Unofficial Thoroughbred Hall of Fame

Market Wise

Few Kentucky Derby winners have earned less respect than Broker's Tip, the narrow victor in 1933. Sired by Black Toney, Broker's Tip was the entry of his breeder, E.R. Bradley, who had won the classic race on three previous occassions. Behave Yourself, Bubbling Over, and Burgoo King had all worn the Idle Hour colors into the winner's circle at Churchill Downs.

Broker's Tip became the fourth Bradley horse to wear roses, but only after one of the most unorthodox stretch runs in the history of the sport. When the heavily favored Ladysman, who had worn the juvenile division's crown the previous season, failed to be a factor, a stretch dual developed between Broker's Tip and Mrs. Silas Mason's Head Play. While the horses pounded down the stretch, a fight broke out between their riders. Meade and Fisher struck each other with whips and were even photographed in what 1933 Derby Finishappeared to be a wrestling match of sorts. Somehow, Broker's Tip managed to get his nose in front at the wire. The stewards, unable to determine which rider had bothered the other more, let the results stand. Broker's Tip was no longer a maiden.

Head Play went on to win the Preakness and earn championship honors. Broker's Tip never won again. He raced to the age of six, although not in stakes company after the unsuccessful remainder of his three-year-old year. In his entire post Derby career, Broker's Tip earned a total of seventy five dollars. When he was retired to stud, there was not a great demand for his services. E.R. Bradley didn't even send him home to stand at Idle Hour. Instead, he put him up for auction. Despite the fact that he was a Kentucky Derby winning son of the great sire Black Toney, Broker's Tip sold for a mere fourteen hundred dollars. Yet from his very first crop there came an exceptional individual who overcame chronic soundness problems to earn nearly a quarter million dollars.

Foaled in 1938, Market Wise was a bay colt by Broker's Tip out of the On Watch mare On Hand. He was bred by Cary T. Grayson, who unfortunately did not survive to see the colt.

Racing in the colors of Brookmeade Stable, Market Wise made his first start at Saratoga on July 29, 1940. It was not a particularly successful outing. Showing a marked lack of racing experience, he ran twentieth, beating only a single horse. Three days later he was thirteenth in an allowance race behind Swing and Sway, later the sire of Saggy. Trainer H. Fontaine then dropped him into a claiming race. There were no takers at twenty five hundred dollars, and Market Wise ran seventeenth. Next he wore a pricetag of fifteen hundred, and racing with other maidens faired slightly better. Sixth, he was beaten only four lengths. Apparently encouraged by this, his trainer ran him again at those conditions, and Market Wise was tenth.

Having failed to unload Market Wise in a claiming race, Brookmeade made him part of the package when they sold another colt, named Flank. The price for the pair was a mere two thousand dollars.

Now owned by Louis Tufano and trained by G.W. Carroll, Market Wise didn't go to the post for a month. Then he ran at Jamaica with a claiming tag of $1,750. He was again out of the money. A week later at Empire City he raced for the first time at a distance greater than six furlongs and finally left the maiden ranks, winning the final claiming race of his career at a distance of a mile and seventy years. He headed for Tropical Park.

After running out of the money in an allowance race, Market Wise scored two easy victories, winning by five lengths on both occassions. The first was at six furlongs on a heavy track, and the second on a fast track at a mile and seventy yards. The first of January came and went between the two races, so Market Wise had officially started his three-year-old season with a win. He was then third in the Hialeah Handicap.

Market Wise was third again in an allowance race, and out of the money in the Bahamas Handicap, before scoring another pair of allowance victories. Having raced six times in two months, he was given a short break.

Upon returning the races in April, Market Wise turned in a lackluster performance in an allowance race at Tropical Park before heading north to Jamaica. There, he ran third behind Hialeah Handicap winner Zacatine in an allowance race before running in the Wood Memorial.

In a hard stretch drive, Market Wise and rider Don Meade caught Curious Coin to win the Wood Memorial by a nose. The victory earned the colt a trip to Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Derby favorites were Blue Grass Stakes winner Our Boots, Santa Anita Derby winner Porter's Cap, and Calumet Farm's brilliant Whirlaway. Market Wise was nineteen to one.

While Whirlaway was turning the classic race into his own private exhibition, Market Wise bravely battled past Porter's Cap and fought his way to within a neck of longshot Staretor, who claimed second money.

Ten days after his respectable third place finish in the Derby, Market Wise ran fourth in a seven furlong allowance race at Belmont Park. He then suffered traffic problems in the Peter Pan Handicap and finished fifth behind Robert Morris.

After winning an overnight handicap at Aqueduct, Market Wise met both Whirlaway and Robert Morris in the Dwyer Stakes. In a strong effort, Market Wise beat Robert Morris and managed to get within a length and a quarter of Whirlaway.

Two weeks later Market Wise went to Suffolk Downs for the Yankee Handicap, and was second to Our Boots, who won by a length. Robert Morris was again third. The Massachusetts Handicap twelve days later was stolen by lightweight War Relic while Market Wise ran fourth. He was third in the Granite State Handicap at Rockingham, then won the Rockingham Park Handicap by two lengths.

After a solid third place effort in the mile and a sixteenth Aqueduct Handicap, Market Wise won the mile and an eighth Edgemere Handicap from Royal Man and Foxbrough. He ran out of ground and ended up second in the mile and a sixteenth Potomac Handicap at Havre de Grace. Then came one of the most memorable horse races of the century.

