Stallions

1817: Text from stallion advertisement for Jackson’s Pacolet

“The full blooded running horse Pacolet, will stand the present season, commencing the 15th of March, and ending the 15th of July, at the stable of John W. Clay, adjoining Nashville and will be let to mares at $25 in cash, or cotton at cash price, delivered at any gin in Davidson county, on or before the 1st day of January next – which may be discharged by the payment of $20 within the season. Forty dollars for insurance, payable on the mare proving with foal, or a transfer of the property. Twelve dollars cash the single leap; and in every instance fifty cents to the groom.

Extensive pasturage gratis, for mares coming over the distance of 15 miles, under good fence; but no liability for accidents or escapes.

Pacolet is a handsome dapple grey, full fifteen hands and a half high, nine years old this spring, his form not inferior to any horse in the United States. In blood but few horses in the United States can claim an equality with him, being but two degrees on the side of the dam, and four on the side of his sire, from the true Arabian – the source from which England has derived all her capital running horses. His performance while on the turf, has not been surpassed in Virginia.

Pacolet has proved himself to be a very sure foal-getter; his colts are much admired for their size and form. As many of Pacolet’s colts are in the neighborhood of Nashville, it is presumed those anxious to breed fine horses will take the trouble of examining them, and judge for themselves.

PEDIGREE
Pacolet was gotten by the imported horse Citizen, (a most excellent racer on the English turf, having won nineteen races, 14 of them four miles heats, and six of them won at three heats) he by Pacolet, Pacolet by Blank, one of the best sons of the Godolphin and his dam Princess by Turk, Turk by Regulus, another of the best sons of the Godolphin; his grand dam, Fairy Queen, by Young Cade, he by Old Cade, and he by the Godolphin; his great grand dam Routh’s Black Eyes, by Crab, out of the Warlock Gallaway, by Snake, Bald Gallaway, Curwen Barb Mare, [taken from the General Stud Book] out of Col. Francis Eppe’s grey mare by Tippoo Saib, who was by Lindsey’s Arabian; his grand dam by Bammer; his great granddam by Silver Eye; his great great granddam by Valiant, out of a full blodded Jolly Roger mare. Pacolet’s dam has produced several distinguished runners – among them were Wonder by Diomed, and Palafox by Druid. Given under my hand this 22nd of June, 1816.
(Signed)
W. R. JOHNSON

PERFORMANCE
1811. Spring meeting – then three years old – He started for a sweep-stake over the Halifax turf, mile heat, and was second to Mr. Maclin’s cold by Diomed. Pacolet was quite lame, though lost only by a few inches.

1811. Fall meeting – then three years old, he started for a sweep-stake over the Spring-Hill course, seven subscribers, $200 each, which he won with great east at two heats, running two mile heats, and beating Mr. Good’s bay colt by Citizen, and Col. Halcomb’s filly by Citizen; the others paid forfeit. Same season, he started for a sweep-stake over the New Market course, two mile heats, six subscribers, $200 each, which he won at three heats, beating Col. Wm. Allen’s horse Conqueror by Wonder, and distancing Mr. Haxall’s Cup-Bearer by Sir Henry; the others paid forfeit.

1811. Same season – he received forfeit from five colts, over the Belfield course, 100 dollars each. The day after this he run for the proprietor’s purse, two mile heats, which he won with great ease, beating Mr. Hurwell Wilke’s horse by Monroe by Wonder, and several others.

1812. Spring meeting – then four years old – he started for the Jockey Club purse, four mile heats, over the Fairfield course, which he won at two heats, beating Mr. Winn’s mare Roxana; Mr. Watson’s Maria, and five others. First heat, 8m 20s – second heat, 7m 54s, the best second heat ever run over that course.

I hearby certify that I trained and run Pacolet in all the above races, which are all he ever run; and that they are correctly stated. Given under my hand this 22d June, 1812.
WM. R. JOHNSON.

Pacolet was then travelled to the neighborhood of Nashville for the purpose of running a sweep-stake, (being considered the best horse Virginia and North Carolina could produce) $1000 entrance, with Mr. Hayne’s mare, Mr. Wm. Lytle’s horse, and Capt. Coleman’s horse – the two last members paid forfeit. Though Pacolet was lame in his fore leg when he came to this country, and continued to show lameness occasionally in his training, such was the confidence of the enterers, that they determined to start him against Hayne’s mare. He unfortunately got crippled in the only sound fore leg, crossing a bridge in the course, which entirely disabled him.

