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Family horses owned by my great uncle Rex C. Ellsworth and his brother, my grandfather, Reed W. Ellsworth
swaps 1956


Swaps (Khaled x Iron Reward by Beau Pere).  He was Eclipse Champion Older Horse and Horse of the Year in 1956. He was sold for $2 million to John W. Galbraith of Darby Dan Farm, the highest paid price for a horse in history. My dad was 9 years old when Swaps was sold. He said of that occasion that he felt betrayed, like they sold off a family member when Swaps was sold. Swaps was the mascot of the family.  Swaps was one of the greatest horses that ever raced. Bloodhorse ranked him 20th of the top 100 thoroughbreds of the 20th century. I with many others feel that he should be ranked much higher, considering that he broke more world records than any other horse. A big argument of his day was that he only faced California competition, having raced principally in on the West Coast.  However, he broke or equaled world records on 4 different tracks in California, Florida, and Illinois (Hollywood, Santa Anita, Gulfstream, and Washington Park). As good as Bold Ruler, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid were, they were not breaking world records with such ease.  They are all exceptional, but they were not phenoms like Swaps.

Race record

Age 2: June Juvenile Stakes, 3rd: Westchester Stakes, Haggin Stakes

Age 3: Santa Anita Derby, San Vicente Stakes, Californian Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Westerner Stakes, American Derby, Will Rogers Stakes, 2nd match race with Nashua

Age 4: Hollywood Gold Cup, Sunset Handicap, American Handicap, Washington Park Handicap, Argonaut Handicap, Inglewood Handicap, Broward Handicap, LA County Fair Handicap, 2nd Californian

Stakes Records

Age 3: New World Record at 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.2
New Track Record at Washington Park and Equaled American Record for 1 3/16 miles in 1:54

Age 4: Equaled World Record at 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.4
New World Record at 1 5/8 miles in 2:38.1
New World Record at 1 mile in 1:33.1
New World Record at 1 mile 70 yds in 1:39.3
New World Record at 1 1/16 miles in 1:39
New Track Record at Hollywood for 1 1/4 miles in 1:58.3
New Track Record at Washington Park at 1 mile in 1:33.2

the tetrarch
The Tetrarch.  This is the horse that Rex modeled his horses after.  He wanted the blazing speed that The Tetrarch passed on his offspring.  Rex went to Europe with the purpose of finding an excellent stallion prospect that had The Tetrarch up close.

khaled
Khaled (Hyperion x Eclair by Ethnarch).  Rex Ellsworth, his brother Heber and Ray Bell went to Ireland to purchase Nasrullah.  McGrath was not willing to sell, even though he had not said so at the time.  He simply blew Rex off.  They then went to visit Ali Khan the breeder of Nasrullah to look at a horse called Khaled.  Khaled was a very good 2-year-old, but later developed a breathing problem that cut his racing career short.  Rex accurately guessed that the problem was due to the environment where he was kept and not a genetic ailment.  Ali Khan sold the stallion for $160,000, a hefty sum in 1948. Once Khaled was in California he recovered completely.

Khaled had a fabulous career as a stallion, though he did not breed the regal mares that stallions like Nasrullah received at Claiborne Farm.  He still sired 12% stakes winners, including the great Swaps, A Glitter, Correspondent, Terrang, New Policy, Hillary, Corn off the Cob, Take Over, Candy Dish, Bushel-N-Peck (dam of Wild Again), Linmold, and Physician.  He was the broodmare sire of many good runners such as Candy Spots, Prove it, Wild Again, Tipping Time, Close by, O'Hara, Outing Class, and champion Ribofilio.  
 
khalen in california
Khaled in California. Once he arrived in California, his breathing ailment improved and for a short period of time Rex considered running him in California.  However, in the end he decided to retire him to stud.

He ran very well in England.  He won the Coventry Stakes, Middle Park Stakes, St. James Palace Stakes, Column Produce Stakes, 2nd Two Thousand Guineas, 3rd Eclipse Stakes.

swaps in florida derby
Swaps won the Broward Handicap at Gulfstream Park in Florida on 14 April 1956. He set a new world record time going 1 mile and 70 yards in 1:39.3. Note that his ears up.  He knew that he was winning and was doing so casually.

san vicente swaps
Swaps won the San Vicente Stakes on 19 January 1955 to start out his 3-year-old season in winning fashion.
 
la county fair handicap and swaps
Swaps won the LA County Fair Handicap at Santa Anita on 17 February 1956. (8.5f - 1:43)
 
candy spots florida derby
Candy Spots won the Florida Derby impressively several lengths while on the Triple Crown trail.  Florida Derby was then and still is a major prep race for Kentucky Derby.  (March 30, 1963; 9f, 1:50.3)

preakness won by candy spots
Candy Spots showed his ability, winning the Preakness over Chateaugay and Never Bend.  Candy Spots placed 3rd behind Chateaugay in the Kentucky Derby and placed 2nd again behind Chateaugay in the Belmont.  Hover, in the Preakness Candy Spots was second to none. (18 May 1963; 9.5f, 1:56.1)

churchill downs handicap
Olden Times was another excellent runner for Ellsworth Stables.  Here he won the Churchill Downs Handicap by several lengths. (30 April 1964; New track record at 7f, 1:21.2)   

Olden Times (Relic x Djenne by Djebel) He also proved to be an excellent sire, leading the juvenile sires list and the broodmare sires list in 1982.  He stood at several farms in Kentucky during his career.  He sired several champions, including champion 2-year-old colt Roving Boy, champion 2-year-old filly in France Ancient Regime, champion sprinter in France, Cricket Ball.  He was broodmare sire to champions Johnny D, Miss Secreto, and Val Fleurie. He was French-bred and it seemed that his get did particularly well in his homeland.

