Whisk Broom II ran only three times in the United States, but by making a clean sweep of that trio of races he cemented his position in American racing history. It was forty years before another horse duplicated his accomplishment.
Foaled in 1907 and bred by Clarence Mackay of Kentucky, Whisk Broom II was a son of the great sire Broomstick. His dam, Audience, was sired by Sir Dixon, whose wins included the 1888 Belmont Stakes. Her dam was Sallie McClelland, a multiple stakes winning daughter of the champion Hindoo.
Purchased by Harry Payne Whitney, the chestnut son of Broomstick was sent to England with trainer Andrew Jackson Joyner. He made his debut at Sandown, running fourth in the Holiday Stakes. Three weeks later he had more success, breaking his maiden in the Prince of Wales Plate at York.
Whisk Broom II started three more times as a juvenile, running fourth behind Neil Gow in Doncaster's Champagne Stakes and finishing second to future Derby winner Lemberg twice at Newmarket, in the Middle Park and Dewhurst Plates.
On April 10, 1910, Whisk Broom II made his sophomore debut at Newmarket, and again met Neil Gow. He fared better than he had at Doncaster, taking second money, but he couldn't get by the son of Marco.
The story was the same two weeks later in the Two Thousand Guineas. Neil Gow beat Lemburg by a nose, with Whisk Broom II another two lengths back in third.
After a short rest, Whisk Broom II won the Trial Stakes at Ascot, then ran out of the money behind Swynford in the Hardwick Stakes.
An improving Whisk Broom II next ran at Aintree, and was beaten only a head by Willonyx in the Knowsley Dinner Stakes. The highlight of his three-year-old campaign came that fall at Newmarket. The son of Broomstick won the Select Stakes by four lengths.
As a four year old, Whisk Broom II won the Salford Borough Handicap at Manchester with giving twenty four pounds to runner up Great Surprise. He also beat Sunspot by a neck in the Peril of the Peak Handicap, ran second in the Duke of Cambridge Handicap, and finished fourth behind Swynford and Lemberg in the Eclipse Stakes.
Whisk Broom II raced one more season in England, winning the Snailwell Stakes, and missing by only a nose in the Select Stakes, before returning to the United States.
James Rowe took over training duties, and sent the six year old Whisk Broom II postward in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park. With Joe Notter in the irons, he took command at the head of the stretch and won by a length and a half, despite giving twenty six pounds to runner up G.M. Miller. Kentucky Derby winner Meridian was third.
The convincing win prompted a weight assignment of 130 pounds for the Brooklyn Handicap, but Whisk Broom II was loafing in the stretch as he sailed home a length and a half the better of the lightly weighted G.M. Miller.
Whisk Broom II's final start was undeniably his finest effort. Carrying a staggering 139 pounds, he got to the wire a half length in front of Lahore, who carried a mere 112 pounds. The spectacular time of 2:00 for the mile and a quarter race has often been disputed as impossible, and the record stood for decades.
Having become the first winner of the Handicap Triple Crown, Whisk Broom II was honored with the divisional championship and the Horse of the Year title. Retired to stud, he sired Upset, the conqueror of Man o' War; the game and talented John P. Grier, who won the Aqueduct Handicap and sired numerous stakes winners but is best remembered for his second place finish in the Dwyer Stakes; Whiskaway, the top three year old of 1922; Preakness Stakes winner Victorian, who earned $253,425 in his career; the durable and consistent champion handicapper Diavolo, who topped the hundred thousand dollar mark in earnings; Kentucky Derby winner and divisional champion Whiskery; the good filly Nedna; nineteen other stakes winners, and the oustandingly priced yearling New Broom, whose $80,000 pricetag was a record until 1954. Whisk Broom II passed away in 1928.
Whisk Broom II was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979, and only two other horses, the great Tom Fool and millionaire Fit to Fight, have ever duplicated his feat and completed the most difficult triple in racing.
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