Sir Barton Wins the Dominion Handicap

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On August 11, 1920, Sir Barton went to the post at Fort Erie Race Track in Ontario for the Dominion Handicap. He faced a field of three other horses in this mile-and-a-quarter handicap with a purse of just over $11,000. Carrying 134 pounds, the Triple Crown winner gave each horse in the field anywhere from 10 to 38 pounds — and still beat them all.

He jumped out to the lead at the start and never let another horse out in front over that mile and a quarter. At the finish, he was a length and a half in front under a hand ride from Earl Sande, the great jockey who would go on to ride Gallant Fox to his Triple Crown in 1930. Commander J.K.L. Ross, Sir Barton’s owner, was especially happy about this victory, as his champion had won in his home country. The time was 2.06, though clockers claimed it should have been faster given that the track was running at least three seconds slow on that particular day.

Sir Barton immediately shipped back to Saratoga, where the rest of the Ross horses were, where speculation abounded that the Triple Crown winner would meet super horse Man O’War in the Saratoga Cup. That particular meeting wasn’t meant to be, but the drumbeat for a match grew louder as the month of August came to a close.

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