Your Host

Your Host

Dam Sire:
Birth Date:
Death Date:
Louis B. Mayer
William Goetz
Harry L. Daniels

Major Race Wins
Del Mar Futurity (1949)
California Breeders' Champion Stakes (1949)
San Felipe Stakes (1950)
Santa Anita Derby (1950)
Forerunner Stakes (1950)
Thanksgiving Day Handicap (1950)
Golden Gate Breeders' Handicap (1950)
Kent Stakes (1950)
Dick Welles Stakes (1950)
Sheridan Handicap (1950)
Santa Catalina Handicap (1951)

Born in California in 1947, Your Host was by the imported British stallion Alibhai out of the Irish mare Boudoir by the French stallion Mahmoud. Bred in the stables of Louis B. Mayer, the head of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Your Host was owned by Mayer's son-in-law, the Hollywood film producer, William Goetz, and trained by Harry L. Daniels.

Your Host was born with a right eye and ear set higher than his left, a crooked neck, low withers, and light flanks. It was said his neck was twisted due to a youthful injury, but his groom claimed he held his head oddly in order to see properly. Your Hose was nervous, headstrong, and often uncontrollable. A chestnut, he had four white stockings which some considered unlucky. At the age of two, Your Host became seriously ill and only the skill of his veterinarians and his own will to live saved his life. All in all, he was not expected to become a great racehorse.

And yet, at two, he won the California Breeders' Champion Stakes, the Del Mar Futurity, and came second in the Salinas Handicap and the Homebred Stakes.

At three, he won the San Felipe Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby. He also took a race at Keeneland Race Course by six and a half lengths in a new track record, beating the Flamingo Stakes winner, Oil Capital, and the winner of the Blue Grass Stakes, Mr. Trouble. The horse the press began to call "The Magnificent Cripple" was favored to win the 76th Kentucky Derby in 1950.

Your Host arrived in Kentucky to great fanfare. As much fuss greeted him as greeted the great Longfellow when he showed up at Monmouth Park for his match race with Harry Bassett seventy eight years earlier and almost as much fuss as Silky Sullivan merited eight years later. The sign on his Hollywood connections railroad car stated: "1950 Kentucky Derby Winner." But though ridden by the great Johnny Longden (inducted into both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame), and valiantly dueling for a mile with Mr. Trouble—and leading, Your Host faded badly. In the second fastest Derby yet run, timed at 2:01 3/5, he lost to Middleground, coming home ninth and exhausted. Your Host returned to California and shorter races. For the rest of the season, he was a terror on the track. He won the Thanksgiving Day Handicap, the Golden State Breeders' Handicap, the Kent Stakes, the Dick Welles Stakes and the Sheridan Handicap. He placed in the Premiere Handicap and came third in the American Derby and the Arlington Classic. In this third year, he beat the eventual Horse of the Year, Hill Prince, who had beaten him by coming second in the Derby. He also beat Ponder, the son of Pensive, both Kentucky Derby winners.

In 1951, Your Host's fourth season, he looked as good as ever. He was second to Bolero while conceding five pounds in the San Carlos Handicap, and then won the Santa Catalina Stakes under 130 pounds. During this race, Your Host's saddle slipped forward, almost losing him his jockey. Your Host made sure his jockey kept his balance by weaving all over the track. In this race he set a new track record of 1:48 1/5 for the 1 1/8 mile.

On January 13th, entered in the San Pasqual Handicap, Your Host clipped heels with Renown. His jockey, Eric Guerin, who had been having a hard time rating him, rolled clear, but Your Host came down heavily on his right shoulder. The ulna bone of his right foreleg was fractured in four places, his right shoulder and upper leg were also fractured. The first to get to him was his exercise rider, Tuffy Morlan. Morlan later said, "There he stood, broken and in horrible pain, but his funny cock-eyed head was up and he whinnied at me, a faint, desperate sound. It was the first time he had ever asked me for help. I knew he needed me then and I could do nothing but take him by the head and weep. I don't think I ever felt so empty and lost as at that moment."

Vanned off the track, all thought he would die. The vets announced there was no point prolonging his suffering. Insured by Lloyds of London, the insurers paid off. But instead of destroying Your Host, they did everything they could to save him. Sent to the Circle S. Ranch of George Stratton, he was tended by Dr. John Walker. John Walker tried everything to immobilize the injury. In the end, he packed the horse in sand to keep him steady. Your Host eventually recovered; however, his right foreleg healed shorter than his left.

Lloyds sent him to stud. Your Host became almost immediately an immensely successful stallion. In his first California crops he sired stakes winners Miss Todd, Social Climber, and Blen Host. He also produced Windy Sands who in turn sired Crystal Water.

Eventually he went to stand at Meadow View Farms in New Jersey. It was there he sired Kelso by the mare Maid of Flight (daughter of Count Fleet and granddaughter of Man o' War). Kelso was five times Horse of the Year and one of the best runners America ever produced.

Your Host ran in 23 races, won 13 times, placed 5 times, and came in third twice. In his lifetime he won $384,795. His life ended in 1961. He was fifteen years old.

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