05/30/2007 11:00PM

War Admiral's Derby trophy goes on view


The 1937 Kentucky Derby trophy earned by Triple Crown winner War Admiral has been added to the collection of the Racehorse Hall of Fame at Ruidoso Downs, N.M., after being privately purchased by Ruidoso Downs's majority owner, R.D. Hubbard.

Hubbard purchased the trophy in November of last year. Last week he loaned it to the Racehorse Hall of Fame, which has just undergone an extensive renovation. Hubbard purchased the trophy from the estate of Stanton Langbord of Philadelphia. The sale was completed after the trophy was flown to Los Angeles and inspected by Hubbard, who did not reveal the purchase price.

A special display, including video of War Admiral's races, will be added to the hall of fame to house the trophy. It is currently on display in the new trophy room in the hall of fame.

Hubbard said the trophy will be included in the Kentucky Derby Museum's traveling display of Kentucky Derby trophies in 2010.

The estate of War Admiral's owner, Samuel Riddle, sold the trophy in 1951, as willed by Riddle, to fund a hospital in suburban Philadelphia. It was purchased by a local antique dealer, Israel Switt, and moved to the Langbord family after Switt's daughter married a member of the Langbord family.

More than a decade ago, Churchill Downs purchased what was thought to be War Admiral's Derby trophy from a pawnshop in New Orleans. It was later determined that the trophy was not the authentic. That trophy is now stored by the Kentucky Derby Museum and is not on display, according to museum representatives.

War Admiral became the fourth Triple Crown winner in 1937 and was that year's Horse of the Year. The following year, War Admiral, a son of Man o' War, lost a celebrated match race with Seabiscuit.

"We are very pleased that the trophy has found a new home where it is displayed in its proper glory," said Wendy Treinen of the Kentucky Derby Museum.