Racing and 
World War II Conditions
Part 2

Twilight Tear,
first filly to be elected Horse of the Year with her foal, who later gained fame as the stakes winner A Gleam, dam herself of A Glitter.

My sincere thanks to The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America 
by William Robertson
for permission to excerpt his editorial that we may re-live the moment.

May 1, 1943: 
Count Fleet won the "street car" Kentucky Derby, for which no
tickets could be sold to out-of-town spectators due to 
wartime travel restrictions.

After a Western record . . . . .

. . . of $1,813,272 was established, it was broken several times,
 passing $2-million and $2 1/2-million until finally, on closing day, yet another
plateau was passed as the handle hit $3,290,356.
The feature that happy day was the Hollywood Gold Cup,
 won by Happy Stable's
Happy Issue, the first filly to triumph by covering the 10 furlongs in 2:01 3/5.

The experience of Hollywood Park was an example
of what was going on all
over the country. Every national record toppled as attendance reached almost
18-million and total mutuel handle exceeded $1-billion.
Why such surges should occur at a time when transportation facilities were at their lowest ebb was not fully understood --beyond the obvious circumstances
that more people had more spending money than ever before, and a mood of frantic gaiety pervaded the country -- but it led Matt Winn to observe that customers couldn't have been kept away with baseball bats.

Purse distribution made a fantastic leap and individual 
monetary records also tumbled.
The $601,660 won by Calumet Farm was a new record: 
Ben Jones headed the money-winning trainers with an identical total, also a record; Warren Wright (Calumet's owner) bred the winners of 
a record $990,612;
and jockey Ted Atkinson, leader in both numerical (287) 
and financial standings,
set a new record of $899,101 in the latter category.
 (He accepted 1,539 mounts, a record for a leading jockey.)

The war was evident in other ways.
Racing added another $8-million to its special relief fund.
In addition to such outright gifts, war bond sales again were part of the racing scene; at a number of tracks, including all those in New York and also Hollywood Park, purchase of a war bond was good for free admission.

It is traditional when men go off to war for women 
to take over on the home front.
Female cab drivers and streetcar conductors no longer were considered unusual in 1944, and Rosie the Riveter had inspired a song.
Detroit used women as mutuel clerks, and Hollywood Park, in keeping with its policy of hiring recently discharged veterans as much as practicable, announced proudly that it was the first track with a WAC on the payroll.

So it was with horses.
In each of the last two years of the war, a filly was elected 
Horse of the Year.