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H. Guy Bedwell

H. Guy Bedwell
Induction Year: 
June 22, 1876, Roseburg, Ore.
Dec. 31, 1951, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Career Years: 

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Harvey Guy Bedwell led all North American trainers in wins seven times and in earnings twice during his illustrious career. He trained America’s first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, as well as several other standouts.


A native of Roseburg, Ore., Bedwell was known as “Hard Guy” throughout his career. He started training in Colorado in 1907 before moving east two years later with immediate success. Bedwell quickly established himself as a top conditioner, leading all North American trainers with 122 wins in 1909.


Bedwell led all North American trainers in wins each year from 1912 through 1917, including 123 in 1916. With the emergence of future Hall of Famers Sir Barton and Billy Kelly, as well as standouts such as Cudgel, Milkmaid, Boniface, and Constancy, Bedwell was also the leading trainer by earnings in 1918 and 1919.


In 1918, Bedwell took over as trainer for the prominent stable of J. K. L. Ross, owner of several excellent horses he entrusted to Bedwell, including Sir Barton, Billy Kelly, Cudgel, and Milkmaid.


Winless in six starts as a 2-year-old in 1918, Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in 1919. Although significant races at the time, it was not until more than a decade later that the particular series of races became known as the Triple Crown. Sir Barton added victories in the Potomac Handicap, Maryland Handicap, and Withers Stakes in 1919, and the Saratoga Handicap, Dominion Handicap, and Merchants’ and Citizens’ Handicap in 1920.


Billy Kelly, meanwhile, won 39 career races, including 14 during his juvenile season in 1918. His 2-year-old wins included the Idle Hour, Bashford Manor, Flash, United States Hotel, and Sanford Memorial stakes, as well as  the Grab Bag, Eastern Shore, Annapolis, and Columbia handicaps. He later won three editions of the Hartford Handicap, as well as the Philadelphia, Toboggan, Capital, and Connaught handicaps.


Cudgel’s wins included the Dixie, Kentucky, Brooklyn, Liberty, Cecil, Merchants’ and Citizens’, Havre de Grace, and Hudson handicaps, while Milkmaid won the Ladies, Salem, Galway, Great Neck, and Mineloa handicaps, as well as the Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Oaks, Kenner, and Fourth of July stakes.


Bedwell later trained for Maine Chance Farm, Harold Hecht, and Capt. Ral Parr, among others. He died in Maryland in 1951 at the age of 76.