Hall of Fame: Housebuster Honored
Photo: NYRA/Bob Coglianese
Dark Bay Horse, foaled March 7, 1987
(Mt. Livermore-Big Dreams, by Great Above)
Owner: Robert P. Levy
Breeder: Murphy Stable & Blanche P. Levy (Ky.)
Trainer: Warren A. "Jimmy" Croll, Jr.
Record: 22-15-3-1
Earnings: $1,229,696
Notable Accomplishments: Eclipse Award-winning sprinter, 1990-91. First horse to win two sprint titles since Great Above's dam, Ta Wee (1969-70).
Owner Robert Levy: "The day he was foaled, Fred Mitchell called me from Clarkland Farm and he said, 'You've had a colt, and he's a really good one.' He's been down there foaling our mares for about 30 years, so he knows what he's doing, and he was right.
"Housebuster was always a very good-dispositioned horse, he wasn't too high-strung, and he always ran when you asked him to. He won his second start and after that he only ran in stakes races. That was what was impressive about him—he was running against the best all the time. Jimmy Croll was a great trainer and I loved him, but he was not easy on them, he trained them hard—but Housebuster stood up to it. He was a champion.
"We've had a few good horses, Bet Twice won the Belmont (gr. I) and Closed Door won some stakes, but Housebuster's the only one in the Hall of Fame and I'm thrilled. That's as high as you can get. You don't realize until afterwards how hard it is to do.
"We felt very, very fortunate to be able to breed a horse like this. I bought his mother at Atlantic City in a package deal. She was the only one in the package that amounted to anything, but she was worth it. She was a very good mare and we sold her for a lot of money after Housebuster.
"Jimmy Croll was a dear friend who trained for me for 40-something years. He always said this horse would go on, and I think he would have. He went a mile and he did it pretty easy, but being sprint champion two years in a row, I felt, was more important. I never thought we'd get in the Hall of Fame but very few horses are champion anything two years in a row. I think he would have gone longer and also would have been a great turf horse, but we ran him where we really thought we could win.
"He wasn't a great stud, but he was a good stud. He stood at Jonabell early on and then they sold him to Japan for a lot of money. Somebody from Virginia (The Stallion Co.) bought him back and he was standing in Virginia when he died. He was about 15 at the time. His broodmares are very good and I've even got a Fusaichi Pegasus 2-year-old out of a Housebuster mare."

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