Sally’s Alley (1920 b. f. by Allumeur (FR) – Salvolatile by Disguise)
Breeder/Owner: Willis Sharpe Kilmer
Trainer: Eugene Wayland (to 03/1923); then William Shields
“During one of the rounds, while Sally’s Alley was galloping, Wayland went on the straw ride and shouted: “Hello, Sally!” The crack filly turned her head and nodded. She recognized her boss – the man who had developed her speed. After the gallop Sally came looking for her lump of sugar.
… She has taken a fancy to a black cat in the stable. This is Sally’s pet. The fact that this particular cat is without a tail seemed to endear it to Sally. Frequently Sally will pick the cat up by the nape of the neck, hold it a minute, drop it to the straw of the stall and then play with it.” (The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
Record: (21) 8-4-0 / $104,362
(Retrospective) Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 1922
1922: 1st Futurity S. (NSR-BEL,6f), Pimlico Futurity-Div. II (PIM,1 mi.), Graceful Purse (BEL,4.5f), Clover S. (AQU,5f), Bay Shore Purse (BEL,5f); 2nd Pimlico Futurity Cup (PIM,1 mi.)
1923: 1st Perryville H. (HDG,6f), Capital H. (NTR-LP,6f), Toggery Purse (HDG,6f); 2nd Alabama S. (SAR,1 ¼ mi.), Broadway Purse (SAR,6f)
The fourth female horse to eclipse $100,000 in earnings (antecedents: Miss Woodford, Firenze, Beldame).
A daughter of the Meddler (GB) stallion Allumeur (FR) and the Disguise mare Salvolatile, the New York bred Sally’s Alley was produced from both humble and unorthodox beginnings.
Salvolatile (1904), by Disguise out of the Luke Blackburn mare Heartburn, and referred to during her racing career as a “big, fine mare,” was a stakes placed sprinter who raced up and down the East Coast from the ages of three to eight, compiling a record of at least (49) 17-6-12. She would pass through a number of hands during her racing and breeding career, ultimately landing with Willis Sharpe Kilmer, who would purchase the mare for $600.
Salvolatile would produce at least five foals: a 1914 ch. colt by Sea King (GB) who was reported as deceased by the time he was a yearling; Salvatelle (1915 f. by Malamont (FR)); Sally’s Alley (1920 b. f. by Allumeur (FR)); Sunny Sal (1921 b. f. by Sun Briar (FR)); and Sally’s Brother (1925 dkch. c. by Allumeur (FR)). In addition to the stakes winning Sally’s Alley, Sunny Sal would finish second in the 1923 Schuylerville Stakes (SAR,5.5f).
Allumeur (FR) (1911), by Meddler (GB) out of the Donovan (GB) mare Strike-a-Light (GB), and bred by Clarence H. Mackay, was foaled in France at Mackay’s Haras de Fresnay stock farm after the Hughes antiracing laws of 1908/1910 prompted Mackay to transfer his racing/breeding stock from New Jersey to Normandy, France. Allumeur was a stakes performer in France, with wins in the Prix de l’Aqueduct (7f), the Prix Touchstone (6f) and the Prix Rouge Terres and second place finishes in the Prix Bolard (1 ¾ mi.), Pris Delatre (2000m), and the Prix Nosegay. He was imported to the United States in early December 1915, selling to Kilmer for $6,000 in the Mackay disposal sale held on December 23, 1915.
After a few seasons at Kilmer’s Sun Briar Court in Binghamton, NY, Kilmer thought Allumeur was “slightly lacking in quality” and sold him for $300 to the federal remount bureau as a remount stallion. When Sally’s Alley showed promise as a yearling, Kilmer contacted the bureau about purchasing Allumeur back, only to be told he was not for sale.
Following some negotiation, Kilmer was able to exchange Allumeur for the stallion Magic II (GB) (Martagon (GB) – Seasame (GB)), a “gigantic” horse who had won the 1910 edition of the Goodwood Cup in England, but had yet to show anything as a sire while at Sun Briar Court.
