Reigh Count compiled a Championship year at age 2 when he won four of fourteen races. A controversial ending of the Futurity Stakes (USA) at Belmont Park (the richest race in the US at the time) deprived him of another. Just before the finish line, he held the lead in the race. But due to either misjudgment of the finish line by his jockey or the intentional instructions of his owner, his stablemate (and champion 2 year-old filly) Anita Peabody claimed the prize by the barest of margins. The next day's New York Times photo captured the jockeys, side-by-side, looking at each other at the wire.
At age 3 he was the dominant horse in America, winning six races including the Kentucky Derby. Ridden by Chick Lang, his victory three years earlier in the Queen's Plate made him the only Canadian jockey in history to ever win the most prestigious race both in Canada and in the United States. An injury kept Reigh Count out of both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes however later in the summer in the Lawrence Realization he defeated Preakess winner Victorian. Later, he took on and defeated older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, which had a field that included Chance Shot, Display, and Diavolo. Reigh Count's performance in 1928 earned him United States Horse of the Year honors.
His owner felt that he had nothing left to prove against American competition. Shipped to race in England at age 4, in June 1929 Reigh Count won the Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs then finished second in the Ascot Gold Cup at Ascot Racecourse. TIME magazine reported on December 16, 1929 that his owner had turned down an offer of $1 million for Reigh Count saying: "I think a fellow who would pay $1,000,000 for a horse ought to have his head examined, and the fellow who turned it down must be absolutely unbalanced." Had the offer been accepted, it would have been by far the largest amount ever paid anywhere for a race horse.
Racing: The Galloping Globetrotter ; Royal Ascot: History Beckons as America's Down-to-Dirt Speed Merchant Meets the Aristocracy
Jun 16, 2002; As Luis Figo and his chums know, it rarely pays to underestimate a challenge from the US of A. And on Saturday at Royal Ascot...