Arts and Letters

Arts and Letters

Arts and Letters
Sire Ribot
Grandsire Tenerani
Dam All Beautiful
Damsire Battlefield
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1966
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Paul Mellon
Owner Rokeby Stable
Trainer J. Elliott Burch
Record 23: 11-6-1
Earnings $632,404
Major wins

Blue Grass Stakes (1969)
Everglades Stakes (1969)
Jim Dandy Stakes (1969)
Travers Stakes (1969)
Metropolitan Handicap (1969)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1969)
Woodward Stakes (1969)
Grey Lag Handicap (1970)

Triple Crown race wins/placings:
Belmont Stakes (1969)
Kentucky Derby 2nd (1969)
Preakness Stakes 2nd (1969)
U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1969)
DRF U.S. Champion Handicap Male Horse (1969)
United States Horse of the Year (1969)
United States Racing and Hall of Fame (1994)
#67 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century

Arts and Letters (April 1, 1966 – October 16 (?), 1998) was an American Hall of Fame Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.

Owned and bred by American sportsman and noted philanthropist Paul Mellon, and trained by future Hall of Famer Elliott Burch, the colt began racing at age two. He won two of his six starts in 1968, then at age three won two important Kentucky Derby prep races before finishing second in both the Derby and the Preakness Stakes to the undefeated California colt Majestic Prince.

He carried the well-known colors of dark grey, yellow braids, sleeves, and cap. Arts and Letters came back to win the 1½ mile Belmont Stakes, after which second-place finisher Majestic Prince was retired due to injury. Arts and Letters went on to win several more important races in 1969, and was voted three major awards, including the most prestigious: American Horse of the Year.[1]

At age four, Arts and Letters won one of three races. His career ended after he suffered an injury in the Californian Stakes.


Standing at stud at Greentree Farm, he met with reasonable success. The most notable of his stakes winning offspring was Codex, who gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his first win in the U.S. Triple Crown race by capturing the 1980 Preakness Stakes. Arts and Letters also sired other grade one winners like the gelding Winters Tale, who won the Marlboro Cup H. (G1), Brooklyn H. (G1) and Suburban H. (G1) and the gelding Lord Darnley who won Gulfstream Park H. (G1) and Widener H. (G1) along with many other stakes winners.

In 1994, Arts and Letters was inducted in the United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Arts and Letters died at the advanced age of 32 in 1998 (though this date is listed as 2000 with the Jockey Club). He was buried at Greentree Farm, which is now part of Gainesway Farm.


  1. ^ "Arts and Letters named 1969 Horse of the Year". Ellensburg Daily Record. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  • Arts and Letters' pedigree and racing stats
  • Arts and Letters at the United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame