Muscles Yankee was foaled April 9, 1995 at Yankeeland Farms, Inc. in Frederick, MD. Sired by Valley Victory 3,1:55.3 ($485,307), he was out of Maiden Yankee 3,1:59.4f ($188,722), a daughter of Immortal Speedy Crown 3,1:57.1 ($545,495) and Wistful Yankee ($4,864). Muscles Yankee was purchased as a yearling in 1996 by David French of Florida, Irving Liverman of Quebec, and James R. Wheeler, also of Florida. Wheeler’s share was later purchased by New Jersey’s Perretti Farms in 1997.
That year Muscles Yankee, trained by Hall of Famer Chuck Sylvester, opened his two-year-old season with a win in an August qualifier at the Meadowlands with Hall of Fame driver John Campbell. Campbell would drive Muscles Yankee throughout the horse’s career. The pair took their first title in September, winning Woodbine Raceway’s Champlain Stakes. This victory was followed with back-to-back wins in Delaware’s Standardbred and Lexington’s Bluegrass Stakes and the International Stallion Stakes in October. Muscles Yankee concluded the season with winning performances in the Breeders Crown and Valley Victory eliminations, clocking the 1997 two-year-old trotting record time of 1:56.3 during the latter. In total, Muscles Yankee won six out of nine starts for the 1997 season with earnings totaling $166,327.
Muscles Yankee’s star continued to ascend in his three-year-old season. During the summer of 1998, he achieved first-place finishes in the Meadowlands’ Three-Year-Old Open Trot and the Beacon Course Trot. August brought the honor of a Hambletonian Stake victory by three lengths in 1:52.2, as well as a late August win in the Yonkers Trot. Muscles Yankee took the Transylvania Trot in 1:57 during the month of October and concluded the 1998 season with the November Breeders Crown win in 1:53z. His 1:52.2 time in the Hambletonian Stake cemented Muscles Yankee as the fastest three-year-old trotter of 1998. For his accomplishments, Muscles Yankee was awarded the honors of 1998 Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year and 1998 New Jersey Standardbred of the Year. He had twelve starts with nine victories during his sophomore season with accumulated total earnings of $1.259 million, the most money won in North America regardless of age, gender, or gait that year.
Since retiring from racing at the conclusion of his three-year-old season, Muscles Yankee has developed a successful stud career at Perretti Farms in New Jersey. With nine crops of racing age currently in the record books, Muscles Yankee was the Leading Moneywinning Sire by Gait in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. He has sired 582 starters with 310 in 2:00 and 60 in 1:55. Their earnings total over $48 million with 119 $100,000 lifetime winners, five $1 million winners and two $3 million winners. Exceptional progeny include Mr. Muscleman 5,1:51.1s ($3.583 million), winner of the 2003 Kentucky Futurity, two Breeders Crown Finals, 2004 American-National Stake, and two back-to-back Maple Leaf Classics; Deweycheatumnhowe 3,1:50.4 ($3.085 million), winner of the 2008 Hambletonian Stake, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity and 2008 Trotter of the Year title; Strong Yankee 3,1:50.3 ($1.434 million), winner of the 2005 Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity; Housethatruthbuilt 3,1:52.4 ($1.165 million), winner of the 2004 Breeders Crown and Kentucky Futurity Filly Division; Blur 3,1:55.1s ($1.022 million), winner of the 2005 Breeders Crown and Matron Stakes; and Tom Ridge 3,1:50.2 ($886,144), whose 1:50.2 mile at the 2004 World Trotting Derby made him one of the fastest trotters in history.
Muscles Yankee passed away peacefully in his paddock at Perretti Farms on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2020. He had been most recently standing stud at Winbak Farm of New York, but had retired from stallion duty.