Cougar II (CHI)

Bred in Chile, Cougar II was a major stakes winner in his home country before enjoying success on both dirt and turf in America and winning the 1972 Eclipse Award for Champion Turf Horse.

Cougar II at Hollywood Park in 1973 (Bill Mochon/Museum Collection)
Inducted

2006

Foaled

1966

Sire

Tale of Two Cities

Dam

Cindy Lou II

Damsire

Madara

Breeder

Haras General Cruz

Owner

Mary F. Jones

Trainer

G. A. Riley
Charles E. Whittingham

Career

1968-1973

Earnings

$1,169,058

Racing Record

50

Starts

Year Starts First Second Third Earnings
Year Sts 1 2 3 $
1968 3 1 0 2 $2190 $2,190
1969 9 4 0 3 $15392 $15,392
1970 8 2 1 2 $57770 $57,770
1971 12 6 3 2 $416022 $416,022
1972 9 4 3 2 $321350 $321,350
1973 9 3 0 6 $356334 $356,334

Biography

Bred in Chile, Cougar II was a major stakes winner in his home country before enjoying success on both dirt and turf in America and winning the 1972 Eclipse Award for Champion Turf Horse.

Upon the advice of Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham, Mary Jones purchased Cougar II from Joe Hernandez as a 4-year-old in 1970 for $125,000. Cougar II earned his first American stakes victory that year in the Escondido Handicap.

In 1971, Cougar II defeated Fort Marcy in both the San Juan Capistrano Handicap and the Ford Pinto Invitational Handicap. He also won the Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap, Oak Tree Invitational Stakes, and Californian Handicap that year to post an overall record of 6-3-2 in 12 starts with earnings of $416,022.

Cougar II won the Eclipse Award for Champion Turf Horse in 1972 when he repeated in the Oak Tree Invitational Stakes and Californian Handicap and also won the Century Handicap (setting an American record for 11 furlongs of 2:11), San Marcos Stakes, and Carleton F. Burke Handicap. Cougar II finished 1972 with a record of 4-3-2 from nine starts and earnings of $321,350.

After finishing second in the Santa Anita Handicap in both 1971 and 1972, Cougar II finally won the race in 1973 as a 7-year-old under high weight of 126 pounds, edging Kennedy Road by a nose. He also won the Century Handicap again that year and added a win in the Sunset Handicap. His career earnings topped $1 million, making him the first foreign-bred horse to achieve that milestone in North America. Cougar II was retired with a lifetime record of 20-7-17 from 50 starts and earnings of $1,169,058. Eighteen of his wins were in stakes events.

Following his retirement, Cougar II stood at Spendthrift Farm and later at Stone Farm, where he sired his most famous offspring, 1982 Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol. Overall, Cougar II sired 24 stakes winners. He died in 1989 at the age of 23. 

Achievements

Eclipse Award Champion Turf Horse — 1972

Media

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