The museum is open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free timed-entry passes are required. Review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

Ben Ali

Ben Ali

Usage conditions apply
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
place made
image: 6 3/4 in x 10 in; 17.145 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Horse Racing
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object