Angora is fond of tea, we imagine, as she is always putting out her best feet for tea services, and other silver ‘fixins,’ and always providing a service-able nag on such occasions.” ~ The Daily Picayune
We are pleased to report that one of our readers has in their possession a silver trophy cup won in 1838 by Colonel Adam L. Bingaman’s (ALB) chestnut mare Angora. Colonel Bingaman was one of the leading turfmen of the Louisiana tracks during this period; to catch up on his story, read our series about ALB’s sweep of the five-day 1837 spring race meeting over the Eclipse Course here.
Valued in 1838 at $1,000, the silver-plated cup, or “Creole Plate” as named by the Louisiana Jockey Club, was the prize for this race of two-mile heats held at the Louisiana Race Course in New Orleans on April 13 that year. This race was the first of two held on Good Friday (post time 1:00 p.m.) and featured two five-year-old entries: Angora, by Leviathan, out of Patty Puff by Pacolet, owned by ALB; and Hortense, a mare by Pacific, dam by Bet Bozley, by Little Wonder, owned by Henry A. Tayloe, who incidentally was a co-proprietor of the track.
“Betting was altogether in her favor from first to last,” reported The Daily Picayune about Angora, who on the first turn of the first heat “struck out ahead as if fully determined to put another set of silver ware into the hands of Colonel Bingaman.”
In the final quarter mile, Hortense gained ground and within the last thirty yards of the judges’ stand was dueling with Angora, “the riders so close that they might have handed each other a cigar or chew of tobacco without putting themselves to any inconvenience.”
But Hortense was no match for Angora, who pulled ahead to win the first heat in a time of 3m. 51s. Bingaman’s mare continued to dominate and was victorious in the second heat, “setting another set of plate on his shelf in 3m. 54s.”
We are grateful to Marshall Norton for sharing a photo of the cup. The inscription reads:
“Louisiana Jockey Club Plate Won by Col. A. Bingaman’s ch.f. Angora 5 yr. old by Leviathan dam Patty Puff by Pacolet beating Mr. H.A. Tayloe’s b.f. Hortense 5 yr. old by Pacific dam Bet Bosley by Little Wonder same age running 100pd each 2 mile heat Good Friday 13 April 1838”
At the bottom is inscribed “Mrs. E.J. Colhoun” and “my Sister” for Eliza Jane Bingaman Colhoun, who presented the cup at the conclusion of the race to her brother, Colonel Bingaman.
Hail to the Creole Plate!
Thanks for reading!
Editor, Antebellum Turf Times