Count Fleet, placed 5th in the top 100 United States thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, was a truly impressive racehorse who went on to sire a number of winners. Born to Quickly, sired by Reigh Count, Count Fleet came into the world on 24 March 1940 at Kentucky's Stoner Creek Stud. A Triple Crown victor, Count Fleet certainly left his hoof-print on the racing industry.
The magnificent Count Fleet was owned by Mrs. John D. Hertz (wife to the owner of Hertz car rental) and trained by Don Cameron. As a 2 year old, he was ridden by jockey Johnny Longden. Count Fleet lost a few of his races before his first win. He made an impression on all when he won the Champagne Stakes by six lengths, setting a new track record. At the Pimlico Futurity, Count Fleet went on to defeat several of the country’s top horses and managed to equal the then current track record. The Walden Stakes saw Count Fleet taking the race track by storm, leading by over 30 lengths. By the end of his two-year-old season he had won 10 of 15 races.
In his 3rd year, Count Fleet conquered the North American thoroughbred racing circuit, winning every race. He was injured during the Wood Memorial but after recovering Count Fleet went on to win the Kentucky Derby by 3 lengths. From there he went on to compete in the Preakness Stakes which he took easily by 8 lengths. After gaining the Withers Stakes he headed for Triple Crown glory at the Belmont stakes which he won by 25 lengths. By the end of the season Count Fleet received the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.
As a 4 year old, Count Fleet did not compete as he had injured his leg near a joint. It was decided that he would be retired from racing to serve as a stud. Amongst his offspring were 38 stakes winners. One of his daughters went on to bear Kelso, an unforgettable super horse. In 1961, Count Fleet was honored by being inducted into the prestigious National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Sadly, Count Fleet died in December 1973 and was laid to rest at Stoner Creek farm. Count Fleet was an amazing shooting star on the race track, a thoroughbred that will stand out in racing history for years to come.