Axtell was foaled in 1886, son of William L. out of the non-Standard mare Lou. His breeder was C. W. Williams of Independence, Iowa. Axtell was trained and raced by Williams on the famed Independence kite-shaped track. He lowered the two-year-old stallion record to 2:23 and won every race in which he started. As a three-year-old Axtell again won every start and lowered the world's stallion record to 2:12. In 1889 Williams made history by selling Axtell to a syndicate for $105,000, the highest price ever paid for a horse of any kind at that time. Axtell broke down as a four-year-old and never raced again, but retired to stud. His progeny included the foundation sire Axworthy 2:15 1/2, and he became one of the highest priced sires of his day. His 1891 stud fee was $1,000. Axtell died on August 19, 1906 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Terre Haute, IN
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 1994 book, The Immortals