Broodmares

December 1908: Broodmare Hoodoo proves a bonanza

“I hope you will have as good success with this mare as you have had with Hoodoo,” said John B. Ewing to Dr. M. W. Williams, of Williams & Bradford, owners of the Adelbert Stud, Hopkinsville, when Miss Crawford was knocked down to him at the Fasig-Tipton sale last week in Lexington, KY.

“I thank you,” replied Dr. Williams, “but to own another mare her equal as a producer is beyond my expectations. If Miss Crawford brings me one-fourth the returns I have had from Hoodoo I shall be highly gratified. Do you know that Hoodoo cost us only $275, and that she has brought us over $40,000? Yes, sir, she has, and another remarkable thing about her history is that she was mated eleven consecutive seasons with old imported Albert and never missed producing a foal.”

The writer, interested at this statement, asked Dr. Williams further concerning the remarkable daughter of imported Darebin and Miss Clay by Hindoo.

“Hoodoo was bred by J. B. Haggin at Rancho del Paso in California,” said Dr. Williams. “She was foaled in 1889 and was sold as a yearling to Pierre Lorillard. For some reason, possibly because of the fact that she is by Darebin and comes from the family of Miss Woodford, Belle of Runnymeade, Hoodoo’s second dam, being a full sister to the once queen of the turf, she was not trained and was put into the Rancocas Stud and mated with The Sailor Prince as a 2-year-old in 1891. Her first foal was a colt in 1892. I do not know what became of him. In 1893 she had no foal. In 1894 she produced Try Again by The Sailor Prince, and in 1895 Rabbit Foot, by the same horse. These never amounted to anything.

In the winter of 1894-1895 Mr. Lorillard had a weeding out sales of the Rancocas Stud, and I bought Hoodoo for $275. In the spring of 1895 I mated her with imp. Albert, which good horse I had bought for $2,500, virtually a song, a short while before. Hoodoo’s foal from this union was Jinks in 1896. I sold her to Capt. W. H. May for $100, and “Bub” May trained her. In two seasons she started thirty-eight times, won eighteen races and won $8,035, but not all of it for Capt. May. He sold Jinks to Pat Dunne for $3,000. From him she passed to Barney Schreiber, then to Sidney Paget and then to W. C. Whitney, who sent her to England in 1902 and bred her to Donovan. The foal in 1903 was a chestnut colt that died. In 1904 Jinks produced Killaloe, by Kilmarnock, and in the season of 1906 and 1907 she won $12,485 for Harry Payne Whitney, and I believe is now in his Brookdale Stud, in New Jersey, along with Jinks.

Hoodoo’s next foal was Mesmerist, in 1897. I sold him as a yearling to A. Featherstone (they were racing then as Bromley & Co.) for $1,250. He was the champion 2-year-old of 1889, winning the Foam, the Double Event (second half) – had been defeated by John Madden’s Prince of Melbourne for the first half. The Dash, the Autumn, the Great Eastern and the Junior Champion were also won by him. In all, he won nine races, three seconds and one third, and $48,175 for his thirteen starts that year.

Mr. Featherstone, as I remember it, refused an offer of $70,000 for Mesmerist in the winter of 1899, and I refused Mr. Lorillard’s offer of $10,000 for Hoodoo about the same time. Mesmerist was a disappointment in 1900 and 1901, made only nine starts during the two years and did not win.

Mr. Featherstone also bought the next four foals by Albert and Hoodoo, they being Mintage, $6,000; Hatasoo, $5,600; Mesmer, $5,800, and Komombo, $4,500. Mintage never won a race; Hatasoo, speedy and reliable, won nine races and $16,675 for her sixteen starts in two seasons. As a 2-year-old she won the Vernal, and as a 3-year-old the New Rochelle, the Clermont, Coney Island Handicap, Swift, Brighton Oaks and Flying Handicap. She has two foals, Raquel and Effendi, racing this year, and the former is a winner.

Mesmer was a disappointment. He raced two seasons, but did not win. Komombo raced five seasons and won five races, yet she did not earn as much as she cost. The late W. C. Whitney paid me $7,700 for Ranger. He raced four seasons and won only one race. P. J. Dwyer bought Albert F., the next foal, for $3,500. He paid his way. Adelbert Belle was the next. Julius Bauer got her for $2,000. She is a winner and is still racing. Carlton was the next. P. J. Dwyer bought him for $2,500. He made his first start this year as a 3-year-old but has yet to win. Spellbound, the last foal from the union of Albert and Hoodoo, is now a 2-year-old. J. L. McGinnis bought him for $2,000, and he has won four races and $1,710 out of eleven starts.

After Spellbound was foaled I retired old Albert (he is now 27, but healthy and full of life), and mated Hoodoo with Ornus, the sire of Oiseau, and I sold her yearling colt by him this year to Joe S. Hawkins for $1,200. I have a fine weanling colt by the same young horse out of her at home, and she is again in foal to Ornus.”

