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Fair Play (USA)

Fair Play



Sire Line








Stromboli, by Fair Play, & Samuel Hildreth

Mad Hatter, by Fair Play

Display, by Fair Play

Discovery (USA) ch c 1931 Display (USA) - Ariadne (USA), by Light Brigade (GB)
Discovery, by Display

Chance Play, by Fair Play

Chance Shot, by Fair Play




Fair Play ch c 1905 (Hastings - Fairy Gold*, by Bend Or). Sire Line Matchem. Family 9-e.

Bred and owned by August Belmont II he was a a half brother to the Ebor Handicap and Queen's Vase winner Golden Measure (ch c 1902 Florizel) and to the Belmont Stakes winner Friar Rock (ch c 1913 Rock Sand). His dam Fairy Gold won the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom defeating Desmond (bl c 1896 St. Simon). Standing 15 hands 3 inches he was described as a "very stylish, bloodlike colt," and was thought to resemble Hermit (ch c 1864 Newminster) by several observers in England. Although not an overly large horse, his trainer Andrew D Joyner suggested that he was "plenty big enough".

Although a winner at two, he was better at three, then setting track records at Belmont Park and Gravesend, conceding as much as thirty pounds to some of the field in the former. He had the misfortune to be of the same generation as James R Keene's undefeated Colin (br c 1905 Commando), however, Colin retired early in their three year old season due to a bowed tendon. Fair Play was said to have given Colin "the race of his life" in the Belmont since like all Hastings stock he liked heavy going and made up much ground on Colin in the last half mile, the "desperate struggle" leaving both horses thoroughly spent.

Fair Play was said to have developed temperment issues towards the end of his three year old season. Along with many other horses who were sent to run in England due to the ban on betting at New York tracks he travelled to England in the autumn of 1908 and ran there in 1909. However, his "mulish" tendencies prevailed and he came no nearer than a single fourth. In all he started thirty-two times, winning ten, placing second eleven times and third thrice, earning $86,950.

In the Belmont stud he was a tremendous success getting  numbers of winners, notably the legendary Man o' War (ch c 1917). He was thought to cross remarkably well with Rock Sand (br c 1900 Sainfoin) mares. Following the death of August Belmont he was purchased at the Nursery Stud dispersal sale in 1925 by Mr J E Widener for $100,000. He was a leading sire in 1920, 1924 and 1927 and a leading broodmare sire in 1931. In 1956 he was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame.

Fair Play had apparently been in excellent health but died suddenly in his paddock following a short gallop in December of 1929.

Fair Play Hastings Spendthrift Australian*
Cinderella* Tomahawk
Fairy Gold* Bend Or Doncaster
Rouge Rose
Dame Masham Galliard
Race Record

In 1907 he finished 4th in his first start. Won an overnight race at Brighton Beach, in a canter by 3 and a half lengths, setting a new track record. Won the Montauk Stakes two weeks later, leading the entire way. Won the Flash Stakes at Saratoga, beating F J Farrell's Jim Gaffney (b c 1905 Golden Garter*) whilst conceding him 5 pounds. Finished 2nd by two lengths for the Hopeful Stakes at the same place to Jim Gaffney whilst conceding him 10 pounds. Finished 3rd for the United States Hotel Stakes, won by J R Keene's Restigouche (br c 1905 Commando), with Jim Gaffney placing 2nd. Finished among the field for the Futurity Stakes at Sheepshead Bay, which Colin (br c 1905 Commando) won by 4 lengths, followed by H P Whitney's Bar None (ch g 1905 Nasturtium) and Fred Burley's Chapultepec (b c 1905 Gerolstein*). Finished 2nd for the Produce Stakes at Brighton Beach, which Colin won by 5 lengths "eased up". Finished 2nd for the Matron Stakes at Belmont Park, which Colin won by 3 lengths whilst conceding 7 pounds to Fair Play. Five days later finished 3rd for the Nursery Handicap, won by Dorante (b c 1905 Pessara) who received 32 pounds from Fair Play and won the next year's Travers Stakes. (10-3-3-2, earning $16,735)

