Citation was a bay colt, foaled on April 11, 1945. He was the eighth winner of the U.S Triple Crown. He was owned and bred by Warren Wrights Calumet Farm, the most successful thoroughbred stable in American history. His sire was Bull Lea, and his dam was Hydroplane II. His fans gave him the affectionate nickname of The Big Cy.
Ben A. Jones and his son H. A. “Jimmy” Jones were Citation trainers. He made his racing debut on April 22, 1947, winning a four and a half furlong maiden race at Havre de Grace by a length. In his second start, he broke Arlington Parks track record for five furlongs. Citation scored his first stakes win in Washington Parks Elementary Stakes. He had a two-year-old season in which his only loss was to his unbeaten stablemate Bewitch in the Washington Park Futurity. After winning the 1947 Futurity Trial Stakes Citation evened the score with his stablemate in the Belmont Futurity, handing Bewitch her first defeat. He scored his final juvenile victory in the Pimlico Futurity.
Cy came in a six-furlong allowance race at Hialeah, he won by a length. In the Seminole Handicap Citation won again, beating older horses. Then he stepped back into his own division and won both the Everglades Stakes and the Flamingo Stakes. The young star suffered his second defeat when Eddie Arcaro took the reins after his regular jockey Al Snider was killed in a fishing accident. He ran second to Saggy in a very muddy Chesapeake Trial Stakes. The loss was quickly avenged, Citation won the Chesapeake Stakes from Bovard by four and a half lengths, with Saggy finishing another eleven lengths behind.
Road To The Triple Crown
The 1948 run for the Triple Crown was shrouded in mystery after the fishing incident. Jockey Al Snider was to be aboard Citation. The jockey decided to take a vacation two months before the running of the Kentucky Derby to indulge in sport fishing in the Florida Keys. He disappeared never to be seen again setting the stage for the most baffling horse racing mystery of all times. The horse was almost scratched out of respect. However, the mount was given to Eddie Arcaro who guided Citation to easy wins in all three encounters.
The 1948 horse of the year, posted a record of nineteen wins and but one loss, this after winning eight of nine as a two-year-old the previous year. Citation became racing’s first millionaire, bankrolling $1,085.750 in purse earnings. But his career was cut short by tendon problems at age six and he was retired to stud at Calumet farms. Citation did sire Fabius who was a 2nd place finisher in the Kentucky Derby as well as Silver Spoon who won many California stakes including The Santa Anita Derby. He enjoyed a long retirement passing away at age twenty-five with burial in Calumet’s horse cemetery.
Citation Race record
- Futurity Stakes Winner (USA, 6.5FD, Belmont)
- Pimlico Futurity Winner (USA, 8.5FD, Pimlico)
- Elementary Stakes Winner (USA, 6FD, Washington Park)
- 2nd Washington Park Futurity (USA, 6FD, Washington Park)
- Kentucky Derby Winner (USA, 10FD, Churchill Downs)
- Preakness Stakes Winner (USA, 9.5FD, Pimlico)
- Belmont Stakes Winner (USA, 12FD, Belmont)
- Jockey Club Gold Cup Winner (USA, 16FD, Belmont)
- Gold Cup Winner (USA, 13FD, Empire City)
- American Derby Winner (USA, 10FD, Washington Park)
- Jersey Stakes Winner (USA, 10FD, Garden State; new track record 2:03)
- Flamingo Stakes Winner (USA, 9FD, Hialeah)
- Tanforan Handicap Winner (USA, 10FD, Tanforan; new track record 2:02-4/5)
- Stars and Stripes Handicap Winner (USA, 9FD, Arlington Park; equaled track record 1:49-1/5)
- Chesapeake Stakes Winner (USA, 8.5FD, Havre de Grace)
- Sysonby Mile Winner (USA, 8FD, Belmont)
- Pimlico Special Winner (USA, 9.5FD, Pimlico)
- Seminole Handicap Winner (USA, 7FD, Hialeah)
- Everglades Handicap Winner (USA, 9FD, Hialeah)
- Derby Trial Winner (USA, 8FD, Churchill Downs)
- 2nd Chesapeake Trial (USA, 6FD, Havre de Grace)
- Golden Gate Mile Handicap Winner (USA, 8FD, Golden Gate; new world record 1:33-3/5)
- 2nd Santa Anita Handicap (USA, 10FD, Santa Anita)
- 2nd Golden Gate Handicap (USA, 8FD, Golden Gate)
- 2nd San Juan Capistrano Handicap (USA, about 14FT, Santa Anita)
- 2nd San Antonio Handicap (USA, 9FD, Santa Anita)
- 2nd Forty-Niners Handicap (USA, 9FD, Golden Gate)
- Hollywood Gold Cup Winner (USA, 10FD, Hollywood)
- American Handicap Winner (USA, 9FD, Hollywood)
- 2nd Argonaut Handicap (USA, 8.5FD, Hollywood)
- National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (inducted in 1959)
- Arcadia Historical Society’s Racing Walk of Champions (inducted as part of the inaugural class in 2014)
- Horse of the Year (1948)
- American champion 2-year-old male (1947)
- American champion 3-year-old male (1948)
- American co-champion handicap male (1948, 1951)
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