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Tom Fool

Tom Fool 2web.jpg

Tom Fool, Ted Atkinson up (NMR Collection)
Tom Fool
Induction Year: 
1960
Foaled: 
1949
Breeder: 
Duval A. Headley
Owner: 
Greentree Stable
Trainer: 
John M. Gaver
Sire: 
Menow
Dam: 
Gaga
Damsire: 
Bull Dog
Career Years: 
1951-1953
Starts: 
30
First: 
21
Second: 
7
Third: 
1
Earnings: 
$570,165.00

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Bio

Bred in Kentucky by Duval A. Headley, Tom Fool was campaigned by Greentree Stable and made an immediate impact as a champion juvenile before dominating the sport two years later.

 

Trained by John M. Gaver and ridden exclusively by Ted Atkinson, Tom Fool broke his maiden at Saratoga on Aug. 13, 1951. He then won two of the Spa’s juvenile fixtures — the Sanford Stakes and Grand Union Hotel Stakes — before finishing second to Cousin in the Hopeful. As the racing season shifted to Belmont, Tom Fool finished second to Hill Gale in a six-furlong race before closing out his campaign with victories in the Futurity at Belmont and the East View Stakes at Jamaica.

 

Tom Fool won his first start as a 3-year-old in 1952 then finished second in the Wood Memorial. A fever sidelined Tom Fool for two months, forcing him to miss the Triple Crown races. After two losses upon his return, Tom Fool won the Wilson Stakes at Saratoga and finished third to One Count in the Travers. He returned to top form in the fall with wins in the Jerome, Sysonby, Grey Lag and Empire City handicaps.

 

As a 4-year-old, Tom Fool was the dominant horse in American racing. He started his season with a handicap victory at Jamaica and went on to win the Joe Palmer, Metropolitan, Suburban, Carter, Brooklyn Wilson, Whitney, Sysonby and Pimlico Special, concluding his year undefeated in 10 starts. He became only the second horse — joining Whisk Broom II (1913) — to win the New York Handicap Triple Crown of the Metropolitan, Suburban and Brooklyn. Tom Fool won at distances of 5½ furlongs to 1¼ miles, allowing him to add the title of Champion Sprint Horse to his honors of  Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse. He carried 130 or more pounds four times during 1953, including 136 in the Brooklyn.

 

Tom Fool was retired after his perfect 4-year-old campaign with a career record of 21-7-2 from 30 starts and earnings of $570,165. Tom Fool sired more than 30 stakes winners, including Hall of Famers Buckpasser and Tim Tam, as well as Santa Anita Derby and Travers winner Tompion. Tom Fool was pensioned from stud duty in 1972 and died on Aug. 20, 1976 at the age of 16.

 

Horse