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  Grave Matters: Washington Park, Douglas, Wyoming

Photo © Douglas Area Chamber of Commerce; all rights reserved; image provided by D.J. Benson.

Sir Barton Memorial at Washington Park
Memorial Statue dedicated to Sir Barton

SIR BARTON (1916, by Star Shoot) was born at Hamburg Place, Lexington, Kentucky, where his sire held sway. Sold by his breeders during his juvenile season to Canadian J.K.L. Ross, who would top the list of leading owners in 1918 and 1919, he did not win a race in six starts at age two. Entered in the Kentucky Derby as a rabbit for Ross' colt, Billy Kelly, he romped home five lengths ahead of the field, and followed that with a win in the Preakness Stakes. Ten days later he took Belmont Park's one-mile Withers Stakes, and in June won the Belmont Stakes (1-3/8 miles) in record time. His wins in the Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes made him the first American Triple Crown winner, although at the time the races were not recognized as having any significance beyond their individual importance. At the end of the season, with four more wins in five starts, he won the three-year-old colts champion division, and was awarded the title of Horse of the Year. The next year he won eight of thirteen starts and ran his famous match against Man o'War at Kenilworth Golf Club in Canada, which he lost by five lengths. He did not win again and was retired to stud in Virginia. In 1932 was donated to the U.S. Remount Service and was sent to Fort Robinson, Nebraska, where, due to his size (under 16 hands), he was first used as a teaser. When the size restriction policy was abandoned, he had a few years as a remount stallion. He was eventually purchased by Remount agent Dr. J.R. Hylton of Esterbrook, Wyoming, and he died at Hylton's ranch in 1937. He was buried near the paddocks, with a stone monument over the grave. The monument was later moved to the Wyoming State Fairgrounds at Douglas, and still later his bones were disinterred and moved to Washington Park, with a statue placed over the site to commemorate America's first Triple Crown winner. --PE

Sir Barton (c. 1916-1937)

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