12/15/2011 3:33PM

The Lou Lepper Christmas cards: 1939


1939 Christmas cardALL IN THE FAMILY

The etching shows two of my brood mares with their new babies. On the left is Murmuring with her colt, and on her right Opera Bouffe with hers. This group is extraordinary in a number of ways. In the first place, the youngsters, both sired by the great Hard Tack, were born within six hours or each other down at Lexington, Kentucky; and in the second place, they are both colts, which is the sine que non to breeders.

This little family party represents some of the bluest blood on the American Turf. Hard Tack, the sire, is a son of Man o’ War, the greatest Thoroughbred that ever lived, and is also the sire of Seabiscuit, perhaps the greatest of that wonderful Man o’ War line.

Murmuring is the progeny of Mat Hatter, one of the great Whitney sires. He was noted for his mud-running ability. In fact, his trainer saved him for a rainy day. Murmuring retired to private life in 1935 after a successful racing career. The young gentleman shown in the picture is her third baby. They say he has his grandfather’s feet, which means that he ought to be worth a bet when the dope sheet reads, “track sloppy.”

Opera Bouffe is by Caruso out of Caricature. She had a short but brilliant racing career, winning fifty percent of her starts. In 1935 she went blind and had to quit the track.  Of course, that only endeared her all the more to me, so she was sent to the Blue Grass country to become a matron. The colt shown with her is her second. Blindness has made her even sweeter and gentler, and she is an excellent mother.

Friends, Health and Happiness,
Each Year I appreciate them more.
May you too have your full share of
these Three Good Gifts.  
                         Lou Lepper

(Opera Bouffe - 1933 ch. m. by Caruso. 24 starts, 6 wins, 3 seconds, 4 thirds.  $4,110.

Murmuring - 1931 br. m. by Mad Hatter. 42 starts, 2 wins, 7 seconds, 4 thirds. $2,150.

Song o’ War (Hard Tack-Opera Bouffe). Raced from 3-11, 121 starts, 11 wins, 31 seconds, 24 thirds, earnings of $36,965.

America Fore (Hard Tack-Murmuring). Raced from age 2-8. 87 starts, won 5, 8 seconds, 8 thirds. $8,165.)

The Lou Lepper Christmas cards

Click images for a closer look at each card and to read Lepper's Christmas messages. All Christmas card images by Barbara D. Livingston from her collection.

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