Challedon | Horse Profile

Horse > Challedon


One of the best Maryland-bred horses to race, Challedon was born in 1936, a son of the English-bred sire Challenger out of the Sir Gallahad mare Laura Gal.

Challedon won four of his six 2-year-old races in 1938, including the Pimlico Futurity and Maryland Futurity, though he didn’t face that season’s U.S. Champion 2-year-old, El Chico.

In the 1939 Kentucky Derby, Challedon finished second by eight lengths to future Hall of Famer Johnstown. The two met again in the Preakness Stakes a week later on a sloppy track, and Challedon won as Johnstown failed to finish in the money. It was a hugely popular victory as Challedon became the first Maryland-bred to win the state’s biggest race since Cloverbrook in 1877. It was also special for trainer Louis Schaefer, who became the first person to win the race as a jockey and as a trainer.

Challedon wasn’t eligible for the Belmont Stakes, which was won by Johnstown, who subsequently beat Challedon in the Dwyer Stakes. The rest of the season belonged to Challedon, however; his victories included the Arlington Classic (beating Johnstown), Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap, Havre de Grace

Handicap, Narragansett Special, Pimlico Special and Yankee Handicap. Those triumphs, coupled with his win in the Preakness, allowed Challedon to win Horse of the Year honors over Johnstown.

Challedon retained his Horse of the Year title in 1940, winning the Hollywood Gold Cup with 133 pounds, the Whitney Stakes, and the Havre de Grace. He also became the only two-time winner of the Pimlico Special.

Injuries meant Challedon didn’t earn any stakes in three 5-year-old starts, and he won two starts as a 6-year-old, most notably the 1942 Philadelphia Handicap. He sired 13 stakes winners at stud, the most notable being the high-quality handicap gelding Donor.

Challedon won 20 of his 44 races, earning $334,660. He was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 1977.