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Greatest Racing Quarter Horse – Go Man Go
 By mosquito   •   27th Feb 2010   •   11,867 views   •   5 comments
Go Man GoLast time, we talked about Kelso, and why he’s one of the best racehorses ever. But this time, let’s find out about the horse that’s arguably the best ever, but over a quarter mile.

Born in 1953, most of you may have never heard of him, but you might recognize his name from racing quarter pedigrees. So why pick him over other great racers, like Dash For Cash or Easy Jet? Well, Go Man Go is one of only two quarter hoses to win World Champion Quarter Running Horse three years in a row (the other was the mare Woven Web). He raced until he was seven, winning 27 races, and although his $86000 in winnings may not seem like a lot, it was in the 1950s – it would be more like $700,000 dollars today.

Like Kelso, Go Man Go was a horse with issues. To say he was difficult is an understatement, but there’s no doubt that some of the most unruly horses can go on to be fast, if you can just find a trainer that can get them safely onto a racetrack! Being difficult was in his blood – his sire, the thoroughbred Top Deck, was well known as a problem horse. Top Deck never made it to the track himself, and neither did Go Man Go’s mother, a little mare from Louisiana named Lightfoot Sis. But both horses were beautifully bred, and it’s a shame that Top Deck was injured as a yearling, and Lightfoot Sis was blind in one eye, because we’ll never know how fast they could have been.

Go Man Go had other problems too. Top Deck was a thoroughbred, and Lightfoot Sis was only part quarter horse. Go Man Go didn’t get full AQHA registration until his racing career was nearly over, in 1958. It came down to what he looked like, and eventually his registration was validated when his offspring all looked more like quarter horses.

Like some of the most notorious racers, Go Man Go was hard to train, hard to groom, and hard to ride (although it was said he loved having his lower lip tugged). His trainer said he was ‘jes plain mean as a bear most of the time’. His jockey, who also rode him to break him in, said ‘he ran off with me before we ever wanted him to run. I mean, just flat ran off with me.’ On another day, Go Man Go ripped off half a shoe but still set blistering training times. Basically, there was no stopping Go Man Go.

In his very first race, they left him waiting in the starting gate a little too long. Go Man Go got fed up, threw his jockey in the stalls, then broke down the gate and set off down the track. He did a full lap of the track, a long way for a quarter horse. Even so, once they caught him and got him back in the starting stalls – and this time got the race going right away – Go Man Go had enough energy and spirit left to win the race easily.

As a two year old, Go Man Go attracted a lot of attention. A wealthy horse trainer, A.B. Green, wanted to buy the horse from his breeder, J.B. Ferguson. Ferguson didn’t want to sell, so he set the price at $42000, thinking Green couldn’t find that kind of money. But Green did, and Ferguson lost his prize horse – but he did have Go man Go’s full brother Mr. Mackay. Ferguson wanted Go Man Go back, and when Green made him angry by saying his latest expensive purchase, Double Bid, was the fastest in his stable (faster than Go Man Go), Ferguson took action. He entered Mr. Mackay in a race against Double Bid, and bet Green 42000 against Go Man Go that Mr. Mackay would win. Go Man Go’s brother did him proud, winning easily, and bringing Go Man Go back home to Ferguson.

Go Man Go went on to win so much that near the end of his career it was hard to find horses that were willing to race against him. He did have long time rivalry with a horse called Vandy’s Flash, who tried twelve times to Beat Go Man Go. He did manage it once, in 1959, in what turned out to be Go Man Go’s very last race. When Go Man Go retired, he held two world records as well.

After his racing career was over, Go Man Go went on to become one of the most influential quarter horse racing sires, with eight world champion offspring and 552 register of merit winners, from his 942 foals. He was even more influential as a broodmare sire. Best of all, Go Man Go had a lot of foals you can find his name in thousands of racing quarter horse pedigrees. Go Man Go lived to the ripe old age of 30, passing away in 1983, but he still finds a place on the AQHA leading broodmare sires list even now.

That’s why Go Man Go is called the ‘Man O War of quarter horses’!
Greatest Racing Quarter Horse – Go Man Go
Greatest Racing Quarter Horse – Go Man Go
Greatest Racing Quarter Horse – Go Man Go
Greatest Racing Quarter Horse – Go Man Go
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