Gay Crusader

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Gay Crusader (1914–1932) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who won the English Triple Crown in 1917.

Owner/breeder Alfred W Cox matched his horse Bayardo with the mare Gay Laura to get the ill-tempered colt Gay Crusader. Bred and trained at Alec Taylor's Manton Stud at Manton, Wiltshire, Gay Crusader began racing at age two but made only two starts. In his first race, he showed little promise but he came back strongly his next time out to get his first win.

As a three-year-old, Gay Crusader was an easy winner of the 2,000 Guineas, the first leg of the Triple Crown series. However, because of World War I, the British government imposed racing restrictions and limited events to the Newmarket Racecourse. As such, at Newmarket Gay Crusader won the Epsom Derby in July and in September became the 12th Triple Crown winner in U.K. history by winning the St. Leger Stakes (billed as the "September Stakes"). After his Triple Crown victories, Gay Crusader went on to capture four more major stakes races at Newmarket, including the Ascot Gold Cup. Cox turned down an offer of £100,000 for the horse, an enormous amount at the time.

Gay Crusader's racing career ended at age four when he suffered a training injury. Retired to stud service, he had only modest success with his male progeny. However, he was the damsire of Prince Rose, who in turn produced the influential American sire Princequillo. Gay Crusader was also the damsire of Djebel, who earned Champion two-year-old honors in......
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