Horse > Nashua
Bred by Belair Stud in Maryland in 1952, Nashua was a son of the high-class European sire Nasrullah. On May 5, 1954, Nashua made his debut a winning one at Belmont Park, on his way to winning . He won six times and finished second twice from eight juvenile starts, and was voted Champion 2-year-old.
As a 3-year old, Nashua won the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial back-to-back leading into the Kentucky Derby, for which he was made favorite. However, his late stretch drive came up just short of another Hall-of-Famer, the Californian Swaps. The pair were a long way clear of the rest.
Swaps then returned to California, and Nashua then won the Preakness in a record time 1:54.60, and brilliantly took out the Belmont Stakes by nine lengths.
With another two wins following, Nashua then met Swaps in a $100,000 match race. Swaps wasn’t at his best, and Nashua beat him by more than six lengths. Following a 3rd place finish, Nashua completed his 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the Jockey Cup Gold Cup at Belmont Park, setting a new record for his single season earnings of $752,550 and receiving Horse of the Year honors.
After his owner William Woodward Jr. was shot by his wife Ann, who said she thought he was an intruder – a grand jury found there was no crime – Nashua was auctioned by sealed bid for $1,251,200 to a syndicate headed by Leslie Combs of Spendthrift Farm. He returned to the track in 1956 and won six more times including in front of a record crowd of 42,000 in February for the Widener Handicap at Hialeah Park, when he became the second racehorse after Citation to earn $1 million. He subsequently won the Suburban Handicap and Monmouth Handicap, and finished his career by winning the Jockey Cup Gold Cup again. He retired to stand at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, with a race record of 22 wins from 30 starts.
As a stallion, Nashua proved worth his syndication price, siring 77 stakes winners, including the champion mare Shuvee, Mr. Prospector’s dam Gold Digger, Bramalea, Diplomat Way, Good Manners, and 1981 Marlboro Cup winner Noble Nashua. His daughters produced 122 stakes winners, including the champion Roberto.
Nashua passed away in 1982, and is buried at Spendthrift Farm. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1965.