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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Schreiber & Sons photographs of Asteroid, Australian (GB), Canary Bird, Eltham Lass (GB), Enquirer, Hester, Idlewild, Lavender, Leamington (GB), Lexington, Longfellow, and Planet, ca. 1860s-70s

In 1874, the Schreiber & Sons photography studio released Portraits of Noted Horses of America, a collection of photographs of select Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds of the day. The prescient purpose of this collection was stated in the book’s preface:

“In offering to the public the first book of this kind ever published, we are carrying out the suggestions of several eminent breeders who have examined our collection of photographs, and who have declared them to be the best pictures of horses ever produced. This is a point on which each admirer of good horses may judge for himself. The pictures are all taken from life, and present every animal just as they actually appear when at rest, which is the posture every horseman desires to examine a horse in when studying his various points of form.

The value of such pictures as these is not alone in the pleasure and profit they afford to the present, but will increase with years, indefinitely, becoming an interesting part of history that can be relied on as perfectly accurate.”

The notable Thoroughbreds included in the collection were the stallions Asteroid, Australian (GB), Enquirer, Leamington (GB), Lexington, Longfellow, and Planet, and the mares Canary Bird (dam of Harry Bassett), Eltham Lass (GB) (dam of Kingfisher), Hester (dam of Springbok), Idlewild, and Lavender (half-sister to Lexington and dam of Baden-Baden and Helmbold).

Click on each photo to enlarge, and then click again to enlarge even further.


STALLIONS

Enquirer (1867 b. c. by Leamington (GB) – Lida by Lexington)

The beautiful Enquirer, who was reported to have been a blood bay in color.


Leamington (GB) (1853 br. c. by Faugh-a-Ballagh (IRE) – Pantaloon Mare (GB) by Pantaloon (GB))


Lexington (1850 b. c. by Boston – Alice Carneal by Sarpedon (GB))

Lexington’s blindness is apparent in the photo.


Longfellow (1867 br. c. by Leamington (GB) – Nantura by Brawners Eclipse)


Planet (1855 ch. c. by Revenue – Nina by Boston)


Australian (GB) (1858 ch. c. by West Australian (GB) – Emilia (GB) by Young Emilius (GB))


Asteroid (1861 b. c. by Lexington – Nebula by Glencoe (GB))


MARES

Canary Bird (1860 ch. f. by Albion (GB) – Penola by Ainderby (GB))
Dam of Harry Bassett


Eltham Lass (GB) (1859 b. f. by Kingston (GB) – Maid of Palmyra (GB) by Pyrrhus the First (GB))
Dam of Kingfisher


Hester (1866 b. f. by Lexington – Heads I Say by Glencoe (GB))
Dam of Springbok


Idlewild (1859 b. f. by Lexington – Florine by Glencoe (GB))


Lavender (1855 ch. f. by Wagner – Alice Carneal by Sarpedon (GB))
Half-sister to Lexington and dam of Baden-Baden and Helmbold

Chart of the week: Roamer wins the Saratoga Special, August 1913

Chart: New York Herald Tribune, 08/10/1913.


“Saratoga, Aug 9 – Andrew Miller’s Roamer won the Saratoga Special from a strong field of two-year-olds at the track here to-day like a colt of highest quality.

Breaking on his toes, Byrne took him right to the front, and this advantage counted, as the colt was good enough to force the pace, withstand a bold challenge from Gainer in the run around the turn and shake off his most dangerous rival inside the last sixteenth, to win by a length and a half in the good time of 1:13 for the six furlongs.

J. L. Holland’s Gainer was second, two lengths before E. R. Bradley’s Black Toney, with Punch Bowl fourth and the others badly strung out.

The start had much to do with the outcome. It was fair considering the size of the field, twelve horses going to the post, but in the scramble for position several suffered, including Early Rose, Punch Bowl, and Imperator, all of which were fancied to win. Captain Cassatt’s Spear Head [sic] was another unfortunate, being cut down in a way which may cause his retirement. Punch Bowl and Imperator were both slightly injured, the former being crowded against the fence.