His daughters were well known for being able to produced foals year after year for several years.  Swaps was also an excellent broodmare sire, but his daughters were not as fertile as Olden Times' daughters.

wallet lifter
Wallet Lifter (Khaled x Lismore Liz by Psychic Bid) winning the Lakes and Flowers Handicap at Hollywood Park on 19 July 1962. (6f, 1:08.4)

the scoundrel
The Scoundrel (Toulouse Lautrec x Malekeh by Stardust) won the Haggin Stakes at Hollywood Park on 27 June 1965. [5.5f, 1:05.3] Rex Ellsworth not Mesh Tenney trained him.  Mesh Tenney tired of the constant traveling and lack of family life decided to try his hand at ranching in Arizona instead.

honey bunny
Honey Bunny (Khaled x Sona by Nasrullah) winning the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park at 5/8 mile in :58.2.   She also won the Hollywood Lassie Stakes and the Nursery Stakes. [13-6-?-?; $78, 825]

fleet khal
Fleet Khal b. 1950 (Khaled x Flitting Feet by Flying Heels) 5 June 1953. She  won the Hollywood Lassie Stakes; 3rd Cinderella Stakes at two, won the Hollywood Oaks, Vanity Handicap, Sea Breeze Stakes; 2nd Westerner Stakes at three, and at four she was 2nd Del Mar Handicap and 3rd Las Flores Handicap. [35-9-4-6; $125, 150] 

prove it
Prove It (Endeavor II x Time To Khal by Khaled) winning the Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park on 16 June 1962. Prove It was a good runner, and Tenney would use Olden Times as his rabbit.  Olden Times would take the lead, and if he tired than Prove It would come off the pace to win it.  They proved an impossible match to beat. (8.5f, 1:41)

prove it
Prove It (Endeavor II x Time to Khal by Khaled) wining the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park on 23 July 1962. This is the race that Swaps set the world record going 13f; a world record that still stands. (13f, 2:39.3)

prove it
Prove It winning the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park on 3 Seep 1962. He equaled the track record for 1 mile (8f) in 1:33.4.

prove it
Prove It, one of the best horses to run for Ellsworth Stables won the Santa Anita Maturity in 1962. [10f, 2:01.0]

Race Record
Santa Anita Handicap, Santa Anita Maturity, San Fernando Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Washington Park Handicap, Sunset Handicap, American Handicap, Inglewood Handicap, Benjamin Handicap, Lindleimer Handicap
2nd Californian Stakes (twice)
3rd Hollywood Premiere Handicap
swaps 1955
Swaps in 1955 in Chino Valley, California.


swaps
Swaps in the paddock.  Swaps was a good and popular sire, though he never reached the fame at stud that he did on the track.  Like many stallions, his first few crops were his best.  He sired Chateaugay, (champion 3-year-old, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner), Affectionately (champion sprinter and handicap mare at age 5), Primonetta (champion handicap mare at age 4), No Robbery (Wood Memorial Stakes winner), and Lady Vi-E (Kentucky Oaks winner).  He sired Swapson who as a yearling sold for a world record price of $130,000 in 1961.  He was second most successful sire of his generation behind Nashua.  He sired 8% stakes winners and will be a presence for years to come in pedigrees especially through his daughters: Soaring, Intriguing, and Change Water.

Interestingly both Primonetta and Affectionately produced excellent foals, but their line did not fare well in subsequent generations.  Primonetta produced Cum Laude Laurie (Beldame winner), Maud Muller (Ashland Stakes winner), and Prince Thou Art (Florida Derby winner). Her sons, Grenfall and Truxton King, were decent sires.  Affectionately produced Personality (champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year; won Preakness, Wood Memorial, and Woodward Stakes).

candy spots
Candy Spots (Nigromante x Candy Dish by Khaled). Nigromante was purchased in Argentina.  He produced some nice runners, including Candy Spots.  Unfortunately he died young. Candy Spots was a great horse and probably the second best horse that the Ellsworth Stables owned.  He wons the Jersey Derby, Florida Derby, Arlington-Washington Futurity, Preakness, 3rd in the Kentucky Derby and 2nd in the Belmont to Chateaugay (by Swaps).
 
swaps
swaps sports illustrated
Nashua, Swaps' eastern rival, was awarded Horse of the Year honors after the ill fated match race at Arlington between Swaps and Nashua.  Swaps won the Kentucky Derby over Nashua, but did not continue on the Triple Crown trail. Nashua went on to win the Preakness and Belmont convincingly. Swaps went back to California and continued his undefeated record breaking world records along the way.  Nashua also had a incredible season, just like his champion 2-year-old season.  In the end a match race was organized on a "neutral track" Arlington.  Swaps' foot was sore the morning of the race, but after much deliberation, the Ellsworths decided to race Swaps anyway.  As expected he finished 2nd to a healthy Nashua.

