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Keeneland Library debuts exhibitions of photographs of Man o’ War as part of centennial celebration

The Keeneland Library, starting Monday, is sharing photographs of Man o’ War from its collection in exhibitions both in the Library and online that are part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the legendary Thoroughbred’s birth.

Foaled on March 29, 1917, at breeder August Belmont II’s Nursery Stud near Lexington, Man o’ War won 20 of his 21 races in 1919-1920 and is considered by many to be the greatest racehorse of all time.

The Keeneland Library, founded in 1939, is the caretaker of priceless materials related to Thoroughbred racing that include negative collections of racing photographers who saw Man o’ War.

The exhibition titled “Man o’ War: Images from the Keeneland Library Collections” features 16 shots of the horse during his racing career and years at stud by Charles Christian Cook, Joseph Alvie Estes, Robert Lee McClure and Bert Clark Thayer. The exhibition will continue through the September Yearling Sale.

The Library’s online exhibit “Man o’ War: In Others’ Words” tells the story of Man o’ War’s life, accomplishments and influence through images from its collection that are accompanied by quotations from the horse’s connections, including owner Samuel D. Riddle and trainer Louis Feustel, along with contemporary sports writers and modern biographers.

“We are thrilled to be able to present these photographs, many of which have not been widely seen by the public,” Keeneland Library Director Becky Ryder said. “The photographs capture Man o’ War’s physical stature and his brilliance as a racehorse as well as the star status he commanded throughout his life.”

The Library is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. During the 2017 Spring Meet on April 7-28, it also is open on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In addition to compiling its own recognition of Man o’ War, the Keeneland Library was a valuable resource for images and information about Man o’ War for new exhibits about his life and impact at the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse in Lexington and the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville. The Library also provided images of Man o’ War for articles about him in Keeneland, BloodHorse and North American Trainer magazines.

The Keeneland Broadcast Services Department produced a video about Man o’ War that the Kentucky Horse Park will show at its Man o’ War 100th Celebration Kick-Off on Wednesday. The video will continue to be shown at the International Museum of the Horse through the summer.

An edited version of the video will appear on “Keeneland Magazine on TV,” a 30-minute program that airs Sunday, April 2 at noon on WKYT and Thursday, April 6 at 10 p.m. on The CW Lexington.

The Broadcast Services Department also is assisting the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, with its videos about Man o’ War for an exhibit there.

From Keeneland Communications

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