St. Simon and Bend or Rivalry, Daily Racing Form, 1922-08-01


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,! ST. SIMON AND BEND OR RIVALRY I i BY SAL VAT OR. Recently I commented, in Daily Racing Form, upon the contemporaneous dominance of the line of Bend Or, as emphasized by the results of the Ascot meeting in England, the double victory of Pillory in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes here, and the position which members of the tribe have assumed in Continental Europe, In the Antipodes and the Argentine. Since then the victory of Thibodaux in the Latonia Derby, following his good performance in the Kentucky Special beaten but a half length by Whisk-away, with Morvich, Pillory and Deadlock behind him, has added color to tins theme, for Thibodaux is by Cunard, he by Goldfinch, and he by Ormonde, son of Bend Or. In my previous notes, above referred to, I spoke, en passant, of the drooping glories of the SL Simon line, as compared with those of its long-time rival, and this observation has brought me, in a letter from a reader, the following comment: "While the Bend Or line seems to be exceptionally strong, yet of the largest stake winners abroad so far this season i. e.. Two Thousand Guineas, One Thousand Guineas, Derby, Oaks, and French Derby two winners, viz.. Silver Urn One Thousand Guineas and Ramus French Derby are respectively by Juggernaut and Rabelais, both sons of SL Simon. "St Louis Two Thousand Guineas is from a daughter of Florizel II. son of St. Simon ; Pogrom Oaks, second dam by St. Frusquin son of SL Simon, while her sire, Lemberg, is from Galicia, by Galopin sire of St. Simon. The third dam of Captain Cuttle Derby, Emita, was also by Galopin. Still another cross to Galopin is received through the second dam of both SL Louis and Silver Urn, Sterling Balm, she by Friars Balsam, whose dam was a Galopin marc." My correspondent writes that his "intention is not to criticize, but merely to show that the SL Simons are still holding their own." The respective merits of the lines from Bend Or and SL Simon have been the subject of energetic discussion ever since the two stallions made their debuts as progenitors of winners, over thirty years ago. In the beginning Ormonde, the "horse of the century," gave Bend Or, his sire, tremendous prestige, but while SL Simon never sired an Ormonde he soon outstripped his rival in popular favor and prominence owing to the enormous number of winners that came from his loins, including more classic victors than had ever before been credited to one and the same sire. This condition continued until, let us say, fifteen years ago, the blood of SL Simon seemed on the point of submerging everything else in England. The craze for it became simply epidemic. An almost superstitious reverence was paid the son of Galopin and St. Angela, whose admirers proclaimed him not only a "second Eclipse" but a greater one. In the meanwhile the tribe of Bend Or was much more quietly "carrying on." In numbers it was distinctly smaller than that of SL Simon, but there was seldom a season In which it failed to have at least one representative of the highest class, while periodically it was sure to produce something tremendous. Some of its best members were sold for export before their true excellence had been disclosed and thus the British stud lost several of its most potent representatives. At length the tidal wave of "St. Simonism" began, as such things invariably do, to recede. At first so gradually as to be almost imperceptible, then so rapidly that "he who ran might read." No family of stallions ever enjoyed the opportunities as sires that were accorded the sons of St. Simon, but their successes were facile rather than durable, immediate rather than imposing. It became apparent that none of them approached SL Simon himself as a progenitor. And it was a striking fact that the best performer got by any son of St. Simon, Sceptre, was from a Bend Or mare Ornament, the own sister of Ormonde. Had Ormonde remained in England to establish a family of numerical strength there, it is today impossible to predict how notablo the results might have been, but temptation of an unheard-of up to that time price prompted his exportation and, thereby, a loss beyond computation, seeing what his few British-bred foals have accomplished. Bona Vista and Kendal were lost in the same way. Yet despite these facts, we have today to reckon with the undeniable dominance of tht Bend Ors, both at home and abroad 1. c, in Great Britain and all other parts of the world. The direct line of St. Simon, on the contrary, has not "held its own." Its eclipse is undeniable. It still has many fervent adherents, who insist that this eclipse is temporary only that eventually it will "return into its own." Such a thing is not impossible, but it may be reckoned rather improbable. Still, there are many male-line representatives of SL Simon in service. In all parts of the world. Will there come from some one of them an epochal horse, destined to rejuvenate the fortunes of the family? The failure of St. Simon horses to achieve success or, at least, great success in America has been much written about and endlessly argufied by breeding pundits. Sain, the son of St. Serf, has been the most successful one and nis son. Jack Atkin, the most successful race horse fifty-six races and 5,130 thus far produced nere. At present we have several St. Simon representatives among our most prominent stallions, but all are importations none was bred here. These include Prince Palatine, Hourless and his sire, Negofol, and Sea King. It remains to be seen whether they will be equal to the task of building up in this country a family edifice which in the past their many relatives that have essayed the task failed to do. But, while it ha3 lost its ascendancy in tail-male, we meet the blood of St. Simon almost everywhere maternally or collaterally. It is generally diffused throughout the entire fabric of the modern thoroughbred breed. Various lines of blood work in divers ways "their wonders to perform." That of SL .Simon is, apparently, destined to exert its influence through channels less conspicuous but, nevertheless, just as ubiquitous as those of its rival. And nothing I have written, here or elsewhere, should be construed as undervaluing iL St. Simon was assuredly one of the most wonderful, one of the greatest, thoroughbreds that this world has ever seen or ever will see. When one encounters his name in a pedigree one should, metaphorically speaking, stand uncovered. If he is no longer dominant, he is, as it were, universal a part of the richest heritage of the whole turf world.

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