Citation, an American thoroughbred racing horse, has become a renowned name in the horse racing community particularly as a Triple Crown champion. Born on 11 April 1945, Citation was owned by Calumet Farm located in Kentucky's Lexington. A bay colt born to Hydroplane and sired by Bull of Lea, Citation is a legend.
Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones trained Citation into a top racing steed. At two years of age, Citation gained his first victory at Havre de Grace in Maryland. That year Citation won eight out of nine races, taking home $155,680. Citation hit the racing scene in 1948 by defeating 1947’s Eclipse Award Horse of the Year, Armed. Although trained by Jimmy Jones, Citation took part in the Kentucky Derby in the name of Ben Jones so that Jimmy’s father could tie the record set for greatest number of Kentucky Derby wins by a specific trainer. Backed by Eddie Arcaro, Citation took the lead, winning the Kentucky Derby by an impressive 3½ lengths. From there he went on to win the Preakness Stakes by an even greater 5½ lengths. He then took the Jersey Derby after which he gained the win at the Belmont Stakes, thus becoming the 8th winner of the Triple Crown. Only 25 years later did the next Triple Crown champion arise in the form of Secretariat.
By the tender age of 3, Citation had 27 wins out of 29 starts to his name. He was designated Horse of the Year. Unfortunately Citation could not race in 1949 due to injuries. However, he returned to the track in 1950 winning the Golden Gate Mile Handicap. Sadly, his entire season wasn’t as impressive as his previous accomplishments. In 1951 he once again shot to fame by winning the Hollywood Gold Cup. This was the year that Citation became the first thoroughbred millionaire.
Citation retired from racing in 1951 with some of the greatest achievements in American horse racing history. Enjoying his retirement, he sired many outstanding thoroughbred leaders, including Silver Spoon and Fabius. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inducted Citation in 1959. Citation reached the end of his life in August 1970, but has left behind him a powerful legacy.