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Rathbone Plays the Crosby Derby

One of Basil Rathbone’s sports passions was horse racing. He could often be found at the race track. Here we see Basil Rathbone with Robert Montgomery and Jimmy Stewart at the Santa Anita race track in 1939.

“Offstage Rathbone is an enthusiastic sporting fan, and he prefers horse racing to all other sports, though he follows them all.” (quote from “Sullivan on Rathbone“)

Another horse racing fan was Bing Crosby. Bing had always loved horses and even owned a few horses out on his private ranches. He bought his first racehorse in 1935, and in 1937, he became a founding partner of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and a member of its Board of Directors.

Given Bing Crosby’s passion for horses, it’s no surprise that a horse racing board game was named for him — the Crosby Derby! Made by H. Fishlove Co. (Chicago, Illinois) in 1947, the game features the top race horses of the era including Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Alsab, Gallant Fox and Assault.

The game was advertised as the closest thing to a real horse race … packed with hours of fun and excitement! No two races alike.  Here we see Henny Youngman, Hildegarde and Basil Rathbone playing the Crosby Derby. I wonder who is winning.

The box pictures Bing Crosby and a photo of horses racing.  The game includes the game board, “odds” chart, a deck of 70 playing cards, toy money, tickets, and five miniature race horses.

Crosby Derby, anyone? Count me in!

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1 Comment

  1. ticotico2 says

    Loved this post! Should have known a Brit would love horse racing. As well as cricket.
    That animated photo of the three of them looks as if there’s a Weedie in the background
    bearing down on them…!!

    Liked by 1 person

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