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before, Mr. Bonner had taken up driv- ous action which indicate ability to ing for his health. On the roads about carry weight and trot a long race. In the city, among others he met Commo- the preliminary skirmishes, previous to dore Vanderbilt, the great steamship starting, it became apparent that both owner, who has for many years been were in the best condition for the trial. known as an indefatigable roadite and Mr. Bonner now gave them a turn horseman. They were accustomed to around the course, gradually increasmeet at what is known as the Club House ing the rate of speed, and passed on Harlem Lane, where easy and pleas- over the score for the trial at a flying ant social intercourse, enlivened by an gait. The quarter pole was passed in occasional brush between some of the 381 seconds, and, urged on to their utfirst-class horses that were daily assem- most endeavor, the team increased the bled there, made such meetings exceed- pace, and crossed the score in 2 m. 32s. ingly agreeable. On one of these occa- But Mr. Bonner did not stop them at sions some badinage took place be the end of the first mile. He pushed tween Commodore Vanderbilt and Mr. straight forward for the second mile, Bonner as to the speed of their respec- rightly estimating that in the first half tive teams, that resulted in a lasting of the first mile they had not been quite rivalry: Mr. George Wilkes, writing of up to the mark. But they were now this rivalry, says: “ It was a fair con- fully down to the work. They moved test. Commodore Vanderbilt was worth with the steadiness of a locomotive, eight or nine millions of dollars, and and as they came upon the homeMr. Bonner had an income of consider- stretch, they appeared to put forth all ably more than one hundred thousand their strength. The eyes of thousands a year.
Every one, therefore, looked were upon them as they came flying on with pleasure at this rivalry, and on; and as they passed over the score, the efforts each gentleman made to they were greeted with a general exsecure pre-eminence made the contest clamation of delight and a universal conspicuous to all lookers-on.” The clapping of hands. The time had not efforts here referred to were efforts to been announced, but all were satisfied obtain the fastest horses in the market. that it was a great improvement upon As Mr. Bonner would not accept a bet the previous record, though few were of ten thousand dollars, he offered the prepared to hear 2 m. 284 s. announced Commodore the alternative of compet from the judges' stand. This made the ing in a friendly way, should he see fit, time of the two miles 5 m. Iļs. It was with the time that he should make with entirely unprecedented; the best time on his horses in a public trial. On the record being that of Lady Suffolk and day in question the Commodore was Rifle, of two miles in 5 m. 19 s., made on the course, and, by request, held a May 31, 1842, and of one mile in 2 m. watch upon the horses, and took note 42 s., by Lantern and Whalebone in of the time made.
1856. After learning the time in When Mr. Bonner brought out his which his horses had trotted, Mr. Bonteam there was a murmur of admira- ner publicly declared that, while it was tion. The horses were well matched, of a rule with him never to make a bet, the finest mould, full of life and elastic he would present ten thousand dollars vigor, and moved together as if they as a gift to any gentleman who owned obeyed a single impulse. Lady Palm- a team, if he would drive them in the er is a dark chestnut Glencoe mare, time just made by Lady Palmer and of fine thorough-bred appearance, but Flatbush Maid; and this, although the has bone and muscle in abundance, time was not so good by nearly three where bone and muscle are needed in seconds as that of a private trial, namely, trotting. Flatbush Maid is of the same 2 m. 26 s., made a few days previous. height, but of heavier build. She has This great feat, and the circumstances the compact and solid form and vigor- out of which it arose, had more influence
in drawing public attention to driving dle, in three straight mile-heats, the the trotting horse than any other single best of which was trotted in 2 m. 24} s. occurrence in his whole history. Mr. In September, George Wilkes and Bonner's refusal to bet somewhat dis- General Butler were pitted against each pelled the fancy that it was impossible other again, in a race on the Fashion to own a fast horse without using him Course. The year before, George for gambling purposes; which fancy Wilkes had beaten Ethan Allen, and had arisen from the fact that running he came to the encounter with the green horses in America are of no use except laurels of his victory over Rockingham. upon the turf. Taken with the estab- It was stipulated that he should go in lished popularity of driving, and the harness, but this was to him no drawincreased facilities for it provided in back, while General Butler was privitrotting-parks and improved roads, that leged to go under the saddle, the style refusal assisted in making the use of most favorable to an exhibition of all the fast trotting horse general, and in his powers. The day was fine, and the freeing a perfectly innocent and health- track in excellent condition. General ful amusement from a disreputable odor Butler appeared in trim to surpass all which had for many years attached to it. his previous performances, and per
