Historical Markers #1215 and #1635 in Lexington note the many accomplishments of Man-O-War, considered by many to be the greatest thoroughbred ever.

In a state where horses have the tendency to become legends, no horse has drawn more historical acclaim than the chestnut thoroughbred nicknamed "Big Red." Man-O-War was foaled at Nursery Stud, near Lexington, in 1917. His owner was noted breeder August Belmont II, President of the American Jockey Club. As a yearling, Man-O-War was sold at Saratoga, New York, to Samuel Riddle, owner of Faraway Farm in Lexington. Riddle paid $5,000 for the horse.

During the 1919 racing season, as a two-year-old, Man-O-War won nine of the ten races. The next year "Big Red" captured the purse in each of the eleven races he ran. Although Man-O-War did not run in the 1920 Kentucky Derby, he did win the other two legs of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. He won the Belmont Stakes by twenty lengths and set a new world record time. During that 1920 season Man-O-War became a leading sports figure and pop-culture icon. He set five world records and won one race by 100 lengths; all feats unrivaled in horse racing.

In 1921, Man-O-War returned to Faraway Farm to stud. There he produced two future Kentucky Derby winners, Clyde Van Dusen in 1929, and War Admiral in 1937. In stud Man-O-War continued his celebrity status. Thousands of visitors came to Faraway to see the legendary thoroughbred and be toured around the farm by Big Red’s caretaker, Will Harbut.

Man-O-War has been immortalized with a statue in Lexington, and a major road around the city bears his name.


Fair Play-Mahubah by Rock Sand - Greatest race horse and leading money winner of his day. Winner of twenty of twenty-one starts with lifetime earnings of $249,465. Foaled March 29, 1917, at August Belmont's Nursery Stud a few miles away. Sold at auction as yearling for $5,000 to Samuel D. Riddle, his owner throughout his racing career and later retirement. "Big Red" sired 62 stakes winners, his get earning over $3.5 million. War Admiral, Triple Crown winner, was most famous of his offspring. Man o' War died November 1, 1947; lies buried beneath this statue by noted sculptor Herbert Haseltine. Plaque presented by The Thoroughbred Club of America.


2 year old, 1919

Grand Union Hotel
Keene Memorial Tremont
U.S. Hotel
Purse Race, at Belmont
Won all entered as a 2 year old, except second in Sanford Memorial.

3 year old, 1920:

Jockey Club
Kenilworth Gold Cup
Lawrence Realization
Miller Potomac
Won all entered as a 3 year old, eight in record time. Plaque presented by The Thoroughbred Club of America.

Marker #1215 was dedicated in 1968.