Twitter icon
Facebook icon


1995.2.1106 The Blood Horse small.jpg

Johnstown, Jimmy Stout up (The Blood-Horse)
Induction Year: 
Arthur B. Hancock Sr.
Belair Stud
James E. "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons
La France
Sir Gallahad III
Career Years: 

Tab Wrapper


Bred in Kentucky by Arthur B. Hancock, Sr. at Claiborne Farm, Johnstown was a bay son of Jamestown out of the Sir Gallahad III mare La France. Owned by William Woodward, Sr. and campaigned under his Belair Stud banner, Johnstown won both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes during an outstanding sophomore season in 1939.


Trained by James E. “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons and ridden in all 21 of his career starts by Jimmy Stout, Johnstown broke his maiden in his second career start in April of 1938 at Jamaica. He produced a record of 7-0-2 from 12 starts and earned $31,420 as a juvenile. Johnstown’s wins that year included the Babylon Handicap, Richard Johnson Stakes, Remsen Handicap and Breeders’ Futurity. He won at six different tracks as a 2-year-old: Jamaica, Saratoga, Aqueduct, Belmont, Laurel and Keeneland.


Johnstown began his 3-year-old season with four consecutive victories to extend his win streak to seven. He won the Paumonok Handicap at Jamaica and added an allowance victory there 10 days later. Four days after the allowance win, Johnstown romped by eight lengths in the Wood Memorial, the third consecutive year Fitzsimmons trained the winner of that race.


Following the Wood victory, Johnstown delivered a sensational performance in the Kentucky Derby, defeating eventual Horse of the Year Challedon by eight lengths. Challedon, however, got the best of a muddy track in the Preakness a week later and Johnstown finished a distant fifth. Two weeks after the Preakness disappointment, Johnstown rebounded with a six-length victory in the Withers Stakes. With Challedon not eligible for the Belmont, Johnstown cruised to a five-length victory in the third leg of the Triple Crown series. Johnstown covered the 1½-mile Belmont distance in 2:29⅗, one second off War Admiral’s track record.


After the Belmont, Johnstown returned two weeks later to win the Dwyer Stakes, defeating Sun Lover and Challedon, and tying the track record for 1⅛ miles at 1:48⅖ in the process. In his final career start, Johnstown finished third behind Challedon and Sun Lover in the Classic Stakes at Arlington. Johnstown won seven of nine starts as a sophomore and concluded his career with an overall ledger of 14-0-3 from 21 starts and earnings of $169,315.


Retired to stud at Claiborne Farm, Johnstown sired only six stakes winners from 227 foals. He did, however, become a notable broodmare sire in the 1950s. In this regard, he is most famously associated with being the damsire of Belair Stud’s legendary Nashua.


Johnstown died in 1950 at the age of 14 and was buried in the Claiborne horse cemetery.