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1993.24.1016Alsab-G. Woolf NMR small.jpg

Alsab, George Woolf up (NMR)
Induction Year: 
Tom Piatt
Mrs. Albert Sabath
August "Sarge" Swenke
Good Goods
Winds Chant
Career Years: 

Tab Wrapper


Alsab proved to be one of the greatest bargains in racing history. Purchased by Chicago attorney Al Sabath from breeder Tom Piatt for $700 at the 1940 Saratoga yearling sales, Alsab earned more than $350,000 in his remarkable career.


A son of Good Goods, who produced only four stakes winners from his 168 foals, Alsab was out of the Wildair mare Wind Chants, who was winless in eight career starts and earned only $115 in her racing career.


Sabath, who was president of Hawthorne Race Course, turned Alsab over to trainer August “Sarge” Swenke. The bay colt arrived at the races as a 2-year-old in 1941 and finished last in his career debut before breaking his maiden in his third career start.


Alsab began to heat up in the summer of 1941, opening a 10-race win streak in track-record time in the Mayflower Stakes at Suffolk Downs. He set another track record in the Washington Park Juvenile and added victories in the Washington Park Futurity and Prairie State Stakes before finishing in a dead heat with Colchis while giving the latter nine pounds.


Following the dead heat with Colchis, Alsab met Requested in a $10,000 match race at 6½ furlongs at Belmont Park. Alsab drew off by 3½ lengths, setting a track record of 1:16, more than a second faster than the previous mark that had stood for 21 years. Alsab defeated Requested again 10 days later in a 7½-length victory in the Champagne Stakes. His time of 1:35⅖ for the mile was a world record for a 2-year-old. Alsab added a couple more victories to his ledger to conclude his juvenile campaign with a record of 15-3-1 from 22 starts and earnings of $110,600.


As a 3-year-old, Alsab lost his first eight starts before winning the Preakness Stakes. He added victories in the Withers Stakes and American Derby before being sent to Narragansett Park for a $25,000 match race against 4-year-old Whirlaway, who won the Triple Crown the year before. Alsab defeated the older champion by a nose. Shipped to New York, Alsab defeated Vagrancy by 3½ lengths in the 1⅝-mile Lawrence Realization before meeting Whirlaway again in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. This time, Alsab was unable to withstand Whirlaway’s closing rush and was beaten by three-quarters of a length.


Following the Gold Cup, Alsab and Whirlaway met again in the 2¼-mile New York Handicap. Alsab delivered another impressive performance, defeating *Obash by a nose with Whirlaway five lengths back. In his 23rd and final start of the year, Alsab won the Victory Handicap to finish his sophomore season 9-7-3 with earnings of $234,565.


Alsab started five times as a 4-year-old in 1943, but was no longer the force he was the previous two years, winning only a single allowance race. He raced once at 5, finishing out of the money. At the end of 1944, Alsab had banked $350,015. Only Whirlaway ($561,161), Seabiscuit ($437,730) and Sun Beau ($376,744) had earned more purse money.


At stud, Alsab sired Myrtle Charm, the best 2-year-old filly of 1948; Armageddon, who earned $191,700; Subahdar, who earned $113,400; and Alabama Stakes winner Sabette. Alsab died at the age of 24 in 1963.