B.T. (Barry) Littlefield

Hall of Fame Inductee, 2000

Legend – Thoroughbred Trainer


Barak Thomas Littlefield trained five King’s Plate winners for Joseph E. Seagram’s dominant racing stable of Waterloo, Ont., one of which was Inferno, who old-timers considered was Canada’s first great race horse.

Inferno was the odds-on favorite when he easily won the Plate in 1905 at Woodbine Park. It was later noted that Littlefield showed extreme patience and skill in keeping Inferno competitive, despite the fact that the rugged colt was plagued with bad feet throughout his exceptional career in Canada and the United States against the leading handicap horses.

In 1976 Inferno was a first-year inductee into Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Littlefield’s other Plate winners included Slaughter in 1906, Seismic in 1908, Mandarin in 1916, the year the first three horses across the finish line were trained by Littlefield, and the brilliant filly Belle Mahone in 1917, who at that time was the fastest filly to ever win the Plate. When Woodbine opened in 1956 a stakes race for fillies and mares was named in her honor.

Littlefield trained the Seagram horses from 1902 to 1917. His father, Charles Stuart Littlefield, won the first running of the Queen’s Plate in 1860 and again in 1862 and was inducted as Thoroughbred Legend also in 2000.

Barry, who was born in Preakness, N.J., on June 16, 1871, was one of nine children of Charles Littlefield and his wife Adelia Sleeper, a native of Belleville, Ont. His father named him after a close friend, Major Barak Thomas, a leading breeder and trainer in the U.S. Barry’s brother, Fred Littlefield, rode Refund, winner of the 1888 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, Md.

Barry Littlefield died June 14, 1936, at the home of his sister, Mary Littlefield Garside, in Ridgewood, NJ.