Celebrate the holiday season with some "Christmas Cookies"

Blue Larkspur, Mack Garner up, from the 1929 Withers Stakes at Belmont Park (C. C. Cook)


By Brien Bouyea
Hall of Fame and Communications Director 

Charles Christian Cook, known in horse racing circles as C. C. Cook or “Cookie,” earned acclaim as one of the sport’s iconic early photographers. In a career that spanned from the early 1900s to his retirement in 1947, Cook captured American racing legends such as Man o’ War, Gallant Fox, Seabiscuit, and Citation, among others. He was also known for his exceptional images of jockeys, trainers, and owners, as well as track scenes.

Born in Illinois in 1873, Cook develop a speed camera and began taking innovative action shots at racetracks in the Chicago area. When racing was outlawed in Illinois in 1904, Cook moved to Saratoga Springs, New York, and became a staff photographer for the Morning Telegraph. He remained active in New York and traveled to other racing venues throughout the next four decades, interrupted only by service in World War I as a reconnaissance pilot. Cook died in 1957 at the age of 84.

Around the holidays, Cook’s friends would receive unique cards inspired by many of his favorite racing images. These became known as “Christmas Cookies,” and several of these photographic treasures will be on display throughout December in the lobby at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Here are a few of the “Christmas Cookies” that the photographer sent to his friends:

Sun Beau, Charles Kurtsinger up, 1933 (C. C. Cook)


Equipoise, Raymond Workman up, 1933 (C. C. Cook)


Challedon composite, 1939 (C. C. Cook)


Twenty Grand, Charles Kurtsinger up (C. C. Cook)


Citation, Eddie Arcaro up, 1948 (C. C. Cook)


Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral, 1938 Pimlico Special (C. C. Cook)


Man o' War, 1947 (C. C. Cook)


Easy Money, 1927 (C. C. Cook)


Gallant Fox, Earl Sande up, 1930 (C. C. Cook)


Morvich, 1921 (C. C. Cook)


Posted Nov 28, 2022
Support the Museum, Become A Member
Become A Member