Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fastest Stallions in the World - Dan Patch, George Gano and Minor Heir

Music composer, Meredith Wilson, once enshrined the fastest horse in the world at the time in the musical, The Music Man. Trotter Dan Patch who shattered the two minute mile is featured in the song - Ya Got Trouble. See video here:

"And the next thing you know your son is playin'
For money in a pinchback suit
And listenin' to some big out-o'-town jasper
Hearin' him tell about horserace gamblin'
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no
But a race where they set down right on the horse
Like to see some stuck up jockey boy settin' on Dan Patch?
Make your blood boil, well I should say..."
Lyrics and Music composed by Meredith Wilson, (C) MPL Communications.

At an auction in Norway, Iowa where nothing but antiques poured out the small home's door, a framed, dusty print of three horses emerged and was purchased by the 42N team. The print, Fastest Stallions in the World, from the M.W. Savage Art Department featured (left to right) Dan Patch 1:55, George Gano 2:02 and Minor Heir 1:58.5. Marion Willis Savage owned Dan Patch and built an empire around the horse. Today the city of Savage, Minnesota, where M. W. Savage built an expansive training facility, celebrates the great horse with Dan Patch Days held annually in mid-June.

The current movie, Secretariat, features the triple crown winner. In his day, Dan Patch was also widely known and later remembered in advertising wares like this print (above), watches, paper weights and many other things - another example of mass marketing in the early days. These items remain highly collectible even 94 years after Dan Patch's death in 1916. Know that.