06/28/2012 12:57PM

History challenge: Calder's Carry Back celebrates Cinderella colt

A Florida-bred by Saggy out of Joppy, Carry Back emerged from modest beginnings to win the Derby and Preakness in 1961 and finished his career with more than $1 million in earnings. A stakes named in his honor at Calder will be run next Saturday for the 38th time.

Kelso was Horse of the Year five years running, from 1960 to 1964, and was one of racing’s most beloved stars as the sport’s golden era was slowly drawing to an end.

But a Cinderella colt named Carry Back, who gained fame during this period, could arguably have been even more popular with the racing public.

This was still the era when, on Saturday afternoon, the race of the week was often as popular as the baseball game of the week on national television.

The things made Carry Back so well-liked were his undistinguished breeding, his come-from-behind style, his gutty performances, and the engaging personalities of his down-to-earth trainer, Jack Price, and owner, Jack’s wife, Katherine.

When Carry Back captured the 1961 Kentucky Derby, coming from more than 13 lengths back at the top of the stretch, he became an instant star. He then won the Preakness Stakes before finishing off the board in the Belmont Stakes.

Calder Race Course honors the Florida-bred Carry Back with a stakes in his name each summer on Summit of Speed Day. With the 38th running of the race scheduled Saturday, test your knowledge of this Hall of Fame member.

1. In 1955, Jack Price retired from a manufacturing business to become a full-time breeder-owner-trainer. The following year, he took possession of a nondescript broodmare named Joppy in lieu of a $150 boarding fee that the owner could not pay.

In 1957, Price bred Joppy to an obscure Maryland-bred stallion in a package deal that cost him $400. Joppy produced a colt whom Price named Carry Back.

While Carry Back was his sire’s only success in the breeding shed, he had one victory on the racetrack in 1948 for which he will always be remembered. Name the sire.

2. At age 2, Carry Back started an amazing 21 times at eight racetracks from January to November. He won only five of those starts, but three were major prizes – the Cowdin, Garden State, and Remsen stakes. The $287,782 Garden State was the richest race run in 1960. Carry Back earned a paycheck of $160,782.

The following season, at age 3, Carry Back made seven starts before entering the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

Carry Back was voted champion colt at age 3 but finished second in the voting as a juvenile. Who was 2-year-old champion male of 1960?

3. Carry Back and Kelso were fan favorites partly because they raced so often. Kelso made 63 starts over eight seasons; Carry Back, 61 starts over four seasons. Occasionally, the two crossed paths. Kelso usually finished in front of Carry Back, but the latter won the Metropolitan and Monmouth handicaps in 1962, beating Kelso.

In the 1962 Met Mile, Carry Back also beat Kelso to the millionaire’s club when his earnings hit $1,009,063. He became racing’s fourth million-dollar earner. Name the three horses who came before him.

4. In his 4-year-old season, Carry Back crossed the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to do something that no Kentucky Derby winner had ever done.

Jack Price’s attempt to add a magnificent chapter to the rags-to-riches story prompted then-Daily Racing Form publisher J. Samuel Perlman and two of his best writers, Joe Hirsch and Barney Nagler, to cross the pond to provide readers with blow-by-blow coverage of all the preparations. What did Carry Back try to accomplish?

5. In a bucolic setting at the back of the gardens at the Kentucky Derby Museum are four granite gravestones. Therein lay the remains of Brokers Tip, Carry Back, Sunny’s Halo, and Swaps – all winners of the Kentucky Derby.

Carry Back died of cancer in 1983 and was cremated and buried in Florida. He was later reinterred at the Derby Museum. Etched on his gravestone in quotes is a three-word phrase often used to describe this popular runner. What are the three words?

Get the answers HERE.