1813. Fall races at Nashville – then five years old – he started for the Jockey Club purse, three mile heats; won with ease – beating Mr. John Erwin’s celebrated running mare Caroline, Joseph Coleman’s horse, and Mr. Wm. Lytle’s horse.

On the 10th of November, 1814, Pacolet ran a match race against the famous horse Double-Head, four mile heats, over the Nashville turf, for four thousand dollars in cash; which he won with great ease, though lame in the fore leg in which he was formerly injured.
JAMES JACKSON,
JOHN CHILDRESS
March 26, 1817”

(The Nashville Whig, 04/16/1817)

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Photo (ca. 1891) of stakes winner Russell, damsire of Wise Counsellor

Photo of Russell (1888 b. c. by Eolus – Tillie Russell by Scathelock) as published in The Illustrated American (Vol. 86, No. 1891, for the week ending 10/10/1891).

Photo of champion Longstreet, ca. 1891

Photo of retrospective 1891 Horse of the Year Longstreet (1886 b. c. by Longfellow – Semper Idem by Glen Athol (GB)), as published in The Illustrated American (Vol. VIII, No. 86, for the week ending 10/10/1891).

March 1899: Obituary of Tremont

Tremont, known in his racing days as ‘The Black Whirlwind,’ is dead at Belle Meade. In some unaccountable manner, he broke his stifle Thursday, and yesterday when the veterinarian looked at him, it was decided best that he be destroyed to put him out of his misery.

Tremont, was bred at Elmendorff [sic] stud, by the late Daniel Swigert,  and was by Virgil, son of Vandal, out of Ann Fief, by Alarm. He ran eleven races as a 2-year-old, winning them all, and earning the title given him above. Early in his 3-year-old career and before he had faced the flag, he developed a ring-bone. He was the property of the Dwyers, and his career had been such a phenomenal one that Mr. Swigert paid $25,000 for him and took him back to Kentucky. At the Elmendorff [sic], disposal sale, some years later, Gen. Jackson bought the unbeaten stallion, paying $17,500 for him. Since that time he has been domiciled at Belle Meade.

Tremont’s get were numerous, but the best of them were Dogonet [sic] and Lovelace. El Telegrafo also gave promise at one time of being a wonder.

The dead stallion was of a highly nervous temperament. He was almost unmanageable, often kicking his barn until he was exhausted. It is presumed he met with the accident which cost him his life during one of these tantrums.” (The Nashville American, 03/04/1899)

Photo of Lamplighter

Photograph of Lamplighter (1889 br. c. by Spendthrift – Torchlight (GB) by Speculum (GB)) as published in Types and Breeds of Farm Animals by Charles Sumner Plumb, 1906.

1940: Old Equipoise lives again in Carrier Pigeon

“Belmont Park, N. Y., March 23. – Up in horse heaven (wherever that may be) a liver-colored old stallion is keeping a weather eye cocked these spring days on the antics of one of his sons, and likely as not doing a powerful lot of wishful thinking.

Photo: The Michigan Daily, 04/19/1940.

He’s a battle scarred veteran of the turf wars himself – none other than the indomitable “Chocolate Solider” – and Biblical Bimelech or no he may have a hunch that this son is going to come along and freshen up pa’s famous footsteps.

Anybody with half a memory can thumb back to the racing things that counted in the early ’30s and remember how Equipoise was winning ’em the hard way coming through and around from behind, no matter what the distance his tail straight out as a tight string. A sort of flag, it was, for him to flaunt in the noses of the vanquished.

Well, this son of his, Carrier Pigeon, has the same habits (smack down to the straight out tail), and he’s the spittin’ image, so they say, of his daddy. He hasn’t been really tried as yet, starting only twice as a juvenile, but both times he put away everything that went up against him. It wasn’t any fault of his that the competition turned out to be just so-so.

The sort of talk going around now about Bradley’s Bimelech would indicate that colts and fillies of consequence which he hasn’t licked are scarcer than dollars in a panhandler’s pocket. So, speaking like a lawyer in court for the moment, we beg to take an exception – Carrier Pigeon. He hasn’t eaten any of his dust – yet.

This may come with the Derby, Preakness or Belmont, but remember, you can climb out on a limb with Bimelech, too. and have it sawed off short, just the same as with any other fragile thoroughbred.

C. V. (Sonny) Whitney owns Carrier Pigeon an even a Kentucky Hardboot or a Vanderbilt either, cant sniff at his breeding. Three generations of finding out things by experience and mistakes are behind his royal pedigree.

His isn’t any sprint breeding. All through the pedigree names of stayers stick out, horses and mares that could run all day. And don’t forget that Man o’ War came from a blending of the Rock Sand and Fairy Gold blood. It’s the type of breeding you could muse over for days.

