Posted Jan 30, 2023
A masterful horseman, Rowe trained more champions (34) and Hall of Famers (10) than anyone in American history
By Brien Bouyea
Hall of Fame and Communications Director
James Gordon Rowe was one of the finest jockeys in America during the 1870s, winning such prestigious races as the Belmont, Travers, Saratoga Cup, and Jerome Handicap, among others. He was the nation’s leading rider from 1871 through 1873 and became the regular jockey — at the age of 14 — for one of the greatest horses of the 19th century, Harry Bassett. As distinguished as they are, Rowe’s achievements in the irons are a mere footnote in a much bigger story. When he could no longer make weight as a jockey, Rowe made the transition to training thoroughbreds. It proved to be his life’s calling.