In 1908 he finished 2nd over 5.5 furlongs at Jamaica, won by Fleming (ch g 1904 Rensselaer), after Stargowan (b c 1905 Star Shoot*) was disqualified from 2nd. Finished 2nd in his next race to John Madden's King James (b c 1905 Plaudit) who won by a length. Ran 2nd for the Withers Stakes, won by Colin, beating King James. Finished 2nd for the Belmont Stakes by a neck, won by Colin, beating King James. Finished 2nd for the Brooklyn Handicap at Gravesend, won by Celt (ch c 1905 Commando), beating Sam Emery's Master Robert (ch c 1905 Mazagan*) and King James. Won the Brooklyn Derby (now called the Dwyer Stakes) at Gravesend, beating King James by 2 and a half lengths. Finished 3rd for the Suburban Handicap, won by J R Keene's Ballot (ch c 1904 Voter*), with King James placing 2nd. Won the Coney Island Jockey Club Stakes, equalling the track record and giving 10 pounds to Hessian (b c 1905 Watercress*), King James and Dorante. Won the Lawrence Realization Stakes in a canter by 3 lengths, beating King James, Dorante and Alfred Noble (b c 1905 Garry Herrmann). Won a handicap at Saratoga carrying 127 pounds and beating Dorante by 4 lengths. Finished 2nd for the September Stakes to T H Williams's Big Chief (ch c 1905 Pontiac) who received 15 pounds. Won the 10 furlongs First Special at Gravesend carrying 122 pounds and setting a track record, beating King James who received 4 pounds. Finished 2nd for the Oriental Handicap to Tommy Hitchcock Jr's Angelus (br c 1905 Sandringham*), who received 18 pounds. Won the Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park, setting a track record, beating Angelus who received 14 pounds, Master Robert who received 19 pounds and Gowan (ch f 1905 Armeath*) who received 30 pounds. Won the Municipal Handicap, beating Master Robert by a length whilst conceding 24 pounds. Finished 2nd for the Autumn Handicap, won by Master Robert. (16-7-8-1, earning $70,215)