After the race Andrew Miller was congratulated on all sides, and his delight at winning one of the most coveted stakes of the season was plain to see. He bought Roamer from Woodford Clay at Belmont Park two or three weeks ago for a price said to be $4,000 and would not part with him now for three time that amount. Mr. Clay was quite as pleased as Mr. Miller, but could not help expressing regret that he had parted with the horse before winning the real sprinting fixture of the year and the piece of plate, valued at $500, which is such a prized trophy.

Roamer won a selling race at Belmont Park in which he was entered to be sold for $1,000. At that time Albert Simmons bid him up to $2,200, but Mr. Clay retained him. Since then the colt has not shown enough to indicate that he could beat such a good field as he met to-day, but from now on he must be considered, when racing with the best, Old Rosebud excepted.” (New York Herald Tribune, 08/10/1913)

October 1878: Obituary of Harry Bassett

Illustration of Harry Bassett as published in Harper’s Weekly (Vol. XV, No. 764), 08/19/1871.

“He was a large horse, being over 16 hands high, chestnut in color, with a beautiful star and a slight blaze running down his face and inclining toward his right nostril. His hind feet were white half way to the hocks. He was a magnificently formed horse and looked like a first-class racer, as he was. He had a splendid head, well set on a strong neck, running into powerful and well-inclined shoulders. With great body, he possessed a good back and strong loins, powerful quarters, with well-extended and strong limbs. He dropped well down in the flanks, and had strong and powerful stifles. With good legs and feet, strong arms, and clean hocks, he looked a thorough race-horse.” (The New York Times, 10/28/1878)


Harry Bassett, one of the most noted horses that ever appeared on the American turf, and the champion 3-year old of his year, died yesterday at the farm of Col. McDaniel, at Trenton, N. J. Since his retirement from the turf Harry Bassett has been regarded as one of the coming stallions, but death has suddenly deprived the turf of his services.

In his prime Harry Bassett was as popular as that phenomenal colt, Duke of Magenta, who is henceforth destined to measure strides with the champions of the British turf, and, like the latter, Bassett was regarded as invincible.

Bassett was foaled April 27, 1868, and was consequently in his eleventh year. He was sired by the now famous Lexington, the sire of a line of victorious horses. Bassett’s dam was Canary Bird, a chestnut mare, foaled in 1867, who was sired by Albion, who was foaled in 1837, bred by M. E. Peel, and imported in the ship China to Charleston, S. C., in January, 1839. He was sired by Cain or Active [sic], out of Panthea, by Comus.

Canary Bird ran many races as a 3 and 4 year old, but without success. Her only produce besides Bassett was Ortolan, by Donerall. Canary Bird’s dam was Panola, by imported Aincler, and her dam was Sweetbrier, by Recovery; her dam Primrose, by Comus, and she out of Cowslip, by Cockfighter.

Harry Bassett was purchased at the Woodburn sale of yearlings in 1869 by S. D. Bruce, for Col. McDaniel, the price being $315. He was a large horse, being over 16 hands high, chestnut in color, with a beautiful star and a slight blaze running down his face and inclining toward his right nostril. His hind feet were white half way to the hocks. He was a magnificently formed horse and looked like a first-class racer, as he was. He had a splendid head, well set on a strong neck, running into powerful and well-inclined shoulders. With great body, he possessed a good back and strong loins, powerful quarters, with well-extended and strong limbs. He dropped well down in the flanks, and had strong and powerful stifles. With good legs and feet, strong arms, and clean hocks, he looked a thorough race-horse.

Harry Bassett’s career justified the expectations regarding his appearance and breeding. He made his debut as a 2-year-old in 1870, when he started four times, and was thrice a winner. He made his debut in the Saratoga Stakes when he was unnamed, and was unsuccessful, running third to Mary Louise, then owned by John O’Donnell. His next appearance was in the Kentucky Stakes, also at Saratoga, one mile, when he defeated in fine style his seven competitors, on a heavy track, in 1:51. The stake was worth $3,400. He next appeared in the Nursery Stakes, at Jerome Park, which he won in 1:49 ¼, Fifteen horses started, and the stake was worth $4,000. His fourth and last appearance as a 2-year-old was in the Supper Stakes, at Baltimore, one mile, when he defeated his only competitor, Madame Dudley, in 1:49 ¼; the value of the stake being $7,350.

