by Saggy out of Joppy, was an American Hall of Fame thoroughbred racehorse with a less than stellar pedigree but who nonetheless won many important graded stakes races including the 1961 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. His racing colors were blue, silver hoops and sleeves. His modest beginnings and heart stopping come from behind victories made him a star.
Carry Back was a rags to riches colt who for three seasons did more to merchandise and promote racing to the masses than any horse since Native Dancer.
The "People's Horse," as he became to be known by, was bred, owned and trained by retired manufacturer Jack Price for his wife, Katherine. Mr.Price was in the process of spending most of his retirement nest egg on horse racing when a once-in-a-lifetime stoke of outrageous luck and fortune came along.
In early 1958 Price took over ownership of an obscure mare named Joppy for a fee of $150 plus a $150 overdue board bill at his small Ohio farm. Joppy's racing record was abysmal. In seven starts, she finished second twice and earned only $325. Joppy was eventually banned from racing, a result of her frequent refusals to leave the starting gate. Then for a modest $400 stud fee, Price bred Joppy to an equally obscure colt named Saggy. Saggy's only real claim to fame was he handed the great Citation his only loss of his marvelous Triple Crown winning season of 1948 (19 of 20 wins) with a narrow win in an allowance sprint. Somehow the mysterious forces of nature blessed the racing world with an uncommonly tough competitor.
After racing an astounding 21 starts as a 2 year old juvenile, Carry Back had shown promise as the year progressed, winning the Cowdin and Remsen Stakes, as well as the richest stakes race in America at the time, the $287,000 Garden State Futurity.
Carry Back became a star as a 3-year old, winning in his customary come from way, way behind stretch running style, the Everglades, the Flamingo Stakes, Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, Jerome Handicap, and Trenton Handicap. Unfortunately, his bid for the elusive Triple Crown ended when a sore leg led to his defeat in the Belmont Stakes by Sherluck
Sherluck was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1961 Belmont Stakes and ending Carry Back's chance to win the U.S. Triple Crown....
, a colt he had soundly defeated in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
He went on to easily win the award as 3 Year Old Champion for 1961.
As a 4-year-old, Carry Back became just the fourth millionaire thoroughbred in American racing history, joining Citation, Nashua and Round Table. He won the 1962 Metropolitan Mile on Memorial Day equaling the Aqueduct track record, defeating the great Kelso among others. He defeated Kelso again in the Monmouth Handicap in July, this time setting the Monmouth track record for 1 1/4 miles.
After winning the historic Whitney Handicap at Saratoga in August, Mr. and Mrs. Price, in a sporting gesture, sent Carry Back to France to take a shot at Europe's most famous race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. This was a very rare and bold move in 1962 when Trans-Atlantic travel for race horses was a much more difficult task than it is today. Despite running on a foreign surface of grass, and receiving a less than stellar ride by his European jockey in which he raced wide the entire race, Carry Back finished a respectable fast closing 10th out of 24 starters, beaten only 5 1/2 lengths.
After a brief time at stud, and in a very unusual move, Carry Back was returned to the races by Price in the Summer of 1963. He closed out his career with a win over the top handicap runner Mongo in the Trenton Handicap at Monmouth Park in November before being retired permanently.
Carry Back returned to stud at the end of 1963. Despite his modest pedigree, he was a successful sire, producing 12 stakes winners and the dams of thirty more stakes winners.
After his breeding career ended, he was pensioned at the Ocala Jockey Club farm in Florida. Voted into the Thoroughbred Racing Hall Of Fame in 1975, Carry Back died in 1983. His ashes are interred in the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in Louisville, home of his greatest victory.