In addition to Sally’s Alley, Allumeur would sire Dinahmeur (1919 f.), who set a stakes record of 1:47 in winning the 1922 Pimlico Oaks (8.5f), a race now known as the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
THE EARLY YEARS
“Sally’s Alley is the best filly I ever trained – best by many pounds. She has as much early speed as Careful and can go farther than Step Lightly. When I first saw her I didn’t know who she was or her pedigree. When Mr. Hadsell introduced me to her I said: ‘This is my pick – I like her better than any of the other juveniles.'”
“‘But she is by ‘Allumeur,’ said Mr. Hadsell. Allumeur, you must understand, hadn’t been successful in the stud up to that time, the winter of 1921-1922, when Mr. Kilmer sold him for $300. ‘I don’t care,’ I replied, ‘I like this filly.'” (Eugene Wayland on Sally’s Alley in The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
Sally’s Alley would make her career debut in the Fashion Purse (5f) at Belmont Park on June 3, finishing fourth over the muddy going behind Cresta, Equinoctial, and Solisa.
Remaining at Belmont, Sally would break her maiden in the Graceful Purse (4.5f) on June 8, winning by 2 ½ lengths in :52 over The Kiss. She would follow up on that effort with a sixth place finish in the Keene Memorial (5.5f) on June 10 and end the month with a win in the Clover Stakes (5f) at Aqueduct on June 21. Sally would be one of the few starters in the Clover to not experience a poor break and/or trip during the race, and it was proclaimed “The Clover was not truly run. Races over Aqueduct’s 2-year-old course rarely are.”
Despite the track being “deep with mud,”
Sally’s Alley’s time of :59 in the Clover was the second fastest running of the race, placing only behind the time of :58 ⅖ recorded by Elfin Queen in 1918.
“She was very sick last summer – had three bad attacks of coughing sickness. At Saratoga her temperature was so high I thought she would die. She had been inoculated with a serum to prevent the epizootic and was sick from the treatment. But she began to round to rapidly in the last two weeks of August and showed more speed than any filly I had ever trained. I told Mr. Kilmer that if she wasn’t left at the post or knocked down she would win the futurity. I said to Mr. Kilmer: ‘I bet mine, you bet yours.'” (Eugene Wayland on Sally’s Alley – The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
Following her win in the Clover S., Sally would be knocked out of commission for July and much of August with the aforementioned illness; however, she would return in the Adirondack H. (6f) on August 22 at Saratoga, finishing ninth to winner Cartoonist in the field of ten.
Making a quick turnaround for the Spinaway S. (5.5f) on August 26, she would finish fifth to winner Edit in the heavy going. With the exception of her performance in the Clover S., Sally would prove to decidedly be a non-mud runner during the course of her career.
Returning to Belmont Park with the end of the Saratoga meet, Sally’s Alley would win the Bay Shore Purse (5f) on September 11 by one length over Miss Star in :56 ⅖. The chart read: “Sally’s Alley, off well, raced prominently to the stretch under slight restraint and, coming fast when called on, took the lead and won going away.”
Her next start would come in the Futurity S. (6f) on September 16, where she would defeat place and show finishers Zev and Wilderness by three lengths in the twenty-three horse field. Becoming the first New York bred horse to win the race, Sally’s final time of 1:11 in the Futurity was a new stakes record, besting the times set by Colin in 1907 and Maskette in 1908. The chart read: “Sally’s Alley, close up from the start and prominent in the early running, raced into the lead in the final eighth and, drawing away, was taken under restraint near the finish.”
“Nothing has happened in connection with the turf of the last 25 years has been more beneficial for the general cause of horse breeding than the victory of Sally’s Alley in the Futurity of 1922. With the Federal government placing stallions of good blood in every State there is a strong inducement for farmers with grazing lands to run at least one thoroughbred mare with their other live stock.” (The Washington Post, 12/31/1922)
“After her victory in the Futurity, Sally’s Alley was very sick. Her two races in one week – she had won a scramble on the Monday previous to the Futurity – had brought to head the full force and effects of the serum with which she had been inoclulated. In my opinion, when she won the Futurity she was on the verge of the serum’s effect. I bring this out in order to show what a hardy little filly she is.” (Eugene Wayland on Sally’s Alley in The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
Sally would make one start in October, where in the Manor Handicap (1 mi.) at Laurel Park on October 28, she would finish eighth after being caught in the barrier. Cherry Pie would win, with My Own and Bluemont taking the place and show.
