Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Alas, this weekend’s trip to the flea market did not improve my mood. In spite of the nice weather and lack of competing local events, most of the regulars didn’t show up. And those that did were the crazy ones - not "will show up in a snowstorm" crazy, but "I bury my money in a coffee can in the backyard" crazy. Not a single Breyer, Hartland or H-R in sight, either. Bah!

On the positive side, I did manage to score some interesting new research materials, and track down a couple of new leads. I hope to have a little spare time next week to work on them; the rest of the family wants to take a field trip down to the library where some of material is located, coincidentally. (Not so odd: the main branch of the Detroit Public Library is pretty awesome, actually, and right across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Which is one of the greatest public art museums in the world, people. Totally worth the trip, even if you’re not interested in model horses.)

In the meantime, here’s another little dip into the deeper end of my archives. It’s a real-life photo of the racehorse Terrang. I’ve published it before in my Sampler a couple years back, but it’s worth reprinting here. You don’t see photos of the actual horse very often - I haven’t found any other, but it’s been a while since I went looking.

This photo (credited to Allen F. Brewer, Jr.) is from the book American Race Horses 1957, published by the American Thoroughbred Breeders Association. This book is chock full of all sorts of Thoroughbredy goodness: you’ve got Gallant Man, Round Table, Bold Ruler - and look, Silky Sullivan as a two year old!

(Photo credit also to Allen F. Brewer, Jr. The caption reads "Already his was a come-from-behind style.")

Terrang’s half-brother Swaps makes an appearance, too, in the lengthy entry on Iron Liege, whose famous Sports Illustrated birth photo is the frontispiece. When Sports Illustrated was launched, one of their publicity stunts was to follow the career of a foal for three years, up to the Kentucky Derby. (Boy, did they get lucky!)

Three of the five Love Thoroughbreds in one book - it’s no surprise that this book has become a treasured part of my archives. (It’s also special because it was Dad who happened to spot it in a pile of books at the flea market. He was a big horseracing fan back in the 1950s, when he was a kid.)

Terrang’s not so well known today, at least on the level of a Man o’ War, Swaps or even Kelso. That’s too bad, because Terrang had a very respectable career as a handicapper and stud. I won’t go into the finer details of all that; his Wikipedia page is a decent place to start:


The 1950s were truly one of the great golden ages of the sport, and over time many very good horses have lost some of space in the spotlight to the great ones. Thank goodness Hagen-Renaker - and later, Breyer - saw fit to bring him back a little of his lost glory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, look at the difference between Silky Sullivan at two and modern thoroughbreds at two. Silky Sullivan has twice the muscle mass.