10 Facts about Whirlaway

Updated: Apr 10, 2019


Whirlaway and trainer Ben A. Jones. Photo from the Keeneland Library Cook Collection. This image is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the Keeneland Library.

1.) Whirlaway is still the only horse to have won both the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes.

2.) Calumet Farm’s trainer Ben A. Jones called Whirlaway the dumbest horse he ever trained because of Whirlaway’s bad habits. These habits included: bearing out, rearing, jumping, and more.

3.) Whirlaway is nicknamed “Mr.Longtail” because trainer Ben A. Jones kept the horse’s tail long to discourage other horses from getting too close to him.

4.) During his four-year old season in 1942, Whirlaway raised $3,000,000 for the War Emergency Relief Fund. This made horse racing the sport that raised the most money. In total, Whirlaway helped to raise $5,000,000 in War Bonds.

5.) Whirlaway was the first Triple Crown winner to do his prep for the Kentucky Derby at Keeneland.

6.) Whirlaway ran the final eighth of a mile in the Kentucky Derby in eleven seconds. This record has never been broken.

7.) In the Hopeful Stakes, Whirlaway was hit in the eye with flying debris. Showing his heart, Whirlaway won the race. Veterinarians and human eye specialists worked together to save Whirlaway's eye for two months afterwards.

8.) Whirlaway bore out so badly in the 1940 Saratoga Special that he hit the outer rail and somehow still managed to win the race.

9.) Whirlaway was the first horse to win over half a million dollars.

10.) Whirlaway raced sixty times throughout his career, winning thirty-two, placing second fifteen times, and coming in third nine times.

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