April 1956: A surprise is foaled at Lincoln Downs

PHOTO - Lincoln Downs foal (Boston Sunday Globe 1956.04.15)

Photo: Boston Sunday Globe, 04/15/1956

“LINCOLN, R.I., April 14 – If you’re an improver of the breed then you’ve no doubt heard the long tale about the mare who gave birth to a colt at the top of the stretch – and the entry ran one-two. Needless to say, the story is fiction.

But Lincoln Downs officials don’t know how close they came to producing another ‘first.’ Not only would it have startled every horse fan hereabouts, but even the trainer who had been prepping the mare for a race here next week.

Owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, exercise boys, et al, were aghast this morning when they learned that a mare named Quelle had foaled a colt in Barn D at about 5 a. m.

‘I liked to died,’ said her keeper, Ernest ‘Mike’ Pinto, ‘when I opened the stall door this morning and saw this cute little colt standing beside Quelle. I didn’t even know she was in foal, ‘cause we (Frank Profaci, owner of Newburg Farm) bought her last June at Gansett from a Joe Titone who’s got a farm in New Jersey.’

Pinto, who rode under contract to Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, has been around racing since 1928 and is certainly no green hand when it comes to horses. But he readily admits this really stumped him. Quelle had not run this year and had not won a race last year in nine starts.

Quelle was farmed out this Winter in New Jersey. But before that she had been sent to the University of Pennsylvania for a checkup on her throat. Pinto explained that she had larynx trouble, causing her to weaken in stretch drives. The odd thing is that Quelle’s condition is that no other member of the backstretch fraternity detected it.

‘My groom (Charlie ‘Troubles’ Boudreau), was the first one there this morning,’ said Pinto. ‘I got around about 5 o’clock. And the first thing Troubles hits me with is ‘Hey boss, you better get some cigars to pass out.’

‘What the heck are you talking about’ I snapped back, ‘I didn’t have any baby.’

‘You didn’t,’ retorted Troubles. ‘Then you ain’t seen nothin’ till you open that door.’

‘I look in and I see this little head come up from behind the mare. There he was, a bright-eyed little colt. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. Why, only Wednesday the exercise boy sent her a half-mile in 53 2/5, a pretty nice work. I was going to work her five-eighths of a mile tomorrow. And then I had a race for her next week.’

‘I had to laugh,’ said Pinto. ‘When the exercise boy found out about it he comes to me and wants two bucks. He figured he galloped two horses that morning. I guess he’s right, too. It was a nice birthday present, though, for Mr. Profaci.’

Profaci, who came in this morning from New York with his pretty wife, interrupted, ‘I wasn’t too surprised. I suspected she was in that condition. She ran all last summer but before June we don’t know what happened. Anyway, the wife and I went over to the barn to see the horses. I opened up almost every stall door but I couldn’t find Quelle. Then I finally open up this door and when I saw this little colt standing beside the mare I nearly lost my breath.’

‘He was the cutest thing,’ said Mrs. Profaci. ‘I got the biggest kick out of it.’

But with the shortage of stall space Racing Sec. Gordon Morrow was scratching his head trying to figure where he can find room for the little colt. ‘If Mike comes in here to apply for another stall I’ll just have to tell him that the colt will have to sleep with his mother,’ Morrow quipped.

At any rate it was an eventful happening, the first of its kind in New England.

There is still one mystery to be solved. What stallion is the sire? Nobody will know until Titone is contacted. In the meantime the Pintos and the Profacis are celebrating tonight.”
(Boston Sunday Globe, 04/15/1956)

“LINCOLN, R. I. , April 15 – The colt foaled unexpectedly by Quelle here at Lincoln Downs Saturday, died this afternoon at 2 o’clock of complications.

Quelle’s condition before the foaling was unknown to its trainer and owner.

Ernest ‘Mike’ Pinto, keeper of Quelle, said yesterday, ‘I opened the stall and saw this cute little colt standing beside Quelle.’

The mare had had a workout three days previously. The sire of the colt is unknown.

Frank Profaci, owner of the mare, was equally amazed when Quelle foaled. He revealed that an autopsy will probably be held to ascertain the cause of death.”
(Daily Boston Globe, 04/16/1956)

Following her unexpected delivery in April 1956, the 5-year-old Quelle would go on to make thirteen starts on the year, winning three. She would race for a total of five years (1953-1957), retiring with a record of (45) 5-3-6 and $4,360 in earnings before entering the breeding shed, where she would subsequently produce eleven foals between 1958 and 1974. Her highest earning foal was the Bully Fox colt Fall Fox (1965) who retired with a record of (94) 23-20-15 and $45,597 in earnings.


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