Theen – 1935 br. f. by Sickle (GB) – Potheen by Wildair
Breeder/Owner: Warren Wright, Sr. (Calumet)
Trainer: Frank (F. J.) Kearns
Record: (5) 2-1-0 / $16,680
1st: Arlington Lassie S. (6f,AP)
Referred to as “a tomboyish looking filly,” Theen was a first generation Calumet homebred by Sickle (GB) out of the Wildair mare Potheen, a daughter of the champion mare Rosie O’Grady, whom Warren Wright of Calumet had purchased at auction from H. P. Whitney in 1930.
Sickle (GB), out of the Chaucer (GB) mare Selene (GB), thereby making him a full brother to Pharamond (GB) and a half-brother to the yet-to-be-foaled Hyperion (GB), would spend his formative years in England, accruing a record of (10) 3-4-2 including three stakes wins before being imported to the United States in 1929 for stud duty at Joseph E. Widener’s Elmendorf Farm.
Rewarded with a stellar book of mares from the beginning, Sickle would immediately have success in the stud, with his first U.S. crop producing the outstanding mare Jabot, herself later becoming the dam of champion Counterpoint.
Sickle’s 1935 foal crop would have remarkable success, as in addition to the stakes winning Theen, he would produce stakes winner Cravat (a full brother to Jabot), Champion 3-Year-Old Stagehand, and English stakes winner Unbreakable, himself the sire of Champion Sprinter of 1947 and sire Polynesian. Sickle would ultimately lead the North American sire lists in 1936 and 1938.
At the time of Theen’s birth in 1935, the 7-year-old Potheen was merely a young, promising broodmare. However, by the end of the next decade, Potheen would end her career as the 1947 Broodmare of the Year, as in addition to the stakes winning Theen, she would foal major stakes winner Pot O’Luck (by Chance Play) in 1942 and champion and Hall of Fame filly Bewitch (by Bull Lea) in 1945.
Potheen (alongside immediate family members Cherokee Rose, Erin, Liz F., Rosie O’Grady, Rowes Bud, and Royal Rose (GB)), were later named Reines-de-Course for their contributions to the breed.
Theen’s racing career would be abbreviated, encompassing five starts across 6 ½ weeks from June 30 to August 14. Based at Arlington under the tutelage of Calumet’s trainer Frank Kearns, Theen was entered in a five furlong maiden race at Arlington on June 30. She would finish second in her debut to the Jean Valjean filly Mighty Sweet, having been “all but left” at the start.
Racing back one week later, Theen would win a five furlong maiden event at Arlington on July 7 by six lengths in :58 ⅘. The chart notes read: “Theen, away well and sent into command with a rush, sustained throughout and was only mildly shaken up in the stretch.”
Following her decisive maiden win, Theen was pointed towards the Arlington Lassie Stakes (6f) on July 17. In preparation for the race, she would work six furlongs in 1:13 ⅘ on July 14, leading trainer Kearns to proclaim “Theen is the little lady to beat in the Lassie” (Chicago Daily Tribune, 07/15/1937).
Theen’s backers were compensated for their confidence when she defeated Inhale in the Arlington Lassie by a half-length in 1:11 ⅘. In third was another Sickle filly, Well Rewarded.
Theen’s win in the Arlington Lassie was the merely the first in a series for the matriarchal line of Rosie O’Grady, as Theen’s half-sister Bewitch would capture the race in 1947, with Thunder Bertie doing the same in 1998.
Following her win in the Arlington Lassie, Theen would travel to Saratoga in preparation for the major eastern juvenile stakes. She would make two starts at Saratoga in the month of August – the Schuylerville Stakes (5.5f) on August 5 and the Spinaway Stakes (6f) on August 14. Failing to improve upon her form shown at Arlington, she would finish fourth of eleven behind Creole Maid, Jacola, and Merry Lassie in the Schuylerville and ninth of fifteen in the Spinaway, won by Merry Lassie.
In addition to their on track fortunes, Theen’s opponents in the Schuylerville and Spinaway would ultimately carry that good luck on to the breeding shed.
Creole Maid, by Sickle’s full brother Pharamond, would win the Coaching Club American Oaks (11f) of 1938, later foaling major stakes winner/track record setter Natchez (by Jamestown) in 1943.
Jacola, a half-sister to major stakes winner and Hall of Famer Johnstown, would be named the Champion 2-Year-Old filly of 1937. From the immediate family of Gallorette and Omaha, once retired to the breeding shed Jacola would continue the family tradition of producing champions, foaling Phalanx (by Pilate) in 1944, who would become Champion 3-Year-Old of 1947. Jacola is also an ancestress of the stakes winning Jester stallion Reflected Glory, himself the sire of major stakes winner and champion Snow Chief, among others.
Merry Lassie would foal the Johnstown filly Laughter in 1941, herself the dam of the Bimelech stallion Hilarious.
Retired following the Spinaway, Theen was assigned 108 lbs. in the Experimental Free Handicap of 1937. Menow was named the 126 lb. highweight on the scale, with Jacola the highest ranked filly at 116 lbs.
Bred to the Broomstick stallion Halcyon in the spring of 1938, Theen would have a long career in the breeding shed, producing fourteen foals from 1939 to 1958. Ultimately, none of her foals would show the brilliance of her siblings or granddam.
Hallie T. (1939 br. f. by Halcyon)
Sun Theen (1941 ch. c. by Sun Teddy)
Record: (12) 2-1-2 / $3,635 in 4 years of racing (1943, 1945, 1948-1949)
Sheer Luck (1942 ch. f. by Chance Play)
Record: (37) 4-7-4 / $11,750 in 4 years of racing (1944-1947)
Linwood Theen (1943 br. f. by Sun Teddy)
Record: (6) 0-0-0 / $0 in 2 years of racing (1946-1947)
Speed Play (1944 ch. c. by Chance Play)
Record: (43) 4-6-6 / $98,55 in 4 years of racing (1946-1949)
Armored (1945 dkb. c. by Sir Gallahad (FR))
Record: (8) 2-0-0 / $4,200 in 1 year of racing (1949)
Bearing Clear (1946 b. c. by Bull Lea)
Record: (33) 3-4-5 / $9,130 in 3 years of racing (1948-1950)
Bern Lass (1949 b. f. by Bernborough (AUS))
Romaneen (1951 br. f. by Roman)
Record: (11) 1-4-1 / $6,975 in 2 years of racing (1953-1954)
Herb’s Choice (1952 br. c. by Heliopolis (GB))
Record: (11) 0-3-0 / $2,200 in 4 years of racing (1954-1956, 1959)
Preen (1953 blk. f. by Roman)
Record: (33) 2-8-6 / $9,080 in 3 years of racing (1955-1957)
Queen Theen (1954 b. f. by Roman)
Bill’s Melody (1956 br. g. by Priam (FR))
Record: (33) 2-3-3 / $4,391 in 4 years of racing (1958-1959, 1961-1962)
My Best (1958 blk. c. by Cosmic Bomb)
Record: (26) 1-2-3 / $4,110 in 5 years of racing (1960-1964)