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Robert H. Crawford

Robert H. Crawford
Induction Year: 
Career Years: 
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    West Virginia native Robert “Specs” Crawford was a top steeplechase jockey during the 1920s. Known as “Specs” because of his freckles, Crawford began his career at Fort Erie and had success in Canada and Maryland before going to New York.

    Crawford won a documented 139 races over jumps in his career and led all steeplechase riders in wins in 1919, 1920, 1922 and 1926. His first major wins came in 1918 with The Brook. They partnered to win the Beverwyck, Glendale and Shillelah. Crawford later won three runnings of The Brook Steeplechase, named after the famed jumper. 

    Crawford won the 1927 and 1928 editions of the American Grand National with Greentree Stable’s Jolly Roger. He also won the Grand National with Joseph Flanagan’s Lytle in 1922 and Greentree’s Erne II in 1926. Crawford also won the Beverwyck three times and the Corinthian twice. 

    Other stakes-winning mounts for Crawford included Guingamp, Carabinier, Elmer Johnson, Minata, Hibler, Barklie, Not Much, Rabel, Sea Master, Flyman and Warlock. 

    Weight issues forced Crawford to retire in 1928. He went on to have some success as a trainer, saddling eight stakes winners.

    Robert “Specs” Crawford was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1973.