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Duke of Magenta

Duke of Magenta (1878 Spirit).jpg

Duke of Magenta from a sketch in Spirit of the Times (NMR Collection)
Duke of Magenta
Induction Year: 
2011
Foaled: 
1875
Breeder: 
Woodburn Stud
Owner: 
George L. Lorillard
Trainer: 
R. Wyndham Walden
Sire: 
Lexington
Dam: 
Magenta
Damsire: 
Yorkshire
Career Years: 
1877-1878
Starts: 
19
First: 
15
Second: 
3
Third: 
1
Earnings: 
$45,912.00

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Bio

Foaled at Kentucky’s famed Woodburn Stud, Duke of Magenta was one of the most accomplished sons of the legendary stallion Lexington and turned in one of the most prolific campaigns of the 19th century as a 3-year-old in 1878.

 

A light bay standing 16 hands, Duke of Magenta was owned by George L. Lorillard and trained by R. Wyndham Walden. When he arrived at the races as a 2-year-old in 1877, Duke of Magenta showed considerable talent. As a juvenile he won the Flash Stakes, Grinstead Stakes (in a dead heat with Spartan), Nursery Stakes and Central Stakes and finished second in his three other races for a record of 4-3-0 from seven starts and earnings of $9,987.

 

As a 3-year-old, Duke of Magenta enjoyed one of the most sensational seasons of the 19th century. He began his sophomore year of 1878 with a victory in the Preakness Stakes in late May and followed with wins in the Withers Stakes and Belmont Stakes. After suffering a defeat in the Jersey Derby at old Monmouth Park (it was reported he was feverish), Duke of Magenta never lost again.

 

Shipped to Saratoga, Duke of Magenta won the Travers Stakes (defeating Jersey Derby winner Spartan), Sequel Stakes, Kenner Stakes and Harding Stakes in a three-week period at the Spa. Given a break, he returned in October to win the Jerome Stakes and Annual Sweepstakes at Jerome Park and the Dixie Stakes and Breckenridge Stakes at Pimlico to conclude his remarkable year with a record of 11-0-1 from 12 starts and earnings of $35,925.

 

Duke of Magenta was sold at the conclusion of his 3-year-old season by Lorillard to his brother, Pierre Lorillard, who sent him to race in England. Those plans, however, never came to fruition. Duke of Magenta became ill on the voyage and was sent home. He never raced again and was retired with a record of 15-3-1 from 19 starts and earnings of $45,912.

 

In the book Racing in America, Duke of Magenta was described as “the best race-horse of his day. Many considered him the best of all Lexington’s sons.”

 

Although he had not raced in a year, Duke of Magenta appeared at Jerome Park during the October meeting of 1879 and was paraded before an appreciative crowd.

 

Duke of Magenta was regarded as a fair performer as a stallion, siring a few good runners, including Young Duke. He spent his older years at a farm in Brookline, Mass., and died there Sept. 20, 1899 at the age of 24.  

 

Horse