12/15/2011 4:34PM

The Lou Lepper Christmas cards: 1950


You might think from looking at the picture of these two equine aristocrats that they were brother and sister. But they aren’t even related, unless of course, you want to back to little Mr. Eohippus, who lived a few zillion years ago. They are a couple of weanlings on the farm in Kentucky and I have high hopes that, when they are old enough to go to the races in 1952 as two-year-olds, they are going to be a big help in paying that feed bill. They have the bluest of blood in their veins and you can see for yourself that, even though still at the awkward age, they have real speed lines.

What are their names? I can’t tell you that because I haven’t decided myself what to call them. You see, in racing circles, an owner does not have to decide on a name until the second birthday of the colt or filly. It’s a good idea, too, to take your time – better than the human custom of doing it in a hurry and maybe getting into a lot of arguments as to whether the baby should be named after the Father’s folks or Mother’s. Of course, Mother always wins in the end, but meanwhile the argument may get highly acrimonious.

The filly on the right is by War Jeep out of my good race mare Lady Hairan. Of course, she is “quality” with that breeding – couldn’t help being. If I’m any judge of fillies – and I’ve been around a bit – she is just about as gorgeous as anything that ever stood on four legs at that age. She was foaled January 26, 1950, so she was not quite ten months old when this informal snapshot was made.

The colt on the left belongs to one of the “First Families” of the turf, too. His sire was Devil Diver and his dam was my wonderful mare, Murmuring. I’ve told you a lot about her from time to time. He was foaled last Memorial Day, which ought to be a good omen, as a lot of big stake races are run on that holiday. Therefore, he was five months old when the picture was taken and that accounts for the difference in size of the two youngsters. His daddy is one of the very best horses of the last few years, sired by St. Germains, who was famous for his fine line of progeny. Devil Diver belongs to the famous Whitney stable and those people don’t have any bad horses very long. Incidentally, both of these horses will be one year old, according to the racing formula, on January 1. That’s every horse’s birthday in the records.

You will notice a strong resemblance between these two animals. Each is a rich chestnut color, with a big white blaze down the middle of the face. The filly has white stockings on her hind legs, making her kind of an equine bobby-soxer. But unlike the other bobby-soxers, she’s not a Sinatra fan. She prefers the voice of the groom announcing that dinner’s ready.

Horses, like humans, always have a particular pal and these two are no exception. She’s sure that he’s going to be another Man-O-War and he’s sure that she’s doing to be the second filly in history to win the Kentucky Derby; a lady hoss named Regret did in 1915, you know.

All this is prelude to wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I sincerely hope that Santa Claus brings you something that will please you as much as these two little weanlings please me, and that in 1951 every post will be a winning post for you, whatever the distance you run or the weight you carry.
                                                                                             Lou Lepper

This was Mr. Lepper's final Christmas greeting.  He died on March 1, 1951 at age 66.

(Deep Dip, 1950, by Devil Diver - Murmuring, placed twice in 18 starts and earned $440. 

Iamarose, 1950 ch. f. by War Jeep - Lady Hairan. Started twice at 3, no wins, places, thirds or earnings. Produced 6 foals, 5 winners: Gooder (Mr. Good, 1957), Go Good (Mr. Good, 1958), Quincy Good (Mr. Good 1959), Quincy Bux (f, Moolah Bux, 1966), Deep Sun Jr.. (Deep Sun, 1967). Her placed foal was Quincy Rambler (f, Mr. Good, 1960). Quincy Bux had a 1987 Louisiana Slew filly named Rafaella, who had an unnamed Secret Run colt in 2009 bred in New Mexico.)

Above:  Mr. Lepper's obituary in the Detroit News.

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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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