A black and white print of a walking race horse with a jockey.
Ben Ali was bred in Kentucky in 1883 by Daniel Swigert from Virgil and Ulrica, making him a descendant of Lexington. He was named after his owner James Ben Ali Haggin, who profited from the Gold Rush of 1849, and he was trained by Jim Murphy. Ben Ali won the 1886 Kentucky Derby, and his total career winnings amounted to $25,090. The Derby was the center of a major bookmaking controversy that year, as bookmakers were barred from accepting large dollar bets. When Haggin could not place a bet on his stallion, he vowed to stop racing his barn at the Derby. As a result, the quality of the field was greatly reduced because of the spread of Haggin’s boycott movement and Churchill Downs eventually faced bankruptcy. Ben Ali died in 1903 at the Rancho del Paso Stud Farm in California.
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