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William Hartack

James Ormsbee Chapin, 1887 - 1975
William John Hartack, 9 Dec 1932 - 26 Nov 2007
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 51.4 x 35.9 x 2.5cm (20 1/4 x 14 1/8 x 1")
Frame: 64.1 x 48.3 x 6.4cm (25 1/4 x 19 x 2 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© James Cox Gallery at Woodstock for the James Chapin Estate
Object number
Exhibition Label
Driven by an intense determination to win, jockey Bill Hartack was one of horse racing's fiercest competitors for more than two decades. Making his riding debut in 1952 at the age of nineteen, he wasted no time in compiling a record for veterans to envy. Hartack was the winningest jockey on the circuit for three consecutive years (1955-57), and in 1957 he became the first to top the three-million-dollar mark for purses won in a single season. That same year, he claimed his first Kentucky Derby victory, a feat he would repeat four times over the next eleven years, earning praise as one of the greatest derby winners of all time. Never satisfied with anything less than a trip to the winner's circle, Hartack pushed himself and his mounts relentlessly. "I only know one way to ride," he declared, "and that's all out."
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection