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1995.2.1420 Keeneland-Morgan small.jpg

Busher (Keeneland-Morgan)
Induction Year: 
Idle Hour Stock Farm
Colonel Edward R. Bradley, Louis B. Mayer
J. W. Smith, George Odom
War Admiral
Baby League
Bubbling Over
Career Years: 

Tab Wrapper


A small chestnut daughter of Triple Crown winner War Admiral out of the Bubbling Over mare Baby league, Busher was bred at Col. E. R. Bradley’s famed Idle Hour Stock Farm and raced in Bradley’s colors as a 2-year-old.


Busher made her debut with a half-length victory May 30, 1944 at Belmont Park. She returned two months later at the Saratoga meeting, which was contested at Belmont because of World War II travel restrictions. At odds of 8-1, Busher won by four lengths. She then finished fourth in the Spinaway before winning the Adirondack by two lengths.


Following the Adirondack, Busher finished second to Nomadic in a six-furlong prep for the Matron. Despite carrying 119 pounds to Nomadic’s 111, Busher lost by only a head. In the Matron, Busher defeated Calumet Farm’s Twosy by a neck with Nomadic back in fourth.


Busher was then shipped to Laurel Park to contest the Selima Stakes. Busher passed Gallorette on the backstretch and drew off from pacesetter Ace Card on the final turn to win by three lengths for her final victory of the year. Busher finished her juvenile campaign with a record of 5-1-0 from seven starts and earnings of $60,300.


In March 1945, Bradley sold Busher to filmmaker L. B. Mayer for a reported $50,000. Now trained by George Odom, Busher won her first three starts as a 3-year-old, including the Santa Susana Stakes. She then finished second in the Santa Anita Derby before being assigned top weight of 126 pounds in the Santa Margarita Handicap, which she won by 1½ lengths.


Shipped to Chicago, Busher won the Cleopatra Stakes by 4½ lengths and then the Arlington Handicap by almost five lengths. She delivered the best performance of her career in the Washington Park Handicap, defeating Armed by 1½ lengths and breaking a 13-year-old track for 10 furlongs, running it in 2:01⅘.


Busher was sent back to California and added victories in the Hollywood Derby and Vanity Handicap. She concluded her sophomore season with a record of 10-2-1 and earnings of $273,735 from 13 starts. Her career earnings stood at $334,035, breaking Top Flight’s previous record for fillies.


Following her victory in the Vanity Handicap, Busher developed swelling in a leg and was forced to miss the entire 1946 season. She raced one in 1947 as a 5-year-old, finishing fifth of six, before being retired. Mayer sold Busher for $150,000 to Elizabeth N. Graham in 1948.


As a broodmare at Maine Chance Farm, Busher produced four fillies, none of which raced, and one colt, Jet Action, who won $308,225 in four seasons. Jet Action defeated High Gun in the Withers Stakes and also won the Washington Park and Roamer handicaps.


Busher died in 1955 at the age of 13.