In 1909 he was unplaced for 6 races in England, including the Kempton Jubilee Handicap, Manchester Cup and Goodwood Cup. (6-0-0-0)
Notable Fair Play Mares
1. Misplay (ch f 1911), bred by August Belmont and owned by W W Darden, Nashville, Tennessee, 2nd dam of the stallion Neddie (bl c 1926 Colin), sire of Good Goods (b c 1931), sire of Alsab (b c 1939), the latter a champion colt at two and three years of age and worthy stallion. Family 6-a.
2. Eulogy (b f 1913), 2nd dam of Alsab (b c 1939) a notable racehorse and stallion inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1976. Family 27-a.
3. Masda (ch f 1915), bred by August Belmont, Nursery Stud, Lexington, Kentucky, full sister to Man o' War (ch c 1917), 3rd dam of the King Ranch's triple crown winner Assault (ch c 1943 Bold Venture), champion colt and Horse of the Year in 1946 and inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1964. Family 4-c.
4. Beautiful Lady (ch f 1916), bred by the Gallaher Brothers, dam of Willis Sharpe Kilmer's Sun Beau (b c 1925 Sun Briar) thrice a champion racehorse and inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1996. Family 4-r.
5. Mlle. Dazie (b f 1917), bred by August Belmont, dam of George D Widener's Grand Union Hotel Stakes winner Jamestown (b c 1928 St. James) a champion colt in 1930 and sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Johnstown (b c 1936), the latter inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1992. Family 9.
6. Oval (ch f 1921), 2nd dam of Greentree Stable's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Shut Out (ch c 1939 Equipoise). Family 16-g.
Notable Offspring
Stromboli (USA)
ch g 1911 (Fair Play - St. Priscilla, by Rayon d'Or). Sire Line Matchem. Family 2-n. Bred and raced by August Belmont he ran more than 60 races winning the Manhattan Handicap, Jerome Handicap, Metropolitan Handicap and Suburban Handicap among many others, defeating such horses as Belmont winner The Finn (bl c 1912 Ogden), Dwyer winner Chicle (b c 1913 Spearmint) and his long time rival, the great handicap horse Roamer (b g 1911 Knight Errant). When Mr Belmont gave up racing for war work Stromboli was acquired by Samuel Hildreth for use as a hack. As it turned out a back ailment kept Hildreth from riding and instead he spent two years bringing Stromboli back to racing form, resting his tendons and citing nature and patience as the best medicine. Despite the back stretch ribbing about the old horse he won two of his three final races and lost the third by a "short nose". A great favourite of Hildreth's Stromboli retired to the comfortable paddocks of the Rancocas stud farm in New Jersey where Hildreth declared that the grand old fellow "should never want for a home".
Mad Hatter (USA)
bbr c 1916 (Fair Play - Madcap, by Rock Sand). Sire Line Matchem. Family 4-r. A champion racehorse in 1921 he was bred by August Belmont II and campaigned by Mr Sinclair. He was described as a "beautifully made horse on the leggy order," and retired sound after eight years of racing. Despite his wayward tendencies he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup twice, the Metropolitan Handicap twice and the Suburban Handicap. He started 91 times and it was thought that he could have won many more races than he did but for his "diabloical manners at the post". Nevertheless he was the 4th leading money earner to that date in America at the close of the 1924 season. A "magnificent stayer," he also won at six furlongs and as an eight year old he gave pounds to everyone else and still won the Suburban. His legs were said to be seemingly made of "wrought steel" as he carried high weights for so far and so long whilst routinely abusing his underpinnings with his antics. Purchased by Mr Whitney for the stud he got The Nut (br c 1926), his best son, a good racehorse and winner of the Lawrence Realization but said to be aptly named. Others of his offspring also inherited his opinionated behaviour. He finished his stud career as a remount stallion.
Display (USA)
b c 1923 (Fair Play - Cicuta, by Nassovian). Sire Line Matchem. Family 2-u. Bred by Walter J Salmon of the Mereworth Stud in Kentucky he earned the nickname "Iron Horse". He ran for 5 years starting 103 times, winning 23 times, including the Belmont Stakes in which he beat Blondin (b c 1923 Broomstick), the Washington Handicap, Toronto Cup (twice), Pimlico Cup, Baltimore Handicap (twice), Ontario Jockey Club Cup and the first Hawthorne Gold Cup. He was said to have inherited his sire's temperment. His most notable son was Discovery (ch c 1931), a remarkable weight carrier who started with 135 pounds or more on eleven occasions, and although he left no sons who lived up to himself he was the damsire of such horses as Bold Ruler (bbr c 1954 Nasrullah), Native Dancer (gr c 1950 Polynesian) and Intentionally (bl c 1956 Intent). Display died in 1944.
My Play (USA)
b c 1919 (Fair Play - Mahubah, by Rock Sand). Sire Line Matchem. Family 4-c. Bred by August Belmont II he was a full brother to Man o' War (ch c 1917) and won nine races, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Aqueduct Handicap. In the stud he got R L Baker's champion colt and Preakness Stakes winner Head Play (ch c 1930).
Chance Play (USA)
ch c 1923 (Fair Play - Quelle Chance, by Ethelbert). Sire Line Matchem. Family 3-c. Bred by August Belmont II he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Aqueduct Handicap and was champion racehorse and Horse of the Year in 1927. He covered at Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky and got, among others, the Hopeful Stakes winner Psychic Bid (ch c 1932), the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes winner Grand Slam (ch c 1933) and the Futurity Stakes winner Some Chance (ch c 1939) all later stallions. Chance Play also got the champion filly Now What (ch f 1937) herself the dam of the twice champion filly Next Move (br f 1947 Bull Lea). He led the sires list in 1935 and 1944. Chance Play died in 1950.
Chance Shot (USA)
b c 1924 (Fair Play - Quelle Chance, by Ethelbert). Sire Line Matchem. Family 3-c. A full brother to Chance Play he was bred by August Belmont II and ran in the colours of J E Widener. His major win came in the Belmont Stakes with other victories in the National Stallion Stakes, Saratoga Special, Withers Stakes, Merchants' and Citizens' Handicap, Saratoga Handicap, Freeport Handicap and the Ramapo Handicap. In the stud he got the Belmont Stakes winner Peace Chance (b c 1931) who sired the 3rd dam of Northern Dancer (b c 1961 Nearctic). He was twice second on the leading sires list. Chance Shot died in 1952.

Man o' War (USA) ch c 1917 (Fair Play - Mahubah, by Rock Sand). Sire Line Matchem. Family 4-c.

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