During the year 1863 the war caused haps outstrip all his predecessors. a great diversion of public attention; George Wilkes did not appear so well, nevertheless, the records of the turf ex- and in the race broke frequently, but hibit a goodly amount of excellent work. pushed General Butler out in the last It was marked by the splendid trotting heat in 2 m. 23} s. The preceding two of the horses General Butler, George heats were won by General Butler, in Wilkes, George M. Patchen, Silas Rich, 2 m. 291 s. and 2 m. 284 s. General ButCalifornia Damsel, and by the first ap- ler may therefore be fairly regarded as pearance of a number of the horses that the first horse upon the trotting turf in have since become famous. In May, 1863 ; and his great endurance and the Hambletonian, Shark, made his speed entitle him to be mentioned mark in a three-mile race with Frank among the very first of American trotTemple; placing himself in the list with ting horses, living or dead. Screwdriver, Dutchman, Lady Suffolk, The great performance of the gray and all the famous old three-milers of mare Peerless also took place on Long the first generations. He won the race Island in the summer of this year. She with Frank Temple in two heats ; trot- was then, as now, the property of Mr. ting the first in 7 m. 474 s., and the sec- Robert Bonner, and the performance ond in 7 m. 52} s.
referred to was a trial of one mile to The great two-mile race, on the Fash- wagon. Hiram Woodruff drove her in ion Course, Long Island, between Gen- 2 m. 231 s., which is the best time to wag. eral Butler and George M. Patchen, in on upon record. This mare was bred which General Butler made the best in Orange County, New York, and is two-mile time to wagon on record, took directly derived through her sire, Amerplace on the 18th of June. General ican Star, from Sir Henry. She is Butler won the first heat in 4 m. 561 s. therefore the best living representative In the second heat, owing to some un- of that excellent and popular strain of fair advantage taken by the driver of trotting blood, and is held by many of General Butler, the judges declared its admirers to be able to draw a wagon him distanced. Two days after, the faster than any other horse living. same horses met again, when General It will perhaps be noticed that the Butler came off victorious ; winning principal races mentioned have been three mile-heats in 2 m. 27} s., 2 m. 30 s., upon Long Island. This is owing to and 2 m. 32 s. In the early part of this the fact of its being the seat of the month - June — George Wilkes, in har- great metropolitan race-courses to which ness, beat Rockingham, under the sad- every first-class horse sooner or later is brought. New York City is, in truth, the Though wide across the hip, he is more sporting emporium of the Union. The so measured across the stifles, where great facilities for driving in its suburbs, his power is most apparent; fine arm and the large number of its wealthy and thigh ; his limbs are clean and men interested in fast horses, make it sinewy, and without blemish, with long the best market for them in America. pasterns fitting into well-shaped hoofs; The record of trotting on Long Island mane and tail sufficiently full, and the is, consequently, a record of its pro- latter denoting his Hambletonian origress in the whole country.
gin.” * In the seven years which preThe year 1864 was one of the most ceded his first appearance, his frame brilliant in trotting-turf annals. A fit had become firmly knit, and his musting record of its great races would fill cles developed and hardened, so that, a volume. They represent the best when placed in the skilful hands of Hihorses of 1862 and 1863, — General ram Woodruff, he had the strength to Butler, George Wilkes, Lady Emma, undergo a thorough training, and to and Stonewall Jackson; and such addi- maintain and repeat every improvetions as Dexter, Shark, Nutwood, Bru- ment in speed. nette, Prince, May Queen, Lady Thorn, The first race on the Fashion Course and Commodore Vanderbilt. Some of in 1864 was that in which Stonewall the latter had been on the turf for a Jackson, of Hartford, Connecticut, beat short time previous; but it was in 1864 Frank Cosette and General Grant in 2 m. that they flowered into a fulness of 30 s. This was on the roth of April ; speed which gained them a national and the race of Stonewall Jackson, Lareputation. Dexter, however, the great dy Collins, and Dexter followed on the est of all, and the horse that at present 4th of May. Although Dexter was a represents the highest development of green horse, the fact of his being pitted speed in trotting, made his first ap- against such a champion as Stonewall pearance on the 4th of May of this Jackson, under the management of Hiyear.