Market Wise far preferred a longer distance, as his record clearly indicated. Whirlaway shared his preference. Both were entered in the two mile long Jockey Club Gold Cup. Also in the field were Fenelon, whose wins the previous season had included the Travers Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Abbe Pierre.

Fenelon set a sizzling early pace. The time for the mile and a half was 2:28 2/5, which was shockingly close to the track record at that distance. Whirlaway then made his move, charging past the tiring pacesetter. Attached to his flank was a determined Market Wise. The two battled fiercely all through the stretch. Whirlaway began to pull away as the finish line neared, but Market Wise dug in and kept driving. He caught the Triple Crown winner again and the pair swept under the wire as a team. Never had the Jockey Club Gold Cup seen such a close finish.

The photo showed Market Wise to be the winner, in the record time of 3:20 4/5. It was a full second faster than Exterminator's track record. In fact, it was a new American record, and one that stood until 1960, when it was broken by Kelso.

The artist's affection for his subject is obvious in C.W. Anderson's portrait of Market Wise

A week later, Fenelon took revenge when Market Wise failed to catch him in the mile and a quarter New York Handicap. Next came a six length score in the Gallant Fox Handicap.

The Pimlico Special proved more of a challenge, but Market Wise beat Haltal by a head in a stirring stretch battle. He then ended the season with a length and a half win in the Governor Bowie Handicap.

While it was Whirlaway who netted all of the year end titles, that Market Wise had proven himself to be one of the best horses in training was undisputed.

1942 began early for Market Wise. He went to post twice in January, finishing fourth when he ran out of ground in a seven furlong allowance event at Hialeah, and then running out of ground in a six and a half furlong overnight handicap, in which he ended up third to his old rival Zacatine, to whom he gave twenty pounds.

Market Wise won easily at a mile and an eighth, taking the McLennan Handicap, and then beat Attention and War Relic in a purse race.

Traffic problems kept Market Wise from making his move in the Widener Handicap, which was won by The Rhymer, and he came out of the race sore enough to warrant a two month layoff.

His return to the track came in a muddy Grey Lag Handicap at Jamaica. Market Wise closed strongly, but ran out of ground before he could catch Marriage, who had risen from the claiming ranks himself and was on his way to becoming one of the top horses in the handicap division.

The one mile long Metropolitan Handicap was far from a favorable distance for come from behind runner Market Wise, but he closed fast enough to finish third behind the good horses Attention and Pictor.

In the Suburban Handicap, Market Wise met a field that included Attention and his old rival Whirlaway. The mile and a quarter was more to his liking, and Market Wise pulled away through the stretch to beat Whirlaway by two lengths. Unfortunately, he came back to the barn lame, and was out for the rest of the season.

When Market Wise returned to the races at five, he was clearly not sound. Moreover, he was given no prep races, but was sent straight to the post in the Metropolitan Handicap against the likes of Marriage and Devil Diver, to whom he was asked to give weight. Market Wise ended up seventh, but did show a strong closing drive before running out of ground.

Ten days later Market Wise scored an overnight handicap, and then went postward for the Suburban Handicap. He closed bravely, beating Attention and getting within two lengths of Don Bingo, to whom he had given twenty four pounds, but was disqualified.

The seven furlong Carter Handicap was certainly not to the liking of a true stayer, and Market Wise was sixth while Devil Diver and Marriage battled it out.

Entered in an allowance race as a tune up, Market Wise found himself facing not just one notable son of Equipoise, but two. He met only his consistent rival Attention, but Kentucky Derby winner Shut Out as well. He was second, a length and a half behind Shut Out.

The Brooklyn Handicap found Market Wise giving five pounds to Devil Diver and fifteen pounds to Attention. Once again, Market Wise closed gamely, finishing a length and a half behind Devil Diver.

Market Wise was noticably lame before the Massachusetts Handicap, which was run on a muddy track, but he beat Salto, to whom he was giving twenty three pounds, by a length. Suburban Handicap winner Don Bingo in third.

Giving away weight Market Wise ran third in the Butler Handicap at Jamaica, and was then forced to take time off before running third in the Edgemere Handicap at Aqueduct in the fall.

In the Narragansett Special Market Wise was required to concede twenty four pounds to the speedy Air Master. Johnny Longden was in the irons, and he felt his mount take a bad step. Market Wise continued to run, however, and battled the lightly weighted Air Master to the wire in a game drive. Market Wise won by a head, but when he pulled up it was obvious his career was over. His right front tendon was severely bowed.

For his efforts, Market Wise was honored as Champion Handicap Horse of 1943, an honor he shared with Devil Diver.

Market Wise was was retired to stud at Hedgewood Farm near Lexington, with his most significant offspring being the stakes winners To Market and Wise Margin, both of whom included the Massachusetts Handicap among their victories.

Market Wise's Race Record

Year Starts Wins Seconds Thirds Earnings
Lifetime 53 19 7 10 $222,140

Market Wise, 1938 bay colt

Broker's Tip Black Toney Peter Pan Commando
Belgravia Ben Brush
Bonnie Gal
Forteresse Sardanapale Prestige
Guerrere Ossian
On Hand On Watch Colin Commando
Rubia Granda Greenan
The Great Ruby
Kippy Broomstick Ben Brush
Seamstress Star Shoot
Busy Maid


Recommended titles include: Champions from the Daily Racing Form, Thoroughbred Champions: Top 100 of the 20th Century from Blood-Horse, and Man O' War: Thoroughbred Legends #1 by Edward L. Bowen, as well as Seabiscuit on DVD .
Seabiscuit DVD

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