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Topical Budget 103-1: Racing in America (1913)


Main image of Topical Budget 103-1: Racing in America (1913)
35mm, black and white, silent, 187 feet
Production CompanyTopical Film Co.

The racehorse Whisk Broom II creates a world record in the Suburban Handicap, travelling one and a quarter miles in two minutes.

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Although the opening title of this newsreel proudly proclaims claims that its subject is English, in fact the legendary chestnut colt racehorse Whisk Broom II (1907-1928) was born in Kentucky. However, he initially made his mark in England when he ran at Ascot and Newmarket before returning to the United States in 1913, at the age of six. There, ridden by Joe Notter, he would win the Metropolitan Handicap, the Brooklyn and the Suburban Handicap, amounting to the Handicap Triple Crown, an achievement unmatched for forty years.

Topical Budget's film contains footage of the Suburban Handicap race, which was won by Whisk Broom II, with Lahore and Meridian in second and third place. During that race, he set a world record speed of one-and-three-quarter miles in exactly two minutes, which remained unbroken for decades (though the accuracy of the measurement was later disputed, as the speed was believed to be physically impossible). The previous record had been set by Broomstick, Whisk Broom II's father.

Following this triple triumph, Whisk Broom II retired to stud, where he would father numerous race winners before his death in 1928. He was inducted into the National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in 1979. Only two other horses, Tom Fool and Fit to Fight, have equalled his achievement since.

Michael Brooke

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Video Clips
Complete film (1:02)
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Topical Budget 114-1: Cowboy Pageant (1913)
Topical Budget 636-1: How Zev Beat Papyrus in the Mud (1923)
Topical Budget 862-2: Just a Splash! (1928)
A Very Topical Year: 1913