2020 Fine Sporting Art, American Paintings, and Sculpture
27| Henry Stull (American, 1851-1913)
Savable, Winner Of The Futurity And Lord Of The Vale, Second
Signed, dated 1902
Oil on canvas, 24" x 29"
$25000. - $35000.
Provenance: E. Franklin Robbins; Sotheby's, New York, Jone 7, 1991, Lot 166
Signed, dated 1902
On August 30, 1902, 50,000 racegoers gathered at Sheepshead Bay to watch with breathless interest as the greatest number that had ever struggled for the laurel wreath faced the start. The prize was rich, and the quality of the field incomparable. Before the flag it appeared as though any of the 32 horses entered had an even chance at victory. John A. Drake and his western contingency were confident that Savable, sired by Salvator, would capture the purse. By noon, a crowd such that Sheepshead Bay had never seen filled the lower tier of the three-deck grandstand. Long before the call to post, all tiers were filled with a mass of moving color ? wealthy onlookers in the rare and radiant colors of the season. Twenty thousand surged in the field; beyond the track were countless more. By post time seven horses had scratched. The start saw Lord of the Vale, a Belmont colt, the first to break, with Savable, Hurstbourne, and Dazzling falling in at his heels. Fire Eater was left at the post. Flying down the hill, 23 stretched out across the track in what appeared to be an almost straight line. Spectators observed with bated breath as the racers straightened out ? suspense palpable in the air as a single misstep could bring a fateful catastrophe. Dazzling broke the ranks to extend first into the stretch. Patrick McCue touched Lord of the Vale with the whip, and he gallantly responded by taking the lead. After a moment?s falter the son of Hastings recovered, the goal was in sight, and McCue prepared to usher him through. Savable, all but forgotten by the crowd, seemed just a glimpse of turquoise in the back. Lucien Lyne answered the challenge using the tip of the spur and the crack of the whip to fully extend his mount. Savable answered and broke from the bunch at a thundering speed. Lyne continued to lift him inch by inch, and in the last sixteenth he wore down the single length separating himself and victory. McCue used all his tact to fend off defeat, but Savable ? with his sire?s indomitable courage, speed, and heart ? surpassed the pride of the Belmont stable as they flew under the wire. August Belmont, watching from the roof stand, never flinched but acknowledged ?with another week?s work, Lord of the Vale would have won.? The Futurity saw $45,400 to the winner, $5,250 to the second, and $2,750 to the third. J.B. Haggin, breeder of Savable, captured $2,000 while August Belmont took $1,250. The last $500 went to James R. Keene, breeder of Dazzling, for total prize money of $57,150. Drake is credited with having won the largest bet ever made in the country: His winnings amounting to more than $100,000.
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