Memories of 1957

Apr 6th 2009 11:45 pm |

I received a gem in my inbox today from Doug Thomson.  Doug runs a company called Racing-Europe that conducts racing trips to Europe and other international destinations, where – as he wrote in his email – “he feels the racing experience is more like it used to be here and ought to be again.”

Doug shared this wonderful memory of Florida winter racing during the historic year of 1957:

“Enjoyed your articles on Gen. Duke and Bold Ruler at Colins Ghost, which I’ve just discovered. I remember the referenced article and issue of Sports Illustrated as if I’d read it yesterday.

“I had my 12th birthday during the 1957 winter racing season in Miami, where I grew up. After becoming aware of racing in 1955 and 1956 (the first race I ever watched on television was the Nashua-Swaps match), the 1957 season was the first I followed day by day.

“The Saturday feature from Hialeah or Gulfstream was telecast live every week and sometimes the mid-week stake as well. Both the Miami newspapers carried two entire pages of racing coverage every day, including result charts and graded entries. A film of the feature race was shown on the 6PM sports show every night, and one station always played the last race of the day on its 11PM show. 

“Horses that raced or trained in Miami that winter included Bold Ruler, Gallant Man, Round Table, Federal Hill, Red God, Gen. Duke and Iron Liege, plus Calumet’s 2-year-old champion Barbizon; the previous year’s 3-year-old champion Needles; other past or future champions Dedicate, Flower Bowl, Bayou, and Pucker Up; the great sprinter Decathlon; classic winner Fabius; and the top-flight handicappers Bardstown and Summer Tan, leftovers from the outstanding crop of 1955. 

“That winter spoiled me for the rest of my life.”

I really appreciate Doug taking the time to share this and allowing me to post it here.

I spent some time this afternoon looking over the iterneries for some of the trips offered by Doug’s company.  If you have ever contemplated a trip to the races overseas, this looks like a great way to go.  The website for Racing-Europe can be found at


Filed in Florida racing,thoroughbred racing history

2 Responses to “Memories of 1957”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Somethings remain the same. Allen Jerkens had a winner at Gulfstream Saturday.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Long live the Chief. Lot of water under the bridge since Admiral Vee.