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R. W. Walden

R. W. Walden
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   Born in 1843, Robert Wyndham Walden was one of the most successful trainers of the 19th century. He conditioned the winners of a record seven Preakness Stakes and also won the Belmont Stakes four times. Walden’s father, George C. Walden, and his two brothers, Jeter and James, were both trainers.

   Known by his middle name, Wyndham, in 1872 Walden and his wife, Caroline, moved from New York to Middleburg in Carroll County, Md., where they established Bowling Brook Farm to breed and train Thoroughbreds.

  Walden trained his first Preakness Stakes winner, Tom Ochiltree, in 1875. Two years later, he began a streak of five straight victories in the Preakness, all of which came with horses owned by George L. Lorillard. Walden’s Duke of Magenta (1878), Grenada (1880), and Saunterer (1881) won both the Preakness and the Belmont. Walden won the Preakness for a seventh time in 1888 with his own horse, Refund. The win set a record for a trainer, which still stands. During a career spanning 31 years he trained 101 stakes race winners.

  Other notable races won by Walden include two runnings of the Travers Stakes with Duke of Magenta (1878) and Grenada (1880); the Flash Stakes (1877 and 1878); Jerome Handicap (1878 and 1888); Monmouth Cup (1876); Saratoga Cup (1876); Withers Stakes (1878); and Metropolitan Handicap (1898).

  Following Walden’s death in 1905, Bowling Brook Farm was taken over by his wife, then on her passing by his son, Robert, who lived there until his death in 1951. Robert Walden won the 1899 Kentucky Derby with Manuel. Throughout the Walden family’s 80-year history in racing they raised and trained the winners of more than 1,000 races.

  Robert Wyndham Walden was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1970.