05/31/2012 11:55AM

Hall of Fame picks jockey Anthony Hamilton and the horse Planet for induction


Anthony Hamilton, a top jockey from the 19th century, and the horse Planet, who won 27 of 31 starts in a pre-Civil War-era career, were announced as selections to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame on Thursday by the Hall’s historic review committee.

Hamilton and Planet will be inducted on Aug. 10 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., along with the horse Ghostzapper, jockey John Velazquez, and trainers Roger Attfield and Robert Wheeler, who were elected to the Hall of Fame in balloting among contemporary candidates earlier this year.

Hamilton, a black jockey born in 1866, won his first major race at age 15. He won with more than 30 percent of his mounts in 1890 – when he won the Futurity, at the time the richest race in the country – and 1891.

He is the only black jockey to win all three of New York’s major handicap races, the Metropolitan, Brooklyn, and Suburban. Hamilton rode for some of the top stables of the era, including Pierre Lorillard, J.R. Keene, and the Belmont family. His top mounts included Hall of Famers Firenze and Salvator.

Hamilton moved to Europe near the end of the century and won important races in Austria, Hungary, and Poland. He died in France in 1907, three years after being injured in a fall in Russia.

Planet, a foal of 1855, raced from ages 3 through 6 and made $69,700, an earnings record that stood for 20 years. Competing during an era when racing was far more prevalent in the South, he won races in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia. He also won a stakes race in New York.

His final race occurred just five days before fighting broke out at Fort Sumter. According to the Hall of Fame, the subsequent Civil War interrupted several years of Planet’s career as a stallion.

Planet was bred and owned by Major Thomas Doswell’s Bullfield Stable in Virginia and was trained for most of his career by N.B. Young. He died at age 20 in 1875 at Woodburn Farm in Kentucky, where he had been relocated in 1868.