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Chick Lang

Chick Lang
Occupation Jockey/ Trainer/Owner
Born July 1905
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Died June 14, 1947
Career wins 601
Major racing wins

New Year's Handicap (1921)
Amityville Handicap (1922)
Century Handicap (1922)
Gazelle Stakes (1922)
Rosedale Stakes (1922)
Dwyer Stakes (1923)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1923, 1928)
Adirondack Stakes (1924)
Burwood Purse (1924)
Mardi Gras Handicap (1926)
Belmont Futurity Stakes (1927)
Glen Oaks Handicap (1927)
Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (1927)
Walden Handicap (1927)
Maryland Handicap (1927)
Lawrence Realization Stakes (1928)
Huron Handicap (1928)
Miller Stakes (1928)
Saratoga Cup (1928)

Canadian Classic Race wins:
King's Plate (1925)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1928)
Racing awards
United States Champion Jockey by wins (1921)
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1990)
Significant horses
Anita Peabody, Fairbank, Reigh Count

Charles John "Chick" Lang (July 1905 – June 14, 1947) was a Canadian Hall of Fame jockey who became a Champion rider in the United States and who won the most prestigious Thoroughbred horse race of both countries.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, the son of Emma and Charles Percival Lang, he was almost always known by the nickname "Chick." At age fifteen he began riding locally until American racing stable owner James Arthur recognized his potential and signed him to a contract to compete at major racetracks in the United States. He made his American debut at the Havre de Grace Racetrack in Maryland in April 1921 and went on to overcome the long lead held by Benny Marinelli to become the leading rider in the United States in 1921 with 192 wins.[1][2] In 1922, Lang picked up where he left off, winning eighteen races in the first nine racing days in January at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. On January 11 he won four of the seven races run.[3] The January 30, 1922 edition of the Pittsburgh Press newspaper wrote that "Many racing experts credit Lang with being the best jockey since Tod Sloan." This high accolade came at a time when Lang was competing against racing greats such as Earl Sande, Jimmy Butwell, Laverne Fator, Clarence Kummer, Linus McAtee and Ivan Parke, among others. When the New Orleans racing season ended, Lang headed north to compete at Pimlico Race Course and Havre de Grace in Maryland, Jamaica Racetrack, Saratoga Race Course, Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park in New York.

In May 1922, oil baron and stable owner Joshua Cosden purchased Chick Lang's contract for a record US$25,000. The seventeen-year-old Lang finished 1922 with 186 wins, just one win behind Mark Fator who won the U.S. riding title with 187. The final day of 1922 fell on a Sunday and Lang, who had a two-win lead, did not race while Fator won three races at Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico.[4]

North American Classic wins

In 1925, Chick Lang won the 66th running of the King's Plate on James C. Fletcher's filly, Fairbank. Three years later, he won the 54th running of the Kentucky Derby with Reigh Count who was owned by Mrs. Fannie Hertz.

After years battling weight gain, Chick Lang retired as a rider at the end of July in 1929 [5][6] but remained in the industry as a trainer.[7] He conditioned horses at racetracks in Florida in the winter and went north to race in the summer months. He trained horses at Delaware Park Racetrack each year after the facility opened in 1937.


Chick Lang married Virginia Mayberry, the daughter of trainer John P. Mayberry who won 1903 Kentucky Derby with Judge Himes. The couple had a daughter and a son. Chick Lang, Jr. was involved in the sport of horse racing. He gained wide respect for the job he did during the twenty-seven years he served as general manager of Pimlico Race Course.[8]

Following a lengthy Illness, Chick Lang died on June 14, 1947 at age forty-one in Wilmington, Delaware where he had been training at Delaware Park.[9]

Chick Lang was inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1990.