Noor,Credit: Keeneland Library
Bred in Ireland by his original owner, the Aga Khan, Noor was a brown colt from the first crop of superstar stallion Nasrullah. His dam, Queen of Baghdad, was a daughter of English Triple Crown winner Bahram. Noor was later purchased by Charles S. Howard and imported to the United States where he was trained by Hall of Famer Burley Park.
Moderately successful while racing in England, Noor won the Bradgate Park Nursery Handicap and the Bretby Nursery Handicap at two. At age three, he ran third in the Epsom Derby and won the Diomed Stakes and the Great Foal Stakes. He was then purchased by Charles S. Howard, whose California stable had turned Seabiscuit into a champion. At age four, Noor won an allowance race and ran second in the San Francisco Handicap. He blossomed at age five, setting three world records and three track records at distances from 1 1/8 to 1 3/4 miles. Five times he dueled with 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation. Citation beat him in the San Antonio Handicap, but Noor turned the tables in the Santa Anita Handicap and never looked back. In the 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano, Noor and Citation battled head and head through the final half-mile, with Noor prevailing by a nose. In their fourth and fifth meetings, the Forty-Niners Handicap and the Golden Gate Handicap, Noor set world records for 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 miles. Noor received 22 pounds from Citation when he first defeated him. In their final showdown, he carried 127 pounds to Citation’s 126.
Noor later won the American Handicap under 132 pounds and defeated 1950 Horse of the Year Hill Prince in the Hollywood Gold Cup. By twice defeating seven-year-old Assault, as well as Citation, Noor also became the first horse to defeat two Triple Crown winners. Noor was voted champion older horse of 1950. Retired to stud at the Howard’s California ranch, he sired 13 stakes winners.
Noor was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Noor defeats Citation in the Santa Anita Handicap, Credit:Santa Anita