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Elkridge

Elkridge.JPG

Elkridge (NMR Collection)
Elkridge
Induction Year: 
1966
Foaled: 
1938
Breeder: 
Joseph F, Flanagan
Owner: 
Thomas Hitchcock, Kent Miller
Trainer: 
Kent Miller
Sire: 
Mate
Dam: 
Best By Test
Damsire: 
Black Toney
Career Years: 
1941-1951
Starts: 
123
First: 
31
Second: 
18
Third: 
15
Earnings: 
$230,680.00

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Bio

America’s champion steeplechaser in 1942 and 1946, Elkridge won 31 races in his career and retired in 1951 at the age of 13 as the all-time leader in steeplechase earnings with $230,680.

 

Bred by Joseph F. Flanagan at the Country Life Farm of Adolph Pons in Belair, Md., Elkridge was named for the Elkridge-Hartford Hunt Club. Flanagan sold Elkridge as a weanling to Maj. Thomas Hitchcock, but Hitchcock died in 1941 and his jumpers were sold at auction that autumn. Elkridge raced only once for Hitchcock — winning his career debut Sept. 24, 1941 by seven lengths at Belmont— before his owner died five days later.

 

At the auction, Kent Miller paid $7,000 for Elkridge and also took over as trainer. In Miller’s pink and lavender silks, Elkridge won seven times in 1942 and was America’s champion steeplechaser. He earned $28,130 during the year to more than deliver on Miller’s initial investment. His wins that year included the Indian River, North American, Gov. Ogle and Manly Memorial steeplechases.

 

Elkridge was again the American steeplechase champion in 1946. As an 8-year-old that year, he won the celebrated American Grand National under 151 pounds after finishing no better than third in three previous attempts.

 

In 1948, Elkridge, then a 10-year-old, won the Indian River Handicap at Delaware Park for the third time. The $8,800 he earned for the win allowed him to surpass Greentree Stable’s Jolly Roger for the highest career earnings among steeplechasers. Jolly Roger had held the record for 18 years.

 

Later that summer, Elkridge broke the course record for two miles at Saratoga on consecutive weekends in the Shillelah and North American steeplechases, respectively.

 

In 1949, Elkridge continued to shine at age 11, winning the Meadow Brook, Georgetown and his fourth Indian River. In the Indian River, shouldering 156 pounds and ridden by Paddy Smithwick, Elkridge won the event in record time in what was his 100th career start.

 

Elkridge won the Indian River again in 1950 for his fifth victory in the race. He carried 154 pounds and won by nine lengths. He also won his second Saratoga Steeplechase that year for his 31st and final career victory.

 

In 1951, Elkridge finally slowed down, going winless in 10 races. He finished second in an attempt to win his sixth Indian River and finished third on three other occasions. With a career record of 31-18-15 from 123 starts and earnings of $230,680, Miller decided to retire the old warrior. Throughout his 11-year career, the sure-footed Elkridge fell only one time.

 

A gelding, Elkridge was retired to a farm in White Post, Va., where he had a habit of jumping over paddock fences. Elkridge died in 1961 at the age of 23. 

Horse