12/15/2011 4:31PM

The Lou Lepper Christmas cards: 1949

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1949 Christmas card…and to you all, Good Health
   Lou Lepper

Said Portia, the fair and feminine attorney, counsellor-at-law and proctor in admiralty of the Merchant of Venice, “Ay, there’s a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse.”

Counsellor Portia, of course, did not know Lou Lepper, so she must have been talking about another follow. But we have been told that the description fits perfectly. In any event Lou is talking of his horse again, only this time it is not not just one horse but four horses. That, it would seem, gives him four times as much to talk about.

You’ve all heard about the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, who went rampaging up and down the gridiron twenty-five years ago crushing all opposition. Well, Lou Lepper hopes that he now has the four horses that are going to do on the racetrack what Knute Rockne’s Four Horsemen did on the football field. If you will look at our picture on the opposite page, you will agree that he has some foundation for this hope.

We are Lou’s babies – yearlings now and two-year-olds as of January 1, which is the birthday of all horses. We are all “kin” to horses whose pictures have been used on this greeting card in former years, which, of course, means that we are real “quality.”

Standing at the right of the line is Isopera, by Isolator out of Opera Bouffe. That makes him a full brother to Off Islander, whose picture appeared here a couple of years ago.  The poor fellow never had a chance to live up to his promise, because a broken leg ended his racing career before it was well started. Isopera also is a half-brother to Song O’War and Chronoflite.

Next in line is Bendanear, by Benagi out of Murmuring. You will remember Murmuring, the mare who has given Lou five straight winners. Bendanear is a half brother to Mad Sweep, Betty Main, America Fore, Wayne County and Slammuring, the filly who had such a great season under Lou’s colors in 1948 and whose picture was on last year’s Christmas card. Certainly Bendanear's name belongs in the equine Almanach de Gotha.

Third comes Torn Pages, by War Jeep out of Lady Menifee. She is half sister to Lady Hairan, which makes her a true blue blood. At the left of the quartet is Captain Palmer, by War Jeep out of Palmer Park. He is Palmer Park’s first baby and his blood lines are good enough to warrant great expectations when he goes to the races.

How’s that for a handful of beauties; do you wonder that Lou is looking forward to some great things? Unlike some horsemen, Lou is a sure winner every season, for whether his horses took down any purses or finished among the “also rans,” he still would have a lot of fun. And that’s what he’s in the racing game for, anyhow.

Even though Lou, as Portia, said, “doth talk of nothing but his horse,” he thinks of his friends. He thinks of them constantly all year ’round but Christmas time he thinks of them even more. He thought particularly of you when he made up the list of those to whom he wanted to extend a very extra-special Christmas greeting. He has put a bet “right on the nose” that you will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and he’d rather win that bet than any other he ever will make. So he’ll be pulling for your number to come up in the winner's slot on 1950’s mutuel board every single day.

ISOPERA
BENDANEAR
TORN PAGES
CAPT. PALMER

(Capt. Palmer, ch. c 1948 War Jeep-Palmer Park x Cohort –Lady Menifee x Menifee), 1 start in 1950, no wins, places, or thirds, no earnings.  

Torn Pages, 1948 gr.f., by War Jeep-Lady Menifee x Menifee-Claxonette x Peter Quince. Unraced. No produce as broodmare.

Bendanear, a 1948 b.f. by Benagi-Murmuring x Mad Hatter – Coquetry x Chicle-Prudery (Prudery, the third dam of Bendanear, was a H.P. Whitney mare and the dam of Derby winner Whiskery and Preakness winner Victorian and SW Halcyon).  Bendanear raced 2-6, made 78 starts, with 6 wins, 9 seconds, and 5 thirds with earnings of $6,905. No produce listed in The Jockey Club database.

Isopera, the 1946 Isolater colt, was stakes-placed, finishing 3rd in the Mi Preferido Stakes in
1955. Isopera raced 141 times (from 1950-1957) with 22 wins, 23 seconds, and 18 thirds for earnings of $26,135.)

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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Tim Haire More than 1 year ago
Absolutely gave me goose bumps,& to know these wonderful lost treasures will now be enjoyed by the world.Thank you for being such a inspiration to our great sport,Best mm.Wishes
Josie Frost More than 1 year ago
what a timely and intriguing article....one can spin dreams around these lovely cards and their well thought out contents.... charmed ...I am truly!
Marie Robertson More than 1 year ago
What a treasure trove of love and affection for the racehorse and the sport. Thank you for sharing.