Fabius and Bill Hartack

Fabius and Bill Hartack


On This Day...

April 13, 1956

Fabius figured to be a fan favorite leading up to the Kentucky Derby. After all, his sire was Calumet Farm's great Triple Crown winner Citation.

Fabius, who also was a Calumet homebred, started to look like a serious contender following his arrival at Keeneland from Florida. He began with an allowance victory at six furlongs April 13 and then won by six lengths at seven furlongs seven days later. Sent to Churchill Downs, Fabius won the mile Derby Trial by a length the Tuesday before the Run for the Roses. The Blood-Horse reported he "returned to the winner's circle in good condition, not breathing hard."

But still, the Derby would be Fabius' fourth start in 23 days. Coupled with Pintor Lea, Fabius took command of his Derby rivals approaching the quarter pole, but couldn't hold off Needles and lost by three-quarters of a length.

Fabius' evened the score with Needles two weeks later in the Preakness.

The Belmont Stakes was run a month after the Preakness, time enough for Fabius to race twice more. He won the Jersey Stakes and ran second in the Leonard Richards Stakes. He met Needles again in the Belmont, and finished third.