Painting by Richard Stone Reeves
Kelso is considered one of the greatest horses of the twentieth century. Voted Horse of the Year for five consecutive years, 1960 through 1964, and winner of five Jockey Club Gold Cups, Kelso's record has never been surpassed. He still holds the American record for the 2 mile race at 3:19 1/5.
Kelso did not make his first start at 3 until after the Triple Crown races. However, he did win his last six races including the Jerome, Lawrence Realization, Hawthorne Gold Cup, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. At 4 Kelso won the Metropolitan under 130 pounds, the Brooklyn under 133, and the Suburban under 136, a handicap triple crown. He also won his first of three Woodward Stakes and Whitney Handicaps. At 5 and 6 Kelso repeated his victories in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Woodward and won a second Whitney Handicap. At 7 he won the Washington, D.C. International and his final Jockey Club Gold Cup.
A foot injury ended Kelso's illustrious racing career at 9. He retired as the world's greatest money winner and spent his last years as a hunter and a show jumper.
Kelso was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1967.
Kelso's Metropolitan of 1961