Dec. 1944: 6-year-old mare Traffic Court voted greatest comeback

“MIAMI (Fla.) Dec. 21. (AP) – Traffic Court, a failure as a brood mare but a whiz as a runner, won a place today along with the Twilight Tears and the Pavots in a roundup of 1944 turf superlatives compiled by two of the sport’s top racing secretaries.

John B. Campbell, secretary at all the New York tracks and a Hialeah racecourse steward, and Charles J. McLennan, secretary at Pimlico, Garden State, Suffolk Downs and Hialeah, agreed that Miller & Burger’s 6-year-old Discovery mare made the greatest comeback.

Kept away from the races for 27 months while she flunked a trial on the breeding farm, Traffic Court was put back into training and scored eight victories, four of them in stake races, this year.

Other Campbell and McLennan choices:

  • Best all-around performer – Calumet Farms’ Twilight Tear, the horse of the year.
  • Greatest finish – The triple dead heat in the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct June 10, when the camera was unable to separate Bossuet, Brownie and Wait-A-Bit (Campbell, who handicapped the horses for the race, modestly let McLennan make his selection.).
  • No. 1 training job – B. A. Jones’ success with such Calumet performers as Pensive, Twilight Tear, Sun Again, Good Blood and Pot o’ Luck.
  • Best sprinter – McLennan picked Twilight Tear, while Campbell took Greentree Stable’s 5-year-old Devil Diver.
  • Best router – Townsend B. Martin’s Bolingbroke.
  • Hard luck horse – Alex Barth, the perennial runner-up. The 6-year-old Millbrook Stable horse finished second in eight races, five of them $50,000 stakes.
  • Biggest surprise – Vienna’s victory over Twilight Tear, which closed at 1 to 20, in the Alabama Stakes at Belmont.
  • Most promising 2-year-old colt – Walter M. Jeffords’ undefeated Pavot.
  • Most promising 2-year-old filly – Col. E. R. Bradley’s Busher, daughter of War Admiral.
  • Biggest disappointment – C. V. Whitney’s Pukka Gin, the 1943 juvenile sensation which failed as a 3-year-old.” (Los Angeles Times, 12/22/1944)


Miss Traffic defeats Nothirdchance (dam of Hail to Reason) in the Salaminia Handicap at Belmont Park, 09/25/1953 (New York Herald Tribune, 09/26/1953).

Retired following the 1946 season with a career record of (63) 11 7-9 and earnings of $50,650, the well-born Traffic Court would produce her first foal in 1948 at the age of ten – the handicap winning/stakes placed filly Miss Traffic (Boxthorn).

While Traffic Court would ultimately produce only three registered foals, that “failure of a brood mare” made the most of her limited opportunities, as in addition to Miss Traffic, she would produce champion/classic winning colt Hasty Road (Roman) in 1951, and multiple stakes winning colt Traffic Judge (Alibhai (GB)) in 1952. She was named Kentucky Broodmare of the Year of 1954.

A very brief look at Traffic Court’s legacy:

While the lesser known of the three Traffic Court siblings, Miss Traffic would go on to foal the stakes winning gelding Clover Leaf (Swaps) and stakes placed colt Seven Corners (Roman), as well as the filly Miss Summons (Helioscope), herself the dam of stakes winner Larceny Kid (No Robbery) and his full sister Deauville Dove, herself the dam of stakes winners How So Oiseau (Saratoga Six) and Wild Harmony (Wild Again).

Miss Traffic’s impact is still seen today most notably through son Seven Corners, whose daughter Proud Pied is the third dam of successful sire Silver Deputy.

In the stud, both Hasty Road and Traffic Judge would particularly excel as broodmare sires, with Hasty Road siring, among others, stakes winner Lady Golconda (dam of champion Forego) and stakes winning Reines-de-Course Golden Trail (dam of stakes winner/producer Java Moon and influential producer On The Trail) and Broadway (dam of champion Queen of the Stage and stakes winner/sire Reviewer).

Traffic Judge, who would end his career as the 4th leading sire of 1968 and the 4th leading broodmare sire of 1976, would sire, among others, the stakes winning Reines-de-Course Best In Show and Frederick Street, as well as the stakes winner/sire Delta Judge (sire of champion Proud Delta and damsire of stakes winner/sire Dixieland Band).


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