Sonny Whitney, modest young millionaire that he is, won’t give Carrier Pigeon’s well-wishers too much comfort. He has been disappointed before this. He can’t forget, either, that he has another colt of fine promise – Flight Command – in the 3-year-old field. He’s by Peace Chance–Top Flight, by Dis Donc. Remember Top Flight? A fleet filly, she was, indeed, and she earned more money than any other member of her sex.

Flight Command started four times, was once first, once second. But Carrier Pigeon is our story. He won both of his starts with ridiculous easy, the second by eight lengths with the boy looking back and taking it easy like he was in a rocking chair.

Photo: The Washington Post, 03/24/1940.

Let Whitney tell about that second start:

“He was off last. He came around the field and won galloping. He runs with his tail straight out behind him, just like Equipoise. You know, he’s got those funny spots on him. They’re supposed to be a great thing – the bend or spots.”

There have been a good many stories about what happened to Carrier Pigeon as a 2-year-old, why he never went to the post after the two outings at Saratoga.

The answer, simply, is this: He bruised a heel in the second start.

“I’ll tell you what happened,” said Whitney. “He apparently stepped on a stone in that last race. It would be the same as a stone bruise on the heel of a human being. I was pointing him for the hopeful (Bimelech won that one) and we felt he needed a hard work first. A veterinarian was there, the best one I could find, and all of us thought the bruise hadn’t healed enough. I could have got him ready for the futurity (Bimelech won that one, too), but decided to just put him aside. I thought it best to let up on him.”

The reason for the concern and careful handling?

“He is prospectively too valuable as a stallion to me,” Whitney continued. “In my way of thinking he is the right size for a 3-year-old. He stands about 16 hands.”

This chestnut colt with the funny spots and liver-colored coat is like his famous daddy in another respect. John Hervey, who writes as “Salvator,” once said that Equipoise required little strong work or severe training and never once before his 50-odd starts ever ran a trial in any way remarkable.

The young sportsman who owns him must have been thinking of something like that when he talked about Carrier Pigeon, for a faint and fleeting smile of pleasure softened his face. “He (Carrier Pigeon) isn’t a good morning horse,” he said, nibbling at the stem of his pipe, “and he only gives what is wanted. He’s very much like his sire, and he’s going to look just like him.”

This, then, is the story to date of the best son “The Chocolate Soldier” has sent to the races, and only two more crops remain, for Equipoise died suddenly in 1938.

It’s no simple task to touch his record: Fifty-one starts in six years, 29 wins, 10 seconds and 4 thirds. Winnings: $338,610. He went a mile once at Arlington in Chicago in 1:34 2-5, packing 128 pounds. Nothing was within three lengths of him at the finish line.

This huff-puff about Carrier Pigeon may be just so much whistling in the dark, but a wise old man who sits back in the necessary seclusion of a racing secretary’s office backs us up. There isn’t a partisan or biased opinion in John B. Campbell’s mind. He handicaps for the jockey club and weight goes on for merit, not fancy theories.

Even Sonny Whitney was ore than a mite surprised by what this sage veteran of the turf thought of Carrier Pigeon. The jockey club’s experimental handicap for 2-year-olds in which juvenile form is the sole guide had Bimelech on top, of course, with 130 pounds to pack. But in the second hole, and rated at 126 pounds, was the son of Equipoise.

Through the years that Campbell has rated the coming 3-year-olds he never once has put a colt over 126 pounds, with the exception of Bimelech. To our way of thinking that would make Carrier Pigeon the equal of any top 2-year-old of other seasons.

Perhaps Campbell doesn’t figure that he didn’t beat much. He saw how he did it, and it’s better than even he remembered “The Chocolate Soldier” charging up from behind with his tail straight out, winning with his ears pricked.

Carrier Pigeon, Flight Command and Whitney’s highly regarded juvenile colt, Sky Raider, a son of Man o’ War–Top Flight, came in the other day from Kentucky where they spent the winter resting up for the campaign ahead. Trainer E. L. Snyder has been legging them up for some weeks with long gallops, either on the outside mile track when weather permitted, or inside on cold, snowy days.

Not many days will pass before the horse parks will be bubbling over with gossip from the regulars on how fast this colt or that one worked in a trial. Carrier Pigeon probably will keep on about his business, and let Andy K and Bimelech and the others crack watches for the clockers. Maybe he knows you don’t pick up any cash money in the misty morning hours, and that the cash register rings only in the afternoon.” (Max Hill / The Washington Post, 03/24/1940)