A Horse Named Perry McAdow

Perry McAdow of Punta Gorda

Perry McAdow was one of the founding citizens of Punta Gorda. He arrived in Punta Gorda in 1897 with his young new bride Marian.

Another Perry McAdow of the same era was a Thoroughbred race horse. Perry McAdow, the horse, is listed in the racing rosters in 1904 and raced until 1910. That’s a long career for a race horse.

We’ll probably never know who named this horse after Perry McAdow or why. Was Perry a friend of the horse’s owner?

Jockey Club Naming Rules

How could a horse and a person share the same name? According to the Jockey Club American Stud Book rules horse owners are prohibited from using:

  • names of living persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club
  • names of persons no longer living unless approval is granted by The Jockey Club based upon a satisfactory written explanation submitted to the Registrar

Fun Fact

According to Rick Bailey, registrar at the Jockey Club, “By far the favorite source for clever names over the years has been the television show Seinfield.” Names derived from Seinfeld show episodes include Summer of George, Yada Yada Yada, Manhands, Puffy Shirt, and Hello Newman.

Two-Year Old Races in 1904

Perry McAdow, the horse, first appears on the tracks as a two-year-old in July of 1904.

  • He raced five and a half furlongs in Chicago on July 15.
  • He won his race in Brighton Beach, NY on July 19.
  • On July 26 in Brighton Beach, he raced six furlongs in the heavy rain.
  • July 30 found the hard-working horse coming in fourth in a 3/4 mile race.

Three-Year-Old and Over Races in 1906

He raced as a maiden three-year old or over in 1906.

  • He finished fourth in the 3/4 mile on June 29.
  • A day later, Perry McAdow was involved in an exciting incident.
    “In the last race of the day, Jockey Willie Dugan figured in an unusual incident. He had the mount on Perry McAdow. Perry was well up, with the leaders on the back stretch when the jockey was seen to stop riding, and it looked as if he had lost his saddle. Coming down the stretch Perry McAdow got in front. A groan escaped his backers, as it appeared as if the horse was without a saddle. The saddle wasn’t visible from the grandstand, it having slipped on the other side. Perry McAdow won, but the stewards and the crowd waited until he came back to the stand, and there the saddle was visible. The boy weighed in all right and the backers of the favorite were overjoyed. Dugan displayed unusual skill and presence of mind, considering the manner in which we has handicapped. Incidentally it was proved that Perry McAdow was easily the best horse in the race.”
  • On July 6, “Nine went to the post in the last race of the day with Perry McAdow always the favorite, opening at 8 to 5 and closing at 6 to 5. It was easy for the favorite, he winning easily at the end by two lengths from Water Pansy who beat Racine II three lengths.
  • July 8 he threw his rider and still won the race! “While the horses were at the post Perry McAdow unseated Koerner and ran away a quarter of a mile off the track in among the stables. He was then led back and won all the way by two lengths from Secret, who was a head in front of Sunray. Sunray might have won had he not bolted to the extreme outside entering the stretch.

Four-Year-Old and Over Races in 1910

We don’t find records about Perry McAdow from 1907-1909, but he re-emerges in 1910 in Montreal, Canada.

  • August 27 he won the sixth race and a $200 purse in the four-year-olds and up. In this listing we learn he was sired by Top Gallant and is now owned by H.C. Aubart & Co. “Perry McAdow lasted long enough to win from Judge Dundon. The Judge was considered one of the best things of the day after his fine race in the closing number on Thursday. It was between Perry McAdow and Judge Dundon all the mile and sixteenth, but the Judge’s boy delayed his move on the favorite until too late. He made up over two lengths in the short stretch, but Perry McAdow had a neck on him crossing the finish line.”

Top Racehorses of the Era

Unfortunately, we have no photos of Perry McAdow or his sire Top Gallant. We know he was a bay gelding. Here are photos of similar horses of the era, Kentucky Derby winners from 1903-1910.

Learn about Punta Gorda’s history!

Hear true stories about Punta Gorda’s history and tragic deaths occurring here on our Haunted History of Punta Gorda Walking Tour. Read more about the McAdows.


Sources: Jockey Club; Newspapers.com; Quazoo.com; The Thoroughbred Name Game 

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