“Just Bury Me With My Horses!”

BLACKSMITH SHOP. Sagamore Farm had its own blacksmith shop where Duke Monteur worked on many outstanding Thoroughbreds.

FOR MUCH OF HIS LIFE, Duke Monteur shod the famous Thoroughbreds at Sagamore Farms in northern Maryland, including Discovery and Discovery’s famous son Native Dancer.

Before he died, the veteran blacksmith told his family that he wanted to be buried in the farm’s cemetery next to the horses that he’d shod for many years. After Monteur died and was cremated in California, his wife and a family friend traveled east to hold a graveside service where they buried his ashes next to Discovery’s headstone on the Glyndon, Md., farm.

Discovery had been purchased as a 2-year-old in 1933 for $25,000 by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who owned Sagamore Farm for 53 years. The horse won 27 of 63 starts and finished second 10 times. After a long and successful career at stud, the stallion died in 1958 and was buried in the farm’s cemetery.

Discovery’s most famous descendant was the popular champion Native Dancer, with 2003 marking the 50th anniversary of his running in the 1953 Triple Crown. Winning 21 of 22 starts, he earned $785,240 before siring 44 stakes winners.

Starting with the purchase of Discovery, Sagamore became a symbol of excellence for the next half century in horse racing and breeding, says farm historian Michelle Tenney of Glyndon, Md.

Since Sagamore took care of their champions until the very end, a dozen champions are buried in the farm’s cemetery. Along with the…

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