A thoroughbred named Chuck Miller

You know that theory about going down the rabbit hole – you find something interesting, and all of a sudden you’re scouring the Internet, trying to find out more information about this specific topic?

Welcome to my world.

In the past, I’ve blogged about several other people who had the name Chuck Miller – including a champion lawn mower racer, a rockabilly pop singer, and a California sprint car driver.

But apparently I’ve found a new Chuck Miller.

A four-legged Chuck Miller.

On March 18, 1964, a bay horse was born in Keystone Stable in Pennsylvania.  The horse was named Chuck Miller (nice name, IMHO), and a few years later, he began his thoroughbred racing career.  The horse’s father was a two-time stakes winner, Piecesofeight.  Piecesofeight won the 1956 Providence Stakes, as well as the 1956 Boardwalk Handicap in Atlantic City.  Oh, and Piecesofeight’s grandsire was War Admiral, and his great-grandsire was Man O’ War.  The horse’s mother was named Diavolator.  Chuck Miller (the horse, not the blogger) was later gelded, so there aren’t any children or grandchildren of Chuck Miller out there.

My friend Dan suggested I check out Equibase, which has the records of millions of thoroughbred horses – their races, how they did, etc.  Records prior to 1980 are scant, and this horse’s career was way before that.

But here’s what I found.  Chuck Miller (the horse) competed for five years, from 1966 to 1970.  He participated in 80 races during that time, winning eight of them, along with seven places and ten shows.  He earned $28,037 during his career.  And if he raced his entire career with Keystone Stables, he wore blue and yellow silks, emblematic of the stable’s liveries.

I don’t have any information about the races he won, but I did find out – through a search on fultonhistory.com – that this horse raced in a LOT of venues.

One of the wins I COULD confirm was a victory on May 13, 1967 at Garden State Park, running 1:46 4/5 in the third race, a claimer for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16th of a mile. He paid $24.20 to win, $11.00 to place, $6.20 to show.  Nice.

I also found him racing at the following locations:

  • Dec 31 1966, raced at Tropical Park
  • May 17 1967, raced at Gulfstream
  • Sep 14 1968, raced at Atlantic City
  • May 17, 1969, raced at Pimlico
  • Dec 5 1969, raced at Laurel Park
  • Aug 8 1970, raced at Delaware

It’s also interesting that this horse moved around a lot.  No, seriously.  He moved from here to there and everywhere.  Four days after his win at Garden State Park (in Cherry Hill, New Jersey), the horse was shipped to Gulfstream Park (in Florida), for a race.  Four days.  Wow.

Which means, trying to find all of Chuck Miller’s 80 races will be a nearly Herculean task.  I only found 7 races, with only one result.  That leaves 63 races, with 69 results to go.  I also have no idea if Keystone Stables still exists – all my Google searches turned up was a series of young adult paperbacks about horses in a “Keystone Stables” series of books.

I did find, however, that the owners of Keystone Stables were inducted into a horse racing hall of fame in Pennsylvania, so maybe there’s some clues at that locale.

And maybe when the libraries open up again, I can spend a Sunday or three surfing through the microfilms, examining the sports pages with the same dedication as a gambler looking for his latest parlay.

I’m cool with that. 😀