ram Woodruff, was sufficient to excite Dexter was bred in Orange County, considerable expectation as well as cuNew York, of the blood of Messenger riosity, and there was in consequence a and Sir Henry. That of the former he good attendance at the race. In the derived from his sire, Hambletonian; first heat the horses got off well, Dexter and the latter from his grandsire, Amer- leading, and giving a taste of his qualican Star. He was foaled in 1857, and ity by trotting the first quarter in 37 was therefore seven years old when he seconds. Stonewall Jackson then drew made his appearance on the turf. He is up, but did not succeed in disposof a rich brown color, fifteen hands one sessing Dexter of the lead which he and one half inches high, and has all the maintained to the end of the heat; characteristics which distinguish the time, 2 m. 33 s. In the next heat Stonetrotter, as the following minute analysis wall Jackson led nearly half-way round of his prominent features exhibits: "His the course, when he was overhauled head, though somewhat large, is clean and passed by Dexter, who kept the and bony; lower jaw well open at the lead, winning the heat in 2 m. 36 s. In base, leaving ample room for the wind- the third heat Dexter opened a wide pipe ; ears tapering and lively; eyes gap between himself and his two combright and prominent; head well set on petitors, which was never closed. He to a rather light neck, which is well fitted won this heat in 2 m. 34} s., and with it to fine sloping shoulders; withers high, the highest opinion of all who bad been with great depth of brisket, and a good witnesses of the race. Not only his barrel; back slightly arched, with broad style of trotting, but his apparent vigor loin and hips, and a drooping rump; and courage, impressed every one with uncommonly long from the point of the the idea of a great horse, and caused hip to the hock; short cannon-bone. * From "Turf, Field, and Farm.”
much speculation as to his future. in 2 m. 24 s. The fourth and fifth were Looking back now, there appears to won by General Butler in 2 m. 33} s. have been a chance for speculation of a and 2 m. 31s., who came out of the conmore easily computable value, as Dex- test apparently as fresh and vigorous ter could probably have been bought at as when he went into it. On the 16th, that time for five thousand dollars. Toronto Chief, the famous son of RoyTwo days afterwards Dexter beat Lady al George, beat Shark, on the Union Collins on the Union Course. In the Course, in 2 m. 251 s. ; and July 8th, interval between the last heats Com- Shark was also beaten by Goshen modore Vanderbilt drove his famous Maid in 2 m. 314 s. team, Ploughboy and Postboy, around On the 21st of September a great the course several times in fine style, race between the champions General but made no attempt to compete with Butler, Lady Emma, Prince, and John the time placed upon record by Mr. Morgan took place on the Fashion Bonner with Lady Palmer and Flatbush Course. It was won by Prince, of Maid. On the 3d of June Dexter Hartford, who trotted the three last of started in a race with two other Ham- five heats in 2 m. 284 s., 2 m. 304 s., and bletonians, Shark and Hambletonian 2 m. 30 s., beating at the same time Second, but struck his leg in the first both Lady Emma and General Butler, heat, and was withdrawn. He did not - a distinction never enjoyed by any appear on the turf again during 1864. other horse.
In the early part of this season there October 8 there was another meetwas a great revival of trotting in all ing of the same horses. George Wilkes parts of the country. In the West as was entered also; and, if he had trotted, well as in the East there was an un- it would have included nearly all the usual activity upon the turf. At Cincin- great rivals on the turf. As it was, the nati, Quaker Boy trotted in 2 m. 30} s.; celebrity of the horses engaged in it, at Chicago, Black Diamond beat Gen- and the fact of their having trotted toeral Grant and Boston ; at Woodlawn, gether a few weeks before, excited very Kentucky, Rolla Golddust distanced great interest in the race. Their preJerry Morgan in 2 m. 29) s.; at Hart- vious trial had been in harness; this ford, Connecticut, John Morgan beat was to wagons. Lady Emma was the Prince, trotting five heats, – the fifth in favorite, and she came on the ground 2 m. 28 s. ; at Springfield, Massachu- in the finest condition ; Prince had the setts, Dan Mace beat General Butler, prestige of success; while General Buttrotting under the saddle, one heat, in ler and John Morgan were well sustained 2 m. 31 s.; and later in the season, at by their friends, upon the strength of Boston, Belle of Hartford and mate their many victories. The race was trotted in double harness in 2 m. 334 s. worthy the reputation of the horses