Swaps' foot healed, and he was vindicated last year's results with more wins and more world records.  Nashua was winning races, too, but he was not breaking records doing it.  Swaps was easily voted Horse of the Year.  

Swap broke world records over the distances of 8f, 1 mile 70 yards, 8.5f (twice), 10f, and 13f.  The world record over 13f still stands.  It took the likes of Dr Fager to break Swap's 8f record.
 
swaps kentucky derby
swaps
Swaps with a blanket of red roses in the winner's circle after winning the Kentucky Derby.

swaps collage
Swaps was an incredible horse who not only won the Kentucky Derby, 19 of 25 starts, broke 6 world records and several track records, but he ran so effortlessly.  He ran so much faster than his opponents under no urging from his jockey Will "The Shoe" Shoemaker.

swaps winning
swaps in the westerner stakes
Swaps won the Westerner at Hollywood Park on 14 July 1955.  He did not break a world record, but ran 10f in a very good time of 2:00.3.

swaps inglewood
Swaps won the Inglewood Handicap on 25 June 1956, setting a new world record at 8.5f in 1:39.0.

candy spots
Candy Spots was a top 2-year-old colt.  He won the prestigious Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park. He did not get year-end honors.  I think a lot of it had to do with the East coast bias. (2 Aug 1962; 6f, 1:11)

Race Record [22-12-5-1; $824, 718]
Age 2: Arlington-Washington Futurity, Futurity Trial

Age 3: Preakness, Jersey Derby, Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby, American Derby, Arlington Classic; 2nd Belmont; 3rd Kentucky Derby

Age 5: San Pasquale Handicap; 2nd Santa Anita Handicap

jersey derby candy spots
As if the classics were not close enough together in time, Candy Spots ran and won the Jersey Derby at Garden State Park between the Preakness and the Belmont. (30 May 1963; 9f, 1:50)

Candy Spots was one of the best horses of his generation.  He was called Candy Spots as a spin off his dam's name and the large white spots on his back and legs. 

candy dish
Candy Dish b. 1953 (Khaled x Feather Time by Beau Pere) won the 9f Hollywood Oaks in 1:49.3. She was one of a long line of wonderful mares.  Her best foal was Candy Spots.

olden times in the champion stakes
Olden Times winning the California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita. (8 Feb 1961; 8.5f , 1:42.1)

Race Record [54-17-10-5; $605, 875]
Age 2: Charles S. Howard Stakes, Haggin Stakes, 2nd California Breeders' Trial Stakes

Age 3: California Breeders' Champion Stakes, Debonair Stakes, Malibu Stakes, 2nd San Felipe Stakes, Will Rogers Stakes, San Vicente Stakes

Age 4: San Juan Capistrano Handicap, San Antonio Handicap, Golden State Breeders' Handicap; 2nd Santa Anita Handicap, San Fernando Stakes, Palos Verdes Handicap; 3rd Californian Stakes, Santa Anita Maturity

Age 5: San Pasqual Handicap; 2nd San Carlos Handicap; 3rd Palos Verdes Handicap

Age 6: Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile), Illinois Handicap, San Pasqual Handicap, Churchill Handicap (NTR); 2nd Brooklyn Handicap, Charles W Bigwill Memorial Handicap; 3rd Suburban Handicap, San Bernardino Handicap, Hawthorne Gold Cup

olden times
Olden Times winning the Haggin Stakes on 1 July 1960 (5f, :57.4)

San Juan Capistrano won by olden times
Olden Times winning the a marathon the 1 3/4 mile San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita Park on 10 March 1962.  

Olden Times was a sprinter, but he showed that he could last in one of the longest races in the US.  The strategy that Tenney had for him was to take the lead as usual.  No one in the race would take him seriously because he was a sprinter that could on a good day last to 9f.  Every time a horse would make a run at him, Olden Times would increase his lead slightly.  In final quarter all the horses were tired because they had all made a run at him.  He, too, was tired but was the first tired horse to cross the finish line.  If they horses would have all waited patiently for the final furlongs of the race as is usual for long races, they would have overtaken Olden Times.

Willie Shoemaker said that riding Olden Times to victory in the San Juan Capistrano was his greatest ride.  Considering his career spanned 4 decades and included riding several horses of the year, that is not trite statement. 

space skates
Space Skates (Khaled x Chargeway by Royal Charger) after winning the Futurity Trial 2nd div. [6.5f, 1:18.0]

dr kacy
Dr. Kacy (Nigromante x Chanson Folle by Chanteur). L.A. Chamber of Commerce Race at Hollywood Park  on 21 June 1965. [7f, 1:22]




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