Sally would win the second division of the Pimlico Futurity on November 4 by 1 ½ lengths in 1:39 ⅕ over Martingale, with My Own finishing third. The chart read: “Sally’s Alley took a quick lead and, setting a fast pace, was shaken up after rounding the far turn when Martingale challenged, then drew away again and won easing up.”
“Sally’s Alley, winner of both the historic Futurity at Belmont Park and the Pimlico Futurity at Pimlico, came out of both races probably in better condition than any of the horses that finished behind her. She has measured up to the qualification of being sound in wind and limb, while her victories have proved her fleetness of foot and her gameness.” (Daily Racing Form, 11/08/1922)
Following the running of both divisions of the Pimlico Futurity, track officials proposed the Pimlico Futurity Cup (1 mi.), a field of eight horses comprised of the top four finishers from both divisions of the Pimlico Futurity. However, the top three finishers in the first division (Blossom Time, Donges, Little Celt) came out of the race sore and/or with physical issues. While How Fair, My Own, and Rialto were also eligible, they would be withdrawn the night prior, and ultimately the race would go off as a two horse match race between Sally’s Alley and Martingale.
The race was run as an exhibition, with no betting permitted. While it was originally reported that Sally was to scratch if the race was to be held over an off track. Sally would start, finishing second to Martingale by three lengths after not handling the muddy going.
“The drawbacks to her success are her sex and the fact that she does not race well in the mud. It’s queer that she does not perform well in sloppy or heavy going, because she has a fine action and races close to the ground.” (The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
Sally’s final start of 1922 was to be in the Walden Handicap (1 mi.) at Pimlico on November 10; however, she would be scratched when her regular jockey Albert Johnson would become ill and a suitable replacement could not be found in time.
With earnings of $94,847, Sally’s Alley ended the year as the second highest earning horse of 1922, ranking only behind Pillory ($95,654). Based on her accomplishments during the year, Sally would be named the retrospective Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 1922.
Sally’s Alley would fare well during her winter vacation at Sun Briar Court, and her connections were optimistic about her chances in 1923.
“As to Sally’s Alley, she looks grand. She has grown and spread and developed in a way that completely fills the eye. I think she is the best looking mare in America.” This is the way Gene Wayland tells how the double futurity winner of 1922 has wintered. Wayland is not prone to be enthusiastic about horses at this time of the year. He knows, like many another good trainer, that the bright prospects of the winter frequently turn out to be a false alarm in the spring. Sally must, therefore, have done remarkably well at Sun Briar Court, her winter quarters at Binghamton, in order to please her trainer so completely.” (The Washington Post, 02/07/1923)
“You must remember that she ate her 13 quarts of oats a day – and never left an oat in her feed box. She had the appetite of a draft horse.” (The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
“Sally’s Alley is the finest looking filly that I’ve seen this winter. During her vacation from racing she developed wonderfully. She is now a big filly – probably the biggest in training. She has spread out and thickened till one would scarcely recognize her as the little filly of last season. I never saw a three-year-old filly at this period of the season so well muscled. If muscular development will carry her to victory then she will win all of her races she starts this year. Her muscles stand out like whipcords and in this respect show better than any of the colts that I have seen to date. She has splendid shoulders and is deep through the heart. She is fortunate in having clean legs and sound hoofs.” (The Washington Post, 03/04/1923)
Sometime during the month of March, Sally would have her ankles pinfired for osselets.
On March 10, her trainer Eugene Wayland would die unexpectedly at the age of 52 at Havre de Grace, a result of “acute dilation of the heart.” The loss of Wayland, who was said to be a “man of sterling integrity and of rare skill in the conditioning of horses,” was felt deeply by the racing community.
The day after Wayland’s death, the first Kentucky Derby future book is released, with Enchantment installed as the 8-1 favorite. Zev is second choice at 12-1, with Sally’s Alley and Donges sharing the third spot at 15-1.
Now under the tutelage of William Shields, Sally’s 3-year-old debut would come in the Toggery Purse (6f) at Havre de Grace on April 18. She would defeat Scribble by four lengths in 1:12 ⅘. The chart read: “Sally’s Alley, while under restraint all the way, set a fast pace and won unextended like a great filly.”