The principal races of the year, how- engaged, and fully met public expectaever, came off on Long Island. On tions. It was indeed one of the best the ist of June, Lady Emma, May that was ever trotted. Lady Emma inQueen, and Dan Mace met in a race creased her great reputation by winning on Union Course, which was won by every heat. Her time was 2 m. 27 s., Lady Emma in three successive heats, 2 m. 264 s., and 2 m. 264 s. Flora Tem- two of which were trotted 2 m. ple, in her best race to wagons, trotted 27 s. On the 15th of June General three heats in 2 m. 25 s., 2 m. 27 s., and Butler beat George Wilkes and John 2 m. 27} s., which cannot be regarded as Morgan in a great race on the Fash- very much better than the time of Lady ion Course. George Wilkes won the Emma in this race. first two heats ; but through the dis- On the 12th of October Stonewall graceful conduct of his driver, in driv- Jackson trotted a three-mile race with ing foul, he was distanced by the judges Shark, in which he made the best threein the third, although he won the heat mile time on record, excepting that of Dutchman. He trotted two heats; the forever dispossessed of her place at second in exactly the same time as the the head of the trotting horses of first, — 7 m. 39 s. Shark showed himself America, Dexter trotted one mile a worthy antagonist, and his splendid under the saddle in 2 m. 18}s. Subtrotting made the race very interesting. sequent to this great feat he made his October 17 the horse Commodore Van- appearance on the turf only twice in derbilt beat Toronto Chief in 2 m. 331 s., this year, — each time in a race with and established his reputation as a first- the indefatigable bay veteran, General class trotter, - a reputation which he Butler. In the last race Dexter trotted fully sustained the following year. On two miles in 4 m. 564 s. the 21st of October Lady Thorne, the In the latter part of this season there famous daughter of Mambrino Chief, remains to be mentioned the race in the great Messenger horse of the West, which General Butler beat George trotted at Philadelphia with Shark in Wilkes and Lady Emma, adding anone of her earliest races, in 2 m. 32 s. other to his long list of splendid vicIn this race she gave a good earnest of tories; and two races in which George her future greatness.
Wilkes beat Commodore Vanderbilt. The trotting season of 1865 opened November 16, 1865, the gentlemen about the ist of June, and was marked of New York interested in horses had by fine races in all parts of the country. the high honor of entertaining General In many of these the horses that have Grant at their pleasant rendezvous, been previously mentioned were pitted Dubois's Club House, on Harlem against Dexter, who made the year Lane. The Club House is an open memorable in trotting records by his cottage building, situated near the road, surpassing performances. On the 2d with a one-half mile course immeof June he beat General Butler ; trot- diately in the rear. Through the ting three heats in 2 m. 263 s., 2 m. agency of Mr. George Wilkes, — during 26 s., 2 m. 24s. This showed a marked General Grant's visit to the city, — the improvement in his trotting capacity, owners of most of the fine horses were his best time in 1864 being 2 m. 30 s. informed of the General's desire to see On the 12th he was beaten by Lady their horses, and, upon solicitation, he Thorne, who trotted a mile in this race appointed a day to meet them at Duin 2 m. 24 S.
On the 26th he beat bois's Club House. On the day apStonewall Jackson in a three-mile race, pointed there was such a gathering of but without making a remarkable rec- trotting horses and horsemen as was ord. A race with General Butler fol- never equalled. Flora Temple, still lowed September 7th, and one with living, was there to claim admiration the same horse and George Wilkes, for the splendid performances of other September 21st. George Wilkes had days ; Dexter, in the height of fame ; been previously beaten on the 20th of The Auburn Horse, of whose great June by Lady Emma, --a mare in praise speed every one present had caught of whose beauty, speed, endurance, and glimpses; Lady Emma, Lantern, Peerreliability it is impossible to say enough. less, George Wilkes, General Butler, The race of September 21st was won Toronto Chief, Commodore Vanderbilt, by Dexter, whose claim to the title Brunette, Ella Sherwood, Lady Clifden, " King of the Turf” was now pretty and many others. The General, who clearly established. It received, how- is a great lover of the horse, was highly ever, an indorsement on the roth of gratified; and his discriminating reOctober, which rendered it indisputa- marks indicated his ability to review an ble. On that day he trotted his great army of horses quite as well as an army race against time, on the Fashion of men. Course. In the presence of all the This review showed the strength leading horsemen of the country, who and richness of the trotting turf in mahad assembled to see Flora Temple terial for various and brilliant displays