Now the truth has been discovered.
AP: Phar Lap died of arsenic poisoning---
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Forensic scientists say champion Australian gelding Phar Lap died of arsenic poisoning, solving a mystery that has intrigued the horse racing world for more than 75 years.But they have long thought it was probably an accidental overdose, as tonics and ointments contained things like arsenic.
Phar Lap won 37 of his 51 starts before his death in mysterious circumstances at Menlo Park in California in April 1932. Days before his death, he won Mexico’s Agua Caliente Handicap, which was then the richest horse race in North America.
Arsenic poisoning has long been suspected as the cause of Phar Lap’s death, but confirmation had been lacking until Thursday when researchers Dr. Ivan Kempson of the University of South Australia and Dermot Henry, manager of Natural Science Collections at Museum Victoria, released the findings of their forensic investigation.