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Exceller

Exceller
Induction Year: 
1999
Foaled: 
1973
Breeder: 
Mrs. C. W. Engelhard
Owner: 
Nelson Bunker Hunt
Trainer: 
Francois Mathet, Maurice Zilber, Charlie Whittingham
Sire: 
Vaguely Noble
Dam: 
Too Bald
Damsire: 
Bald Eagle
Career Years: 
1975-1979
Starts: 
33
First: 
15
Second: 
5
Third: 
6
Earnings: 
$1,654,003.00

Tab Wrapper

Bio

A successful international runner on both dirt and turf, Exceller won stakes races in the United States, Canada, England and France and became the first horse to defeat two Triple Crown winners in the same race when he beat Seattle Slew and Affirmed in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

 

A bay son of Vaguely Noble out of the Bald Eagle mare Too Bald, Exceller was bred by Jane Englehard and campaigned by Nelson Bunker Hunt, who initially sent him to Europe. As a 3-year-old in France in 1976, Exceller won the Grand Prix de Paris and the Prix Royal-Oak, both at 1⅞ miles.

 

At age 4, Exceller won England’s Coronation Cup and France’s Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud before coming to North America to win the Canadian International at Woodbine.

 

In 1978, with Charlie Whittingham succeeding Francois Mathet and Maurice Zilber as his trainer, Exceller won on both dirt and turf in America. His wins that year included the Arcadia Handicap, Hollywood Turf Invitational Handicap, San Juan Capistrano Handicap, Sunset Handicap and Oak Tree Invitational Stakes. In the Jockey Club Gold Cup, with Bill Shoemaker up, Exceller rallied from 22 lengths back to win the 1½-mile event by a nose over Seattle Slew.

 

Overall, Exceller posted a record of 15-5-6 from 33 starts and earnings of $1,654,003. Upon his retirement in 1979, Exceller was sent to stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky. He sired 19 stakes winners and his daughters produced 18 added-money winners.

 

Hunt eventually sold Exceller to breeding interests in Sweden and tragically Exceller was sent to slaughter in 1997 when he was no longer a viable stallion. He was 24 years old.

 

Three months after news of Exceller’s death became public, a non-profit organization named The Exceller Fund was founded to help find retirement homes for ex-racehorses in an effort to help avoid similar fates to the one Exceller suffered. 

 

Horse