My A-Z List of Favourite Horse- John Henry
John Henry was foaled in 1975. He was by Ole Bob Bowers out of Once Double. John Henry was gelded due to to his temperament and poor breeding. At age 2 and early age 3 John Henry was an average workman horse. He raced mainly in allowance and claiming races on the dirt with the occasional listed stake thrown in. He raced in his first graded stakes race in July of his 3 year old year. This was the Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth on the turf in which he finished third. He followed this up with 2nds in the Hill Prince and Lexington Handicap, both on the turf before dropping back down to allowance company on dirt. After the drop in class he started racing almost exclusively on the turf. He raced in 3 more allowance races in which he finished 5th, 4th and 1st. He then won the Grade 3 Round Table handicap. He continued this pattern of moving between stakes and allowance company throughout 1979. In 1980 John Henry got into swing. He fired off wins in 6 graded stakes races right away, including 3 grade 1s. He then finished 2nd in the Bowling Green and Sword Dancer, won the Brighton Beach, came 2nd in the Jockey Gold Cup, and 3rd in the Turf Classic. He finished out his year with a win in the Oak Tree Invitational. For his 1980 season he was awarded U.S. Champion Turf Horse. The Oak Tree was the first race in 5 race win streak, 4 of which were grade 1 races. Next he finished 4th in the Hollywood Gold Cup before winning another 4 graded stakes races. He finished out 1981 with a 4th place finish in the Hollywood Turf Cup. For his 1981 season he was awarded U.S. Champion Older Male, U.S. Champion Turf Horse, and U.S. Horse of the Year. He only raced 5 times in 1982, not showing the form of the year before. He only won two of those races, although they were both grade 1s. In 1983 he once again only raced 5 times, this time winning a grade 2 and a grade 1. He was awarded U.S. Champion Turf Horse for a 3rd time in 1983. In 1984 he returned to form. He started the year off with a 5th in the Big Cap and a 3rd in the San Luis Rey Stakes before winning 4 grade 1s, a grade 3, and an ungraded stakes, placing in one other grade 1. He was awarded U.S. Champion Turf Horse for a 4th time, and a second United States Horse of the Year. He finished his career with a record of 39 wins, 15 places, and 9 shows from 83 starts, earning $6,591,860. He was inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1990 and is ranked #23 on Bloodhorse’s Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century.