Ancient Title (CA)

A homebred for William and Ethel Kirkland, Ancient Title won 20 stakes, including 17 graded events, in seven years of competition. A bay gelding by Gummo out of the Bar Le Duc mare Hi Little Gal, Ancient Title became racing’s 19th millionaire and retired with more earnings than any other California-bred.

Ancient Title (Bill Mochon/Museum Collection)
Inducted

2008

Foaled

1970

Sire

Gummo

Dam

Hi Little Gal

Damsire

Bar Le Duc

Breeder

William and Ethel Kirkland

Owner

Kirkland Stable

Trainer

Keith Stucki, Sr.

Career

1972-1978

Earnings

$1,252,791

Racing Record

57

Starts

Year Starts First Second Third Earnings
Year Sts 1 2 3 $
1972 8 5 1 1 $76070 $76,070
1973 8 2 4 1 $110700 $110,700
1974 9 5 3 0 $304600 $304,600
1975 10 4 1 4 $327271 $327,271
1976 7 2 1 1 $144025 $144,025
1977 11 4 0 2 $230525 $230,525
1978 4 2 1 0 $59600 $59,600

Biography

A homebred for William and Ethel Kirkland, Ancient Title won 20 stakes, including 17 graded events, in seven years of competition. A bay gelding by Gummo out of the Bar Le Duc mare Hi Little Gal, Ancient Title became racing’s 19th millionaire and retired with more earnings than any other California-bred.

Trained by Keith Stucki, Ancient Title broke his maiden in his career debut in July 1972 at Del Mar and won three stakes that year, including the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes. As a 3-year-old, he won the San Vicente Stakes and Inglewood Stakes before an injury knocked him out of competition from late May through late December.

Ancient Title began his 4-year-old campaign in 1974 by winning the Malibu Stakes, San Fernando Stakes, and Charles H. Strub Stakes to complete the Strub Series sweep at Santa Anita. He became only the third horse to win the three events, joining Round Table and Hillsdale. Spectacular Bid and Precisionist were the only others to later complete the sweep of the series while the Strub was still 10 furlongs. Ancient Title also finished second in the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup that year.

As a 5-year-old, Ancient Title was the star of the Hollywood summer meet when he became only the second horse to win the Californian Stakes and Hollywood Gold Cup in the same year. Shipped to Saratoga, Ancient Title won the Whitney Handicap under 128 pounds, defeating subsequent Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Group Plan and Met Mile winner Arbees Boy.

Plagued by minor physical setbacks as a 6-year-old in 1976, Ancient Title still managed to repeat in the Californian Stakes, defeating subsequent Hollywood Gold Cup winner Pay Tribute, while giving him 10 pounds.

At age 7, Ancient Title won the Grade 1 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita, the Grade 2 Bel Air Handicap at Hollywood, and the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap.

In his final season, at age 8 in 1978, Ancient Title won the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita, setting a track record for 8½ furlongs in the process. He was retired after aggravating an old tendon injury that August in the San Diego Handicap.

Ancient Title finished with a record of 24-11-9 from 57 starts. His earnings of $1,252,791 ranked 10th on the money list at the time of his retirement and the only geldings to earn more were Kelso and Forego.

Ancient Title died Sept. 1, 1981, at Rio Vista Farm in California at the age of 11. 

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