Returning to his Miami quarters after the running of the Widener, Trainer Bill Winfrey received a phone call from Sydney, Australia. On the other end of the line was his boss, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who was abroad on a mission for the World Veterans Fund, of which he is president.
"Well, how did we do?" Vanderbilt shouted through the phone. The question was obviously about his great 6-year-old gelding, Social Outcast.
"We almost did it, but Nashua beat us a head at the wire," Winfrey yelled back.
"It's tough luck we didn't win," shouted the absent boss. "When do you leave for California?"
"We should be in the air by 5 o'clock Monday morning," Winfrey said.
"Well, good luck out there," Vanderbilt concluded. "I'll phone you Saturday in California from Bangkok."
The object of all this transworld communication is a big, handsome chestnut with a white star on his forehead. His name is the personal creation of Vanderbilt, derived from his sire and dam—Shut Out and Pansy.
For Swaps & Co. out in California, Vanderbilt's decision was due warning. The horse that all but spoiled the Widener for Nashua is on his way to measure Swaps at Santa Anita.
In horse racing Social Outcast has played the role of the chronic bridesmaid ever since he was a 2-year-old. That year he won five out of 10 starts, but his only stakes victory resulted from the disqualification of Jamie K in the Remson. As a 3-year-old he had to play second fiddle to his stablemate, Native Dancer, with only one second and one third in nine starts, but he was blistered in mid-season for a knee injury. He was also gelded as a protection against his becoming too gross.
Social Outcast began to come into his own in 1954. During a workout with Native Dancer in Saratoga one August morning, he was as usual sent out ahead to give the big gray something to run at, but this time he stayed ahead all the way. Before the year was out he had won five of 12 starts and $192,675. Last year he won another $390,775, with eight victories, and this year he has run second three times.
"Old Sosh," as Social Outcast is known in the racing trade, has now earned $658,300, including the $20,000 he picked up in the Widener, making him the seventh biggest money winner of all time.
If Social Outcast is known around the circuit as a horse of great courage, he is equally well known as a steady traveler. Last year alone he covered over 12,000 miles, coast to coast, to compete at 15 different tracks in eight states. He loves plane travel, and there is a joke around the tracks that if you don't find Social Outcast's name in the entries for a Saturday stake, the chances are that Winfrey has taken him for a flying joy ride.