Dr. Williams’ record of the amounts for which the produce of this remarkable mare were sold shows the total to be $42, 150, as follows:

A perusal of the racing guides produces the following for the turf performances of the eleven sons and daughters of Albert and Hoodoo, showing that they have collectively won forty-eight races and $83,310.

In addition to this there are the winnings of Hoodoo’s granddaughters, Killaloe, $12,485, and Raquel, $515. It is one of the very best producing records to be found in the American Stud Book, and probably stands alone for successive mating with one sire.”
(The Nashville American, 12/12/1908)

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Advertisement for Hamburg Place dispersal sale, January 1920

In July 1918, Hamburg Place’s John E. Madden disclosed his intention to retire as a public breeder and subsequently maintain only a small industry presence. Below is an advertisement posted in the Louisville Courier-Journal for a bloodstock dispersal sale to be held at at the farm on January 22, 1920.

Ultimately postponed from January 22 to February 3 due to a “sleet storm,” the sale is a great opportunity for historical window shopping for enthusiasts of the mares Maggie B.B. and Mannie Gray, as it seems as if almost every other broodmare in the sale traced back to one or the other.

During the course of the sale, 111 horses (76 broodmares, 35 yearlings) went through the ring, ultimately bringing a total of $124,874.

The sale topper was the 9-year-old Odgen (GB) mare Tea Enough (in foal to Star Shoot (GB)). A half-sister to outstanding racers Dick Welles, Ort Wells and producers Toggery (2nd dam of champion Jamestown) and Tea Biscuit (dam of sire Hard Tack), among others, Tea Enough went for $7,000 to Carr & Platt, who were bidding on behalf of oilman Edward F. Simms. While Tea Enough would not go on to produce any foals of note post-sale, her then 2-year-old daughter Daylight Saving (Star Shoot (GB)) would go on to produce Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Gusto (American Flag) in 1929, as well as handicapper Clock Tower (Snob (GB)) in 1928, himself the sire of champion Dawn Play.

The second highest price of the sale was the 7-year-old Sain (GB) mare Scenery (in foal to Ogden (GB)). Out of a half-sister to the below mentioned Orange and Blue, Scenery went for $5,000 to Carr & Platt, who were again bidding on behalf of Edward Simms.

Some additional mares with more interesting pedigrees include:

  • 16-year-old Bridgewater (GB) mare Orange and Blue (in foal to Star Shoot (GB)), the rare foal out of Maggie B.B. daughter Red-and-Blue that was not sired by Hindoo. A half-sister to champion Sallie McClelland (2nd dam of champion Whisk Broom II) and Bonnie Blue II (dam of the high-class Sir Dixon siblings Blues and Blue Girl, themselves both 3Sx3D to Maggie B.B.), Orange and Blue would sell for $1,600 to H. P. Headley.
  • 18-year-old Hamburg mare Dorothy Gray (in foal to The Finn), herself 3Sx2D to Mannie Gray. Out of a full sister to Domino, Correction, and Lady Reel (dam of Hamburg), Dorothy Gray would sell for $475 to J. L. Rives.
  • 9-year-old Yankee mare The Nurse (in foal to Hessian), herself 3Sx4D to Mannie Gray. Selling for $1,500 to W. H. Gillis, The Nurse would go on to foal Coaching Club American Oaks winner Florence Nightingale (Man o’ War) in 1922 and champion Edith Cavell (Man o’ War) in 1923.

Of course, the above is just a very select sampling of the notable offerings during the sale.

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Louisville Courier-Journal, 01/18/1920

Photo of Elf (GB) and Sylvabelle (GB), dam and granddam of Broomstick

 1893 photo of Broomstick’s dam Elf (GB) and granddam Sylvabelle (GB) as published in Memories of Men and Horses (1924) by William Allison.

June 1906: Obituary of Cinderella (GB), dam of Hastings and Plaudit

Cinderella, queen of the stud book, is dead.

The most successful and valuable of thoroughbred broodmares was her glorious reputation.

Made her owner, a struggling physician in a country town, a wealthy capitalist in a few years. She cost $500 and returned to him $150,000. She paid for every inch of 850 acres of blue grass land owned by Dr. J. D. Neet, the now famous Versailles, Ky., breeder and turfman. Her produce run far over $100,000 on the turf and no less than four of her sons now rank among America’s most valuable sires. The most costly monument ever erected in memory of a horse is to mark her grave at Kindergarten Stud.

