Built by Robert E. Jakson at East Boston, she was launched in November 1852. She was sold almost immediately by Secomb & Taylor to Sampson & Tappan of Boston. Her figurehead was that of a flying horse with wings extended. On her maiden voyage on 30 March 1853, she sailed from New York to San Francisco in 108 days under the command of Captain William Homan of Marblehead.
Winged Racer completed many fast round trips to Hong Kong and China. Although she suffered badly during the winter of 1857. Stranded in ice near Annapolis she had started to take in water. After being towed to safety she was sold to W.L. Taylor, for $35,000 and continued to sail to China under the command of Captain George Cumming. On 23 October, 1861, shortly after setting sail for Liverpool she hit a sunken rock and was fortunate not founder. She was repaired and finally arrived in Liverpool on 30 March 1862 in 110 days. The cost of the repair had been $(SA)42,000.
On the 8th October 1863 she sailed from Manilla heading for New York with a cargo of sugar, hemp, cigars and indigo. She reached the Straits of Sunda and was captured and set alight by the Conferderate privateer Alabama