Twitter icon
Facebook icon


Ruthless (Troye).jpg

Ruthless (Edward Troye)
Induction Year: 
Francis Morris
Francis Morris
William Brown; A. J. Minor
Career Years: 

Tab Wrapper


The most accomplished of the famed “Barbarous Battalion,” Ruthless earned her high place in racing history by winning the inaugural edition of the Belmont Stakes in 1867 and the fourth running of the Travers Stakes later that summer.


Bred and raced by Francis Morris, Ruthless was sired by Eclipse out of the Simoom mare Barbarity. She was foaled in New York at her owner’s farm in Westchester County. Ruthless was the first of five full sisters by Eclipse out of Barabrity. Along with Ruthless, there was Relentless (winner of the Saratoga Stakes in her lone start, defeating subsequent Belmont winner General Duke), Remorseless (champion 2-year-old filly of 1869 when she won the Flash, Nursery, Saratoga and Hunter stakes), Regardless (winner of the Flash, Monmouth Oaks and Alabama) and Merciless (winner of the Alabama).


Ruthless, a strapping bay of 16 hands, was the best of the great sisters.


As a 2-year-old in 1866, Ruthless was trained by William Brown. She made her debut in the all-scarlet silks of her owner on July 28 at Saratoga in the Saratoga Stakes at one mile, finishing second to Red Wing. Two days later, she broke her maiden at Saratoga, defeating August Belmont’s Maid of Honor, Red Wing and three colts for a $500 purse.


On Oct. 1, 1866, Ruthless won the Nursery Stakes at Jerome Park, again defeating Maid of Honor, as well as two other colts. Nine days later, she finished second to stablemate Monday in the Trial Stakes at Patterson, N.J., concluding her juvenile season with two wins and two seconds in four starts.


For her 3-year-old campaign, Ruthless was trained by A. J. Minor and ridden by Gilbert W. Patrick, also known as “Gilpatrick,” who had ridden champions such as Boston and Lexington. Ruthless opened her sophomore season with a victory in the Spring Stakes at Jerome Park on May 23, 1867. She returned one day later and won a $500 purse, defeating Leonard Jerome’s 5-year-old Luther.


On June 4, 1867, Ruthless finished second to stablemate Monday in the 1½-mile Jersey Derby. Monday was a standout colt, winning five of his seven starts, including the Patterson Derby and Sequel Stakes. His only defeats were to Ruthless in his first and final races.


Fifteen days after the Jersey Derby, Ruthless defeated three colts — De Courcey, Rivoli and Monday — in the first running of the Belmont Stakes, which was contested at 1⅝ miles at Jerome Park. Patrick is credited with a clever ride on Ruthless that led to a half-length victory. The only fillies to win the Belmont since Ruthless are Tanya (1905) and Rags to Riches (2007).


Seven weeks after her victory in the Belmont, Ruthless confirmed her superiority over colts by winning the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, contested at 1¾ mile. Only R. B. Connolly and De Courcey showed up in an unsuccessful effort to challenge the great filly.


Ruthless won once more, defeating Virgil and De Courcey in the two-mile Sequel Stakes at Saratoga five days after the Travers. On Sept. 1, Ruthless finished second in the 2¼-mile Jersey St. Leger, failing in her attempt to give weight and a beating to De Courcey for a fifth time.


A leg injury while training that fall prompted Morris to retire Ruthless with a career record of 7-4-0 from 11 starts and earnings of $11,000. Ruthless was bred to Monday, producing the colt Battle Axe, winner of the Kentucky Stakes at Saratoga.


In 1876, a vagrant hunter shot Ruthless, mistaking her for a deer, while she grazed in her paddock. She lingered for five weeks before dying in November at the age of 12.  


Turf historian Walter S. Vosburgh regarded Ruthless as the best filly he ever saw.