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Dr. Fager

John Nerud with Dr. Fager (NMR Collection).jpg

Dr. Fager and trainer John Nerud (NMR Collection)
Dr. Fager
Induction Year: 
1971
Foaled: 
1965
Breeder: 
Tartan Farms
Owner: 
Tartan Farms
Trainer: 
John Nerud
Sire: 
Rough'n Tumble
Dam: 
Aspidistra
Damsire: 
Better Self
Career Years: 
1966-1968
Starts: 
22
First: 
18
Second: 
2
Third: 
1
Earnings: 
$1,002,642.00

Tab Wrapper

Bio

Dr. Fager recorded one of the greatest campaigns in the annals of American racing when he was named Horse of the Year, Champion Older Horse, Champion Grass Horse and Champion Sprinter in 1968.

 

Bred and owned by William L. McKnight’s Tartan Farms, Dr. Fager was named after Boston-based neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Fager, who saved trainer John Nerud’s life with two operations after Nerud suffered a serious fall from his pony.

 

A bay son of Rough’n Tumble out of the Better Self mare Aspidistra, Dr. Fager won the World’s Playground Stakes and Cowdin Stakes a 2-year-old in 1966. The following year, he won the Gotham, Withers, Arlington Classic, Rockingham Special, New Hampshire Sweepstakes, Hawthorne Gold Cup and Vosburgh Handicap to be named Champion Sprinter with a record of 7-0-1 from nine starts and earnings of $484,194.

 

As a 4-year-old, Dr. Fager lowered the world record for one mile to 1:32⅕ while carrying 134 pounds in the Washington Park Handicap. He carried 139 pounds and set a track record for seven furlongs to win his second consecutive Vosburgh. Dr. Fager also won the Whitney and Californian stakes, Roseben Handicap, defeated Damascus in the 1¼-mile Suburban Handicap and beat Fort Marcy in the United Nations Handicap in his only start on the turf. With a record of 7-1-0 from nine starts and earnings of $406,110 he was named Horse of the Year and added the three division championships.   

 

Dr. Fager was retired to stud with a record of 18-2-1 from 22 starts and earnings of $1,002,642. The only time in his career he did not finish in the top three was the Jersey Derby. Dr. Fager crossed the finish first by 6½ lengths in that race, but was disqualified.

 

Standing at Tartan Farms in Ocala, Fla., Dr. Fager sired champions Dearly Precious and Dr. Patches. He died Aug, 5, 1976 at the age of 12 and was buried at the farm. He was America’s leading sire posthumously in 1977. 

 

Horse