Reed, William F.; Hersch, Hank
October 1992
Sports Illustrated;10/22/92, Vol. 77 Issue 17, p8
A few years ago in Lexington, Kentucky, some of horse racing's elite waged a cocktail-party debate over who was the best racehorse ever to wear a bridle. It was at Belmont Park in the spring of 1942 that jockey Johnny Longden first noticed the potential of Count Fleet, a temperamental, slightly built, almost effeminate 2-year-old son of 1928 Kentucky Derby winner Reigh Count, out of the undistinguished Quickly. Count Fleet's owner was John D. Hertz, the rental-car and Yellow Cab magnate (his horses raced in black-and-yellow silks, of course), and Longden was the contract rider for Hertz's stable. Because that Churchill Downs crowd consisted mainly of Louisville residents and soldiers from nearby Fort Knox--the usual Derby patrons were deterred by wartime gasoline shortages and travel restrictions-it was dubbed the Streetcar Derby.


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