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Rare 1960s sterling silver 925 commemorative horse shoe tray or ashtray, made by Bogaert's of Lexington. Reinzi, age 5, was the winner and earned 1st place on Oct 29, 1960 at The Narragansett Special in Narragansett Park
Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Jockey Jimmy Combest, Trainer Barry Ryan and Owner J. Frederic Gagel.
The Narragansett Special was an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Narragansett Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. At the time of its inaugural running in 1934, the Narragansett Special offered a purse of $25,000 added money making it the biggest race run at the track. Only Suffolk Downs' Massachusetts Handicap had a bigger purse in New England. Both rich contests drew the best talent that the nation had to offer.
Open to horses age three and older, the race was run over a distance of 1+3⁄16 miles (9.5 furlongs). The Special started at the top of the Narragansett stretch with a run of 3/16ths to the wire and then one full lap around the one mile dirt oval.
Across its history, the ""Special"" was run in late summer and fall, over fast and sloppy tracks, and even in the snow one year (Wise Margin – 1955).
Time Supply, under jockey Tommy Luther, won the very first Special. A. A. Baroni's Top Row and Rosemont, for William duPont, won the next two editions.
An instant success, the race continued to attract the top horses from across the United States. 1937 had Mrs. Ella K. Bryson's gelding Calumet Dick, with Hilton Dabson riding, captured the event. A former Calumet Farm runner that loved the mud, Calumet Dick upset Wheatley Stable's Snark and national superstar Seabiscuit. The 'Biscuit was made the betting favorite by his fans, but proved his dislike for ""off"" going and saw a seven race winning streak snapped when he finished third on the sloppy track under high-weight of 132 lbs.
Over the years, the race was won by racing stars such as future U. S. Racing Hall of Fame inductees Challedon (won:1939 / inducted:1977) and Whirlaway (won:1942 / inducted:1959).
In 1941, Glen Riddle Farm's War Relic upset that year's Triple Crown winner, Whirlaway.
Top jockeys Eddie Arcaro, Ted Atkinson, Johnny Longden, George Woolf, and Jack Westrope are among the riding stars that won the ""Special"". Lucky Draw equaled the World Record for the distance, while carving his name in the Track Records Narragansett Park, when he defeated Pavot and Armed in 1946. Many considered this to be the race of the year.
The event was not run in 1947 due to an outbreak of Swamp Fever. The outbreak of the disease, with an official title of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), had caused the death of 77 horses at Rockingham Park that summer. The inter-state shipping of horses that Fall was greatly restricted.
The 1948 edition had Rhode Island in the middle of a record late August ""heat wave"" with temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When added with the cancellation of the previous year, the race drew its smallest attendance figure of only 12,612 people. Donor, under jockey Arnold Kirkland, won the race for owner W. Deering Howe.
In 1949, Donor, a son of Challedon, became the only two-time winner of the race by defeating the Santa Anita Handicap winner of 1949; Vulcan's Forge; and Calumet Farm's 1949 Kentucky Derby winner, Ponder. In a thrilling three horse photo finish, Warren Mehrtens had his mount's head in front at the wire. More than 35,000 were in attendance for this exciting renewal.
On September 19, 1953, Sailed Away, with New England riding legend Anthony DeSpirito ""up"" for trainer R. E. Harper and Rhode Island-based Vigilant Stable, became the only local outfit to win the Special.
1954 revealed Alfred G. Vanderbilt II in the paddock as his Social Outcast was saddled for a popular 3-length victory. The purse swelled to $42,450, making it the richest running. It also had the largest field as 18 horses made the post. Social Outcast broke from the 15 hole and as jockey Eric Guerin made the lead he lost his right stirrup in deep stretch. Guerin did well to remain on the horse as ""Old Sosh"" bolted towards the outside rail.
By the late 1950s, attendance and betting handle were down at the track. It was harder to attract the best horses to the region and Narragansett Park and the Special declined in prestige. Without a breeding industry in New England, the quality of horse racing throughout the area went into a steep decline. There were also betting scandals. The purse was returned to $25,000 added and did not keep pace with other top races.
Finally, in 1963, one last future Hall of Fame horse, Gun Bow (inducted HoF:1999), won his first stakes race in the Narragansett Special. He won by 13 lengths with jockey Steve Brooks aboard. Gun Bow would gain fame by having stirring duels with Kelso, the unofficial ""horse of the 1960s"".
The year of 1963 saw the 29th, and last, edition of this once special race.
James Theodore Combest (June 24, 1926 – January 8, 2013) was a jockey and trainer in American Thoroughbred racing. He was one of three brothers in a prominent racing family. Older brother Nick was both a jockey and trainer while younger brother Reed trained and owned Thoroughbreds his entire career.
Combest professional riding career began in 1946 and by 1953 he was rated among the best in the country.  The last year he competed as a jockey was as a fifty-year-old in 1976 when he made only 26 starts.
Triple Crown mounts
During his time as a jockey, Jimmy Combest competed in the 1953, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1964 and 1968. Kentucky Derbys. Of these six, his top result came in the 1962 edition. Aboard owner Alie Grissom's colt Roman Line, Combest won the Forerunner Stakes and the Derby Trial before finishing second to Decidedly in the Derby. In the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series, Combest and Roman Line finished third to winner Greek Money and runner-up Ridan. They did not run in the Belmont Stakes.
The first of Combest's two mounts in the Preakness Stakes had come in 1958 when he rode Noureddin to a fifth-place finish behind runner-up Lincoln Road and Calumet Farm's winner and future Hall of Fame inductee Tim Tam. Later in June, Jimmy Combest made his only appearance in the Belmont Stakes, riding Royal Bay Gem to third place behind Tim Tam and the Irish horse Cavan.
As a trainer, Combest met with modest success and would retire from racing to manage a Florida horse farm. He died at age 86 in Southwest Ranches, Florida.
Good antique condition, light wear and distressing, some dents / scrapes, tarnish.
5" x 4.5" x 1.25", 204.3 g