Domino : Race Horse
One of America's notable thoroughbred race horses from the 19th century, Domino was born in 1891 on Dixiana Farm in Lexington Kentucky. He was sired by Himyar out of the mare Manni Gray. His owner, James R. Keene, thought him an unattractive horse and he sold him to his son, Foxwell, who had a better eye for horseflesh. Foxwell brought in William Lakeland to train him and jockey Fred Taral was put in the saddle, although Domino reportedly hated his rough style and excessive use of whip and spur. Nevertheless, Domino let his winning spirit shine through by winning all nine races that he had been entered in as a two-year-old colt. He also took the 1893 Horse of the Year award.
By the end of his two-year-old racing season, people had started calling him ‘The Black Whirlwind’. He had arrived at a time when speed was becoming of the utmost importance and Domino was considered by many to be the fastest sprinter of his time. Things weren’t about to change and he burst onto the racing scene as a brilliant three-year-old, winning the Withers Stakes against the Belmont Stakes champion, Henry of Navarre. Domino went on to win five of the next seven races that he ran that season. He also won the Flying Stakes that year, setting a new track record with a 130-pound weight on his back.
Domino went on to enjoy some racing success as a four-year-old, though he was no longer as strong as he had been as a two-year-old. He won four of his eight races and came 2nd at the Coney Island Fall Handicap in which he carried 24 pounds more than the winner. In all, Domino won 19 of his 25 starts. He placed in two races and came third in one. He had won $193,550 for his owner by the time he ended his career. In 1895 he was retired to Castleton Stud where he produced nineteen foals – eight of which went on to be stakes race winners. Domino died unexpectedly at age six from spinal meningitis but achieved much in his short, six years of life. In 1955 he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and today he is still known as one of the fleetest runners and most enthusiastic horses ever to run on American turf.