Ten Cool Horse Racing Ads from 1968

Jan 20th 2012 12:15 pm |

I’m not much of a memorabilia collector but one thing that I am a sucker for are old racing publications. I have in my office an ever growing stack of the Thoroughbred Record, Bloodhorse, and the National Turf and Sport Digest.

Sometimes, when I’m searching for something to write about, I’ll pull out an old magazine and begin thumbing through its pages. The interesting articles are plenty but one aspect of old publications that draws my attention are the advertisements. Over the weekend, I was paging through an issue of the Thoroughbred Record from January 1968 and found myself particularly drawn to the diversity of ads from well known race tracks and legendary breeding operations as well as Hall of Fame trainers touting now forgotten products.

Below are ten advertisements that I found especially interesting and thought I’d share here at Colin’s Ghost this week…enjoy!

Bold Ruler in an ad for Claiborne Farms - one of America's greatest sires was at the height of his stallion career in 1968. Bold Ruler would sire Secretariat in 1970 and die of cancer one year later in 1971.


Spendthrift Farm sire Raise a Native whose progeny included Majestic Prince, Alydar, and Mr. Prosepctor. His son Elusive Native sired Affirmed and Genuine Risk.


An ad for 1968 first year sire Poker - the regally bred son of Round Table is seen here beating turf champ Assagi and future Hall of Famer Buckpasser in the 1967 Bowling Green Handicap


The Meadow...the Virginia-based breeding operation immortalized by a colt named Secretariat


An ad for Gulfstream Park featuring 44 days of racing and a total stakes purse of $475,000 in 1968


Two of the biggest races on the 1968 stakes schedule at Monmouth Park were the Sorority and the Sapling for two-year-olds


Garden State Park in New Jersey featured the Jersey Derby in their ad for 1968 - the once important race has been relegated to a listed stake currently run at Monmouth Park


The Keeneland ad for the racing meet and sales (not surprisingly) keeps it simple


Pimlico Race Course advertising a few long forgotten stakes races


John Nerud with his greatest horse Dr. Fager in an ad for Jockey Oats


Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham touting a product called Absorbine

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Filed in Advertisements,Bold Ruler,Charlie Whittingham,Dr. Fager,Gulfstream Park,horse racing,horse racing history,Keeneland Race Course,Nerud, John,Pimlico Race Track,Raise a Native,thoroughbred racing history,Thoroughbred Record

9 Responses to “Ten Cool Horse Racing Ads from 1968”

  1. Kim Hoffmann says:

    Nice Ads! The Industry needs to promote itself like it did in the old days.

  2. Really great ads – And yes we need more of ads in the local newpapers – Like before- One spring either 1968 or 1969 – Chicago paper headline on front page ” THE HORSES ARE BACK” Never forgot that – it felt good to
    be welcome back that way.. Maggie

  3. Walter Boyd says:


    And Pimlico still has the same phone number except the area code is now 410.

  4. Gina says:

    Very cool – thanks for bringing us a peek at history!

  5. Don Reed says:

    There’s an inherent dignity in these presentations that cannot be found for love nor money, today.


  6. kathy says:

    i posted my first response on the “Dark Secret” page but I have one more story to tell. I rode in childrens hunters and jumpers from 1960 to 1968. I think you will enjoy this.

    In 1960 I was 9 yrs old and as i said in my other post i got my first horse. She was a big handful for a 9 yr old novice, I had lessons at stables with lesson horses but none like Babe, chestnut 15’3″ i’m sure an anglo/arab. I joined the “Pony Club” my mother insisted so I would know how to ride and take care of my horse. Sometime around 1961 give or take a year, one of my friends father worked (general manager) at Hollywood Park Racetrack and got together an exhibition of us pony clubers in a mock hunt at the track with a guy in a red coat (we didn’t know him) to lead us on the hunt. I had told everyone my horse would try to beat the other horses, but I guess they thought i was a bragging 10 yr old. I was told point blank to not pass the guy in the red coat. OK. so i won’t. I decided to wait to the very last, i guess i thought i could trick Babe if the lead horse was out of sight. I waited for my friend Candy on her welsh pony Sugar to go before me and I slackened my reins. Before Sugar could get over the first jump we were on her heals and I thought Babe was going to just trample her on the other side so I pulled her up to go around the jump, Ah, now the track is wide open. Babe took off with me like willie shoemaker on Swaps, me pulling back hard as i could, horses mouth wide open, she refused to yield and had her eye on the lead horse with the guy with red coat. We caught up to him just as he (oblivious to the little pony clubers) stopped his horse to turn and come back, Babe had run right up to him and since he had stopped running she just stood next to him as if to say “I caught up, now what? you just stop?” The guys eyes were huge like saucers when he looked up and saw us bearing down on him, luckily Babe had stopped. I thought I am in sooo much trouble i will never hear the end of it. To this day i do not know why none of the adults were mad at me, my dad simply said “you had some trouble” and that was that. Looking back to the 1960’s im sure no one really thought that a pony club exhibition could turn into the Grand National. One of my vivid memories of riding in those days. We always rubbed down with Absorbine after rides, did not bathe, but brushed them vigorously, Babe always shined like a new penny, no showshine then, we used elbow grease. Loved those days, wish I was young again. Thank you for reading.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I would love to know where to get a copy of the magazine issue with the Bold Ruler ad. Can you email me with any information? Or are you willing to make a color copy of it? Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Jennifer: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. They are all from a January 1968 edition of the Thoroughbred Record. Send me an email to kmart1944@gmail.com and i’ll send you a high-red copy of the ad. Thanks!

  8. Leila says:

    Hi! Am such a fan of this blog- its the best of its kind, and you do a fantastic job documenting TB. racing as well as supplementing your posts with neat vintage photos!