Horse Racing 1920-1929. Thoroughbred horse racing became wildly popular at the end of the 19 th century and that popularity carried over into the 20 th century .
Horse Racing 1920-1929
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Thoroughbred horse racing became wildly popular at the end of the 19th century and that popularity carried over into the 20th century.
Harness racing, in which a driver rode in a small cart, called a sulky, was also staged, but was only very popular in pockets of the United States.
A number of states, most notably New York in 1913, outlawed legalized gambling, as part of the same reform movement that led to Prohibition.
By 1919 attendance at racetracks was at a 20 year low.
By 1922 that trend had been reversed, largely because of the performance of one horse, Mano' War.
In 1920 the Kentucky Derby did not have the exalted status that it has today.
As a result, the owner of Mano' War decide to skip that race, feeling that it was too early in the racing season for a three-year-old to race 1¼ miles.
That omission cost Man o' War the opportunity to win what today is called the Triple Crown.
Man o' War raced in the latter races and won both convincingly.
He also entered 9 other races that season and won each of them.
That record combined with his two-year-old record of entering 10 races, winning 9 and losing the 1 race by 1 length.
His record of 20 victories in 21 races charmed the many people who followed racing at that time and also drew thousands into the sport.
At the height of his popularity, his owner decided to end his career and put him out to stud. Over the next 27 years, more than 500,000 visitors came to the farm to see him, and at his death in 1947 at age 30, over 500 attended his funeral, which was broadcast on the radio.
No other racehorse had Man o' War's dynamism, but both JollyRoger and Equipoise were outstanding enough in their careers in the 1920s to be elected to the Racing Hall of Fame.