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Harry Hart

     Harry S. Hart was born in Brooklyn New York. In his early teens he traveled to Canada with his brother Ernie trying to become jockeys.  Ernie became a top rider but Harry considered himself one of the worlds’ worst.  He turned to training horses in his late teens enjoying marked success during World War I and during the early 1920’s.  Hart then trained horses in Kentucky in the mid1920’s and 30’s.  Like many of his time, Harry was a regular at the old Tijuana Mexico track racing his own stable and training for prominent owners throughout the United States. Could this possibly have been how he met some California thoroughbred breeders and “Hollywood Stars”? ◙  Years just prior to joining Marwyck Harry Hart's winnings from the American Racing Manual - 1933: 14 wins, $12,275, 1934: 37 wins, $35,745, 1936: 36 wins, $34,553 ◙ Marwyck Ranch, 130 acres, owned by Barbara Stanwyck and Zeppo Marx, managed by Harry S. Hart is nearing completion according to reports from California. Situated near North Los Angeles, the ranch will have a six-furlong track, new barns and modern equipment. The farm will be a breeding establishment only. The Nut is now in service there. The Blood-Horse February 1937


    Harry Hart went to work at Marwyck Ranch on November 28, 1936.  Some breeders frowned at the location of Marwyck for raising thoroughbreds because of the summertime heat. Manager Hart, however, selected the location because of the air currents, which circulated over the farm, offering a variation of climate. He also found the horses did exceptionally well throughout the year.  The annual water bill was $2,500 or approximately $150 every time the irrigation system was turned on which was once every three weeks.  The cost of water saves a considerable sum which otherwise would have to be spent for feeds and straw that can be raised with such irrigation.  Installation of the watering system cost was approximately $5000.

     There are 10 miles of three and four panel wood fencing enclosing the different paddocks and fields.  On the property are four barns, six sun sheds (closed at one end) in the paddocks, a breeding shed, tool house, office including a medicine room, Superintendent’s cottage and a bunk house which included a game room for employees.  The layout also includes a ¾ mile track with one chute for teaching horses in training to “stand” and another chute from which they “break”.  The track is 55 feet wide in the stretches, and 60 feet on the turns. Although it already is a fine training oval, Manager Hart plans to improve it further by taking sandy soil from the banks of the creek that flows through Marwyck Ranch and putting in on the training strip. (Wilbur Wash)

     All paddocks at the ranch are in good stand. The crops include, alfalfa, beardless barley, ladino clover, burr clover, Dallas grass, wheat and kanota oats.  This combination worked out by Manager Hart serves a triple purpose; providing excellent grazing for the horses, makes a splendid cover crop while it rebuilds the soil ravaged by severe usage as a truck garden. Crop rotation occurred in every field annually.

     Of particular interest at the ranch was a paddock under construction where crippled racehorses will be treated. Hart is hauling soil from the ocean to furnish the flooring for this enclosure. A curbing will surround this soil then seawater will be hauled to it. Horses with bad fetlocks/ankles will be turned in there to receive the benefits of ocean water. Instead of taking Harry’s horses to the sea, the sea is being brought to the horses.  The Blood-Horse April 2, 1938


     Harry Hart was known in Kentucky as a very thoroughgoing horseman, and has done a thoroughly good job in building and operating Marwyk for Stanwyck and her agent Zeppo Marx.  During my rainy day visit and between the showers Harry led me around the Marwyck plant, which has about everything a horse could wish for except automatic tail-swishers.  When Marwyck started out it was going to be a breeding farm but Stanwyck and Marx have changed their minds and no longer are breeding horses. The ranch is now turned over exclusively to boarders, except for the stallion, The Nut, which they still own.  The Blood-Horse April 5, 1941

1945 - 1966

     Harry S. Hart joins the Louis B. Mayer Stock Farm operation in Perris, California.  He remains manager until retirement.  The Louis B. Mayer Stock Farm is renown in the thoroughbred breeding business. Louis Mayer was the leading breeder of stakes winners in the U.S. from 1947 to 1949 and he was California’s leading breeder for 10 consecutive years from 1943 – 1952.  From 1947 to 1951, he was the runner-up in the U.S. to the famed Calumet Farm on the basis of money won by horses bred by them.  Mayer was called the California Breeder of the Century.  In 1976 he sold 248 horses for 4.4 million dollars.

   Beginning in the early 1960's, Illness  kept Harry from the farm and racetrack. In 1965, when Harry was 69 years old,  Royal Eiffel  brought Harry back to the forefront again. Multiple victories for the 3-year-old proved that Harry’s hunch was right when he bought the horse in Pomona nine months earlier.  Harry passed away in 1966

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