The next day, Sally’s Alley and Zev are named joint Kentucky Derby favorites at 12-1. Initial future book favorite Enchantment fell to 15-1.
“Sally’s Alley ran once at Havre de Grace, but her condition was such that horsemen commented freely on her appearance. She was drawn and her muscles hard as steel. She must have a pasteboard track in order to show her best form.” (Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/09/1923)
In the Ashburton Purse (1 mi.) at Pimlico on May 2, Sally would finish second to the 4-year-old June Grass by six lengths. June Grass’ time of 1:37 3/5 for the one mile distance was a new track record. The chart read: “Sally’s Alley was under restraint in the early running and made her rush while rounding the turn into the stretch, but, in a game finish, could not get to the winner.”
Sally would move back to the 3-year-old ranks for the Pimlico Oaks (1 1/16 mi.) on May 8, where she would finish sixth in the seven horse field. Gadfly would win, with Untidy second, and Transom third. The chart read: “Sally’s Alley was practically left and raced into forward contention while rounding the first turn, where she caused a slight jam in which Transom was the chief sufferer, but her rider made entirely too much use of her and she was done after reaching the last turn.”
In the Preakness Stakes on May 12, Sally would finish eleventh in the field of thirteen. Vigil would win, with General Thatcher second, and Rialto third. There was disappointment all around, as “Splendid Sally’s Alley, Zev, Martingale, Goshawk, all ran like selling platers instead of like great stars of the two-year-old racing of 1922.” (Daily Racing Form, 05/15/1923)
The 49th Kentucky Derby was held on May 19. As a result of her poor performances in the Pimlico Oaks and the Preakness, Sally would not be in the starting gate. Zev would win, with Martingale second, and Vigil third.
On May 24, it is announced that due to the death of Eugene Wayland, many of Kilmer’s horses in training were to be sold at a paddock sale at Belmont Park on June 13. Kilmer would retain Sally’s Alley and Exterminator for racing, while retaining and retiring many of his fillies for breeding.
After being away from the track for the whole of June and July, Sally would return to racing in the Broadway Purse (6f) at Saratoga on August 4, where she would finish second by a head to Miss Star. Contesting the Alabama Stakes (1 ¼ mi.) five days later on August 9, she would finish second by 2 ½ lengths to Untidy, then follow up on the effort with an eighth place finish in the Saranac Handicap (1 mi.) on August 14.
In her only start in September, Sally would win the Perryville Handicap (6f) on September 27 at Havre de Grace by 1 ¼ lengths over Champlain in 1:11 ⅗.
Sally would set a track record in winning the Capital Handicap (6f) at Laurel on October 3, running the distance in 1:11 ⅖, besting the previous record of 1:11 ⅗ held jointly by Icarus and Royce Rolls. Silk Tassel was second, with New Hampshire third.
The final start of Sally’s career would come in the first race of the Pimlico Serial Weight-for-Age fall series (6f), where she would break down badly and “Examination of Sally’s Alley’s injuries disclosed the fact that both tendons in the left foreleg were badly lacerated and torn. She will be shipped to the farm and in all probability will be retired to the stud.” (Daily Racing Form, 11/02/1923)
Sally would end her career with $104,362 in earnings, making her only the fourth female horse to have won over $100,000 on the track. Chacolet would become the fifth in 1924.
Retired back to Sun Briar Court as a result of her injuries suffered in the Pimlico Serial, Sally’s Alley would have at least five foals from 1930 to 1939. Most of Kilmer’s racing/breeding stock was dispersed in October 1940; however, Sally’s Alley was retained.
The Sally’s Alley Purse (4.5f) was run at Agua Caliente in at least 1942.
Sun Alley (1930 dkch. g. by Sun Briar)
Record: (34) 2-6-4 / $1,560
1934: 1st Fourth of July H. (CT)
Mint Alley (1935 b. c. by Mint Briar)
Galley Slave (1936 ch. f. by Gino (GB))
Record: (10) 4-1-1 / $8,300
1938: 1st Santa Barbara S. (SA,3f)
NWR at Santa Anita (01/27/1938): 3f in :32 4/5
Gino’s Alley (1937 dkb. f. by Gino (GB))
Record: (4) 0-0-0 / $0
Sappho (1939 dkb. f by Gino (GB))
Record: (1) 0-0-0 / $0