Here is her stud record … Sold for
1889 – Foreigner … $5,000
1890 – Ferrier … 5,000
1892 – Handsome … 12,500
1893 – Hastings … 37,000
1894 – Chelsea … 5,000
1895 – Plaudit … 25,000
1896 – Glenheim … 15,000
1897 – Dan Reagan … 6,000
1898 – Glass Slipper (running qualities only) … 5,000
1900 – East India (running qualities only) … 5,000
1902 – Migraine … 10,000
1903 – Fairy Prince … 5,000
1904 – Slippers … 5,000

She was barren the first year she was bred, in 1888, and she had no foal in 1891, 1899, 1901, 1905, and 1906. Dr. Neet sent her this season to Elmendorf Stud to be bred to Waterboy. Later he received a message from C. H. Berryman, manager of that establishment, to the effect that the Brighton Handicap winner was impotent. Dr. Neet then ordered her to be bred to Africander, but that horse’s book proved full, and he sent her to Horse Haven Farm, and mated her to Ethelbert, and she was presumed to be in foal to Perry Belmont’s great racer when she died. Cinderella was 21 years old. Early last winter she was in rather poor condition, but she soon recovered her health and was in first-class fix seemingly up to within an hour of her death. She died of heart disease.

Of her famous produce Hastings is the premier sire of A. Belmont’s Nursery Stud, and in 1902 he headed the list of American winning sires; Plaudit is a star in the noted Hamburg Stud by J. E. Madden; Glenhelm is owned by H. S. Oxnard, the multimillionaire Treasurer of the Sugar Trust; Migraine is also at Hamburg Place; Handsome is at the head of Dr. Neet’s Kindergarten Stud; Glass Slipper and East India are broodmares at Kindergarten Stud, and Fairy Prince, now a 3-year-old, and Slippers, a 2-year-old of this season, are both in the racing stable of Harry Payne Whitney. Of her other produce Dan Reagan and Chelsea both were gelded, while Foreigner and Ferrier are dead, the latter dying the property of W. S. Hobart, the San Mateo (Cal.) breeder, who purchased him to place at the head of his stud.

In the thirteen foals she produced Cinderella never dropped but three fillies, and for six straight years she dropped in succession a half dozen stud colts. No matter what she was bred to she produced a sensational horse. Ferrier was by Fonso, Hastings by Spendthrift, Plaudit by Himyar, Handsome and Glenhelm by Hanover, and Migraine by imp. Topgallant.

At 17 years of age the late W. C. Whitney offered Dr. Neet $15,000 for the celebrated mare. Dr. Neet wrote the noted New York turfman that the principal living things he possessed were his wife, daughter and Cinderella, and he could not break up the family. Later on Whitney leased the breeding qualities of the mare for $10,000, and she was sent to his La Belle Stud, being returned to Dr. Neet in the summer of 1904, the breeding contract being canceled at the death of Whitney.

Cinderella was bred by Sir Thomas Throgmorton [sic], of England. In 1886 Alfred Withers, of London, sent to Egmont Lawrence in this country to sell ten broodmares and two yearling fillies. The last named two were Cinderella and Sarantella, the latter herself the dam of ten winners. Both were purchased shortly after their arrival in Lexington by Dr. Neet, he paying $500 for Cinderella and $400 for the dam of Handsel.

Cinderella was broken and handled by John Clay in the training stable of the late Maj. B. G. Thomas, and showed to have much speed in her work. Dr. Neet, however, had bought her for a brood mare and would not permit her to race. As a result she never faced the starter’s flag.

None of her daughters as yet are old enough in the stud to have representatives on the turf. Glass Slipper now has at Kindergarten Stud a suckling bay colt by Don De Oro and East India has at her side a bay colt by Ethelbert. Dr. Neet bred Glass Slipper this season to the latter horse, while he mated East India to imp. Star Shoot. He has ten foals by Cinderella’s son, Handsome, this year.

Cinderella was of double parentage, being sired by Blue Ruin, or Tomahawk, while her dam Hanna was a daughter of Brown Bread. She belongs to the No. 21 family of the Bruce Lowe figure system. What Pocahontas and Queen Mary were in England, Cinderella was in this country, and she has left an impression on racing in America as lasting as time itself.

The monument Dr. Neet will erect to perpetuate her memory will be mounted with a pedestal in bronze, a reproduction of the famous mare in life, taken from the last photograph made of her in her paddock at Kindergarten Farm.” (The Nashville American, 06/12/1906)

Photograph of Plaudit as published and Bit & Spur (Vol. 11, No. 1), February 1912.

Photograph of Audience, dam of Whisk Broom II

Below is a photo of the then three-year-old Sir Dixon filly Audience alongside her owner Capt. Samuel S. Brown. Audience, a beautifully bred daughter of Sallie McClelland, would go on to win the 1904 Kentucky Oaks shortly after this photo was published.

Upon retirement to the breeding shed she would produce champion and Hall of Famer Whisk Broom II (Broomstick). Through daughter Matinee (Broomstick), Audience shows up as the 4th dam of champion and Hall of Famer Top Flight.

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Photograph of Audience as published in Munsey’s Magazine (Vol. XXXI, No. 2), May 1904.

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)

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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).