Anthony Hamilton, a prominent jockey during the 19th century, and Planet, a dominant racehorse in the years leading up to the Civil War, have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame through the Museum’s Historic Review process.
Hamilton and Planet will be inducted on Aug. 10 at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., along with this year's contemporary selections: jockey John Velazquez, 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper , and trainers Roger Attfield and Robert Wheeler. The ceremony is at 10:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public.
Hamilton was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1866 and won many of the most prestigious races of the 19th century.
In 1895, he captured the Brooklyn Handicap on Hornpipe and the Suburban Handicap aboard Lazzarone. The next year, Hamilton added the Metropolitan Handicap with Counter Tenor and became the only African-American jockey to win all three of New York’s major handicap races.
Historian Fred Burlew ranked Hamilton third on his list of the 10 greatest African-American jockeys of all time behind only Hall of Famers Isaac Murphy and Willie Simms.
Planet was foaled in Virginia at Major Thomas W. Doswell’s Bullfield Stable in 1855. He was sired by Revenue and is out of the Boston mare Nina.
Planet compiled a record of 27-4-0 from 31 starts and earnings of $69,700. Known as “The Great Red Fox,” Planet was regarded by many turf experts to be second only to the mighty Lexington among the greatest American racehorses prior to the Civil War.
Carrying Bullfield’s famed orange silks and trained through most of his career by N.B. Young, Planet won at a variety of distances in Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and New York.
Planet was retired to stud at Bullfield in 1861. His final race occurred just five days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter launched the Civil War and effectively ended racing of that era in the South.
The Civil War and its aftermath interrupted several years of Planet’s career as a stallion. During those years, Planet and many of the other Bullfield horses were hidden in the woods to protect them from Yankee soldiers.
In 1868, Doswell sold Planet to R.A. Alexander of Woodburn Farm in Kentucky. Planet resided at Woodburn until he died at the age of 20 in 1875.