1964 - 1995


Top Racehorse, Top Sire

Lifetime Race Record: 32-21-7-3, $1,176,781

Bred and owned by Mrs. Edith Woodward Bancroft.
Trained by Frank Y. Whiteley Jr.

1967 - Horse of the Year, Champion 3-Year-Old Colt & Champion Handicap Horse
1967 - Won the Travers S. by 22 Lengths
1967 - Set single-season earnings record, $817,941
1968 - Set New Track Record at Aqueduct, 10F in 1:59.1
1974 - Hall of Fame Inductee
2006 - Damascus' victory in the 1967 Woodward Stakes was ranked #39 in Horse Racing's Top 100 Moments, a review of racing in the 20th century compiled by The Blood-Horse

Marquee Races Won

Remsen Stakes
Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes
Leonard Richards Stakes
Dwyer Handicap
American Derby
Travers Stakes
Aqueduct Stakes — twice
Woodward Stakes
Jockey Club Gold Cup
Malibu Stakes
San Fernando Stakes
William du Pont Jr. Handicap

Accomplished Progeny

Desert Wine

Multiple Grade 1 winner; Millionaire; Sire

Belted Earl

Champion Older Horse and Champion Sprinter in Ireland

Crusader Sword

Grade 1 winner; Leading sire in New York

Eastern Echo

Grade 1 winner; Sire

Highland Blade

Multiple Grade 1 winner; Sire


Multiple Grade 1 winner; Sire

Lord Durham

Canadian Champion two-year-old colt; Sire


Multiple Grade 1 winner; Sire

Private Account

Multiple Grade 1 winner; Sire of multiple champions and Hall of Fame inductees

Time for a Change

Grade 1 winner; Sire of champions

When Edith Woodward Bancroft set out to rebuild a racing stable after the dispersal of her father’s famous Belair Stud, she and her mother sought the advice of A.B. (Bull) Hancock Jr. Among the first mares he purchased on their behalf was Kerala, who would produce one of the greatest racehorses of the 20th century.

The 1967 Horse of  the Year and dual Classic winner, Damascus was called by Frank Whiteley, “truly the greatest horse I’ve ever been around.” Damascus and Dr. Fager formed one of racing’s greatest rivalries, and their four meetings resulted in two wins each. In what many called the Race of the Century, sophomores Damascus and Dr. Fager and then four-year-old Buckpasser met in the Woodward Stakes, with Damascus running off to a 10-length win and Horse of the Year honors. This clash of titans occurred just weeks after the Travers, where Damascus employed his explosive turn of foot to overcome a 15-length deficit and won by 22 lengths in track record time. From coast to coast and in between, he dominated opponents and smashed records while carrying increasingly staggering weights. It took a career-ending injury to cause his only out of the money finish.

Retired to stud duty at Claiborne, his syndication price of $2,560,000 was a hefty return on his dam’s $9,600 yearling purchase price. He sired three champions among his 70 stakes winners; and his influence was furthered by his sons, who include Private Account, the sire of Personal Ensign, and his daughters who produced more than 160 stakes winners.

Buried in the Marchmont cemetery at Claiborne Farm.