Jesse Owens, the co-holder of the World’s 100 Yard Dash record, and who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics, outran a 7-year old pacer, “The Ocean,” at Bay Meadows. Owens led wire to wire!
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Sadly, these races occurred because Owens needed the money. After his Olympic success, he did not get the type of endorsements and sponsors that he needed.
“People said it was degrading for an Olympic champion to run against a horse, but what was I supposed to do?” Owens said. “I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals.”
Later Jesse Owens revealed that his strategy was to race against high-strung thoroughbreds that would be frightened by the starter’s shotgun and start poorly!
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