America’s second Triple Crown winner was foaled at Claiborne Farm on March 23, 1927. Belair Stud owner William Woodward Sr. was not one to tax his two-year-olds, so Gallant Fox won only two races as a juvenile. Future Hall of Famer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons discovered that the sleek bay with a wall-eye and a temperamental attitude worked best in company, but he found it necessary to employ a relay of workmates as no horse in his barn could match Gallant Fox throughout his work.
Fitzsimmons coaxed Earle Sande out of retirement to become Gallant Fox’s regular rider in 1930. That year, he won nine of ten starts: the Triple Crown consisting of the Kentucky Derby (the first in which a starting gate was used), Preakness, and Belmont, plus the Lawrence Realization Stakes, Wood Memorial, Dwyer Stakes, Arlington Classic, Saratoga Cup, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. His only loss at three came at Saratoga in the Travers Stakes to 100-to-1 upsetter Jim Dandy.
“The Fox of Belair” won top honors at three and was retired to stud at Claiborne alongside his sire, Sir Gallahad III. Soon they were joined by Gallant Fox’s son Omaha, the only U.S. Triple Crown winner sired by a Triple Crown winner and a foal from Gallant Fox’s first crop.
In addition to Omaha in 1935, Gallant Fox sired the 1936 Belmont Stakes winner, champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year, Granville. Also in his second crop came Flares, the full brother to Omaha who became only the second U.S.-bred horse to win Ascot’s Gold Cup. Gallant Fox sired twenty stakes winners before he died on November 13,1954, at Claiborne where he is buried near his sire.
Buried at Claiborne Farm.