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Buckpasser (NMR Collection)
Induction Year: 
Ogden Phipps
Ogden Phipps
William C. Winfrey, Edward A. Neloy
Tom Fool
War Admiral
Career Years: 

Tab Wrapper


The product of superior breeding, Buckpasser fulfilled the great promise of his impressive pedigree. Bred and owned by Ogden Phipps, Buckpasser was a son of Tom Fool out of the War Admiral mare Busanda.


He had the looks, the class and the talent.


After finishing fourth in his career debut May 13, 1965 at Aqueduct, Buckpasser — trained as a 2-year-old by William C. Winfrey — won nine of his 10 remaining starts that year and became the first juvenile to earn more than $500,000. His wins that year included the National Stallion Stakes (in a dead heat), Tremont Stakes, Sapling Stakes, Hopeful Stakes, Arlington-Washington Futurity and Champagne Stakes. Buckpasser compiled a record of 9-1-0 and earnings of $568,096 from 11 starts that year.


Eddie Neloy took over as Buckpasser’s trainer for the colt’s 3-year-old campaign in 1966. Buckpasser finished second to stablemate Impressive in a non-wagering race at Hialeah in February before winning all of his remaining 13 races of the year and extending his unbeaten streak to 15 in 1967.


A quarter crack in his right front hoof prevented Buckpasser from taking aim at the Triple Crown races. Returning in June, Buckpasser won the Leonard Richards Stakes at Delaware Park then delivered a blistering performance in the Arlington Classic, winning by 1¾ lengths and setting a world record of 1:32⅗ for one mile.


Following the Arlington record, Buckpasser continued to roll, winning the Chicagoan Stakes, Brooklyn Handicap, American Derby (setting a track record), Travers Stakes, Woodward Stakes, Lawrence Realization Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Malibu Stakes. Buckpasser amassed a record of 13-1-0 and earnings of $669,078 from 14 starts as a sophomore.


Buckpasser began his 4-year-old campaign by winning the Sam Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita in January 1967. He then developed another quarter crack in his troublesome right front hoof that sidelined him until late May. Upon his return, Buckpasser stretched his win streak to 15 with a victory in the Metropolitan Handicap.


Phipps considered sending Buckpasser to France for the weight-for-age Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on grass in July, but the plan was scrapped when Buckpasser finished third on the turf in the Bowling Green Handicap.


Buckpasser’s next start was in the Suburban Handicap. Carrying 133 pounds, Buckpasser reeled in Ring Twice late to win by half a length. It was his most spectacular — and final — victory.


Looking to repeat in the Brooklyn Handicap, Buckpasser finished eight lengths behind Handsome Boy. He then contested the Woodward, but was soundly defeated by 10 lengths by Damascus, prompting his retirement.


With a career record of 25-4-1 and earnings of $1,462,014 from 31 starts, Buckpasser was retired to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky and was syndicated for a record $4,800,000 ($150,000 per share).


As a stallion, Buckpasser sired 313 foals, including the winners of 35 stakes races. His progeny included La Prevoyante, Numbered Account, Silver Buck and Relaxing. Buckpasser was a top broodmare sire. His daughters produced Easy Goer, Slew o’ Gold, Coastal, Touch Gold and With Approval, among others.


Buckpasser died at the age of 15 in 1978 and was buried at Claiborne Farm.