Baden-Baden is a resort town in south western Germany, just north of the Black Forest. In the 1800s, it was a well-known retreat for Europe's aristocracy. Although its status has declined somewhat, it still remains a popular destination for the wealthy.

The attractions here include thermal springs; the spas were well known to the Romans thousands of years ago. The Friedrichsbad spa is best known, housed in a 19th century palace.

Baden-Baden is also home to the oldest casino in Germany, Casino Baden-Baden, which is over 250 years old. It is located in the historic Kurhaus, modelled after the palace of Versilles. Note that there is a dress code and players must be 21 years old.

Baden-Baden was an American racehorse, a chestnut colt born in 1874, and named for the German city. He was bred by A. J. Alexander (of the famous Woodburn Stud in Kentucky) and owned by Daniel Swigert, who had been the manager at Woodburn until 1869 when he left to start his own facility, Stockwood Farm. Edward "Brown Dick"* Brown, an African-American who had trained horses for Mr. Alexander, also moved to Stockwood with Mr. Swigert and had responsibility for Baden-Baden's early schooling.1,2

Sired by Australian (imported from England in 1858), Baden-Baden could trace his lineage back to the Godolphin Arabian through Matchem. It is interesting that the stallion Emilius appears twice in Baden-Baden's family tree, although some incrosses of this type were (and still are) common in horse breeding.3,7

          |            |                   | Melbourne by Humphrey Clinker  
          |            | West Australian   |                          
          |            |                   | Mowerina by Touchstone     
          | Australian |                   |                            
          |            |                   | Young Emilius by Emilius       
          |            | Emilia            |                           
          |            |                   | Persian by Whisker
Baden-Baden -----------------------------------------------------------  
          |            |                   | Sir Charles by Sir Archy          
          |            | Wagner            |
          |            |                   | Maria West by Marion
          | Lavender   |                   | 
          |            |                   | Sarpedon by Emilius   
          |            | Alice Carneal     |     
          |            |                   | Rowena by Sumpter     

Baden-Baden won the 1876 Young America Stakes at the Meadowlands (8 ½ furlongs) as a two-year-old. In his third year, he was entered in the Kentucky Derby. Ridden by jockey William Walker (another African-American) and carrying 100 pounds, Baden-Baden won the Derby by 2 lengths over a fast track, with a time of 2:38. He beat ten other horses who finished in the order: Leonard, King William, Vera Cruz, McWhirter, Odd Fellow, Malvern, Early Light (a filly), Dan K., Lisbon, and Headlight. Baden-Baden won $3300.4

Apparently, William Astor (who already owned 1876 Kentucky Derby winner Vagrant) was so impressed by Baden-Baden that he arranged to purchase the colt from Mr. Swigert. Now trained by James Williams and ridden by T. Sayres, Baden-Baden finished third in the 1877 Belmont Stakes behind Cloverbrook (winner of the 1877 Preakness Stakes) and Loiterer. He next won the 1877 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in 3:15.50 carrying 110 pounds over 1 ¾ mile, and earning $3700. That same year, Baden-Baden also won the Jersey Derby.5

Baden-Baden retired to stud after his racing days. His record was ten starts, four wins, three seconds, and one third. One of his daughters was the chestnut filly Suspense, born in 1882.6

* Supposedly, he got this nickname for being able to outrun one of the horses at Woodburn who was named Brown Dick.
7. Chew, Peter, The Kentucky Derby: The First 100 Years, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1974.

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