turf Cup Handicap (1980). He was then sent out to run at the 1980 San Gabriel Handicap
in which he gave a brilliant performance and won the race. The same racing season, she also won the Oak Tree Turf Championship, Hollywood Invitational Handicap and the San Luis Rey Handicap. On the basis of these major wins, John Henry was adorned with the
United States Champion Turf Horse 1980.
Next racing season, at the age of six, John Henry once again displayed his talent and potential at its best. The first race that was won by the thoroughbred racehorse was the Oak Tree Turf Championship (1981). He then went on to win the Hollywood Invitational
Handicap (1981), San Luis Rey Handicap (1981), Santa Anita Handicap (1981) and Arlington Handicap (1981). The most significant race won by the colt that racing season was the Jockey Club Gold Cup. This year was particularly very important for John Henry, since
he was awarded the most prestigious titles of American Horse Racing. These include the United States Champion Older Male Horse (1981). Moreover, he was also adorned with the United States Champion Turf Horse Award 1981. John Henry was also voted as the United
States Horse of the Year 1981.
As for the next year’s racing season, John Henry could only bag two victories. He won the Oak Tree Championship and the Santa Anita Handicap after the original winner Perrault was disqualified from the race.
The year that followed, John Henry became the first racehorse to have earned more than $ 4 million in his career, after he won the Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes under the jockey Chris McCarron at the Hollywood Park Racetrack that took place on the 11th
of December 1983.
1984 was the last year of John Henry’s racing career. The main events contended by the racehorse this year were the Arlington Million, the Turf Class Invitational and the Sunset Handicap. John won all the aforementioned meets. On the basis of his remarkable
victories, he was once again awarded the United States Champion Turf Horse title (1984) and was named the 1984 United States Horse of the Year.
The last race of John Henry’s athletic career was the 1984 Ballantine Scotch Classic that took place at the Meadowlands. He won this race in a track record time of 2 minutes and 13 seconds ( 1 3/8 miles).
At the time of his retirement, the racehorse had 39 wins out of 83 starts, 15 second place finishes and 9 third place finishes with $ 6,497,947 in earnings.