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The Horse Named After Frank Sinatra

Francis S. racehorse named after Frank Sinatra winning the 1960 Bay Shore Handicap.
Francis S. winning the 1960 Bay Shore Handicap. Keeneland Library Morgan Collection. This image is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the Keeneland Library.

Frank Sinatra is one of the most popular singers of all time. He was also an Oscar winning actor. But perhaps most relevant to this story is the fact that Frank Sinatra was friends with Louis Wolfson.

Wolfson was a Wall Street financier, a self-made millionaire by the time he was 29. He was also the owner of Harbor View Farm. In 1958, Wolfson purchased four yearlings at the Keeneland Yearling Sale. One of those yearlings was a big, handsome Chestnut colt bred by Spendthrift Farm.

The colt was by Royal Charger and was out Blue Eyed Momo (War Admiral). Wolfson named him Francis S. as a nod to his good friend Frank Sinatra. It was a fitting name given the “Blue Eyed” in the dam’s name (Frank Sinatra is often referred to as “Ole Blue Eyes”) and the colt’s apparent talent.

Francis S. put on an incredible three-year-old season in 1960, winning the Wood Memorial, Bay Shore Handicap, Governor's Gold Cup, and the Dwyer Handicap. Wolfson hoped his colt would get him a Kentucky Derby victory, but Francis S. developed a throat infection and was sidelined for the entire Triple Crown season.

By the time Francis S. was retired, he had earned himself a record of 36:8-6-8 and $215k.


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Awesome piece! Back in the Rat Pack days, racing was big with celebs, and it would be a whos who at Santa Anita. The Golden Age of Hollywood was the Golden Age of racing as well.

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