As a 3-year old Harry Bassett started nine times, and on every occasion defeated his competitors with ease. He won the Belmont Stakes from 10 competitors, among them being Monarchist and Wanderer, neither of whom were placed. The stake was worth $5,850, and the time was 2:56 – the distance of the race at that time being a mile and five furlongs. He supplemented this by winning in succession the Jersey Derby at Long Branch, the Travers and Kenner Stakes at Saratoga, the Champion (now called Jerome) Stakes, and a dash of a mile and three-quarters at the Jerome Park Fall meeting; the Reunion, now called the Dixie Stakes, and a dash of a mile and a half at Baltimore, and wound up his career as a 3-year old at the same meeting by winning the Bowie Stakes, four mile heats, beating Helmbold, who was then 5 years old, in two straight heats, which was a great performance for a 3-year old, especially against so good a horse on a heavy track.

As a 4-year-old Harry Bassett started twelve times and won nine of the events. He began the season by beating Lyttleton for the Westchester Cup at Jerome Park, which he followed up by distancing Metelia, at two-mile heats, at the same meeting. He then left the scene of his triumphs for Long Branch, to meet Longfellow in the Monmouth Cup. The scenes of that memorable day are still fresh in the minds of turfmen. Such a crowd has never assembled on a race-course in this country before or since. Longfellow won a hollow victory, and then Bassett was taken to Saratoga, and won the All-aged Stakes, one mile and a quarter, and three days afterward again met Longfellow in the Saratoga cup. It was the fiercest struggle ever seen in this country, and Bassett won in 3:59, Longfellow breaking down in the race. Bassett had now disposed of Longfellow, and had everything clear before him until he met Monarchist, in the Maturity Stakes, four miles, at the Jerome Park Fall meeting. Hayward, the well-known English jockey, who was then riding for Mr. Sanford, prayed the latter to allow him (Hayward) to run at Bassett from the start, and being allowed to have his way, Bassett was defeated. At the same meeting they again measured strides in a dash of four miles, and Bassett again lowered his colors. This was his last appearance for the season.

In 1873, being 5 years old, Harry Bassett appeared eight times, but gained only two victories. Being forced by circumstances and the importunities of his partners, Col. McDaniel entered Bassett in all sorts of races in 1874, and finally ran the great horse virtually off his legs, and was obliged to retire him. With this action the famous McDaniel confederacy was broken, and the Colonel entered upon a career of misfortune. Harry Bassett had shown his ability as a race-horse until he was abused, and gave promise of making a name as a sire, as shown by the running of the two fillies Fawn and Lillian. His early death will be regretted by turfmen, with whom he was a general favorite.” (The New York Times, 10/28/1878)

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.

hamburg-place-sale-ad-lcj-1920-01-18

Louisville Courier-Journal, 01/18/1920

1937: 2-year-old Tiger and his toothache

“Ever hear about this Tiger, the 2-year-old, and his toothache?” queried Mr. [Francis P.] Dunne; “it just goes to show that it might even pay to look a gift horse in the mouth now and then, though this Tiger isn’t exactly a gift horse.”

Photograph of Tiger (1935 br. c. by Bull Dog (FR) – Starless Moment by Night Star (GB)) as published in the Daily Racing Form, 04/21/1938

“Anyway, I think it was in his second race, this Tiger ran out and finished maybe fifth or sixth. They figured something was wrong. Something had bothered the colt or he never would have run like that. With some horses it may be blinkers or bandages – they run better with them on or off, as the case may be. Or it may be your horse has suddenly come down with dyspepsia, hookworm, housemaid’s knee or cholera morbus. You have to look into such things.

Well, they look this Tiger over and found he had a toothache, a violent one, according to all accounts. So they led him to a dentist and had the tooth yanked and he hasn’t lost a race since.”

Probably it was a lesson to the Milky Way 2-year-old. He thinks that if he loses another race they will take him to a dentist and have another tooth yanked. Plenty of humans would run pretty fast under the same spur.” (John Kieran / The New York Times, 08/31/1937)


Upon retiring to the stud in 1941, the stakes winning Tiger would sire the stakes winning Siama, 1960 Broodmare of the Year and dam of One-Eyed King and Bald Eagle.