Maj. Daingerfields Work: Prominence of Kentucky as Breeding Center Traced to Him., Daily Racing Form, 1926-04-27


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MAJ. DAINGERFIELDS WORK ♦ Prominence of Kentucky as Breeding Center Traced to Him. • Writer in Lexington Herald ReOews Pioneer W nrk of Late F.xpert in Inhreeding. « The Ketituckian with a mind for the horse and an eye for round numbers will recognize in this year. B 2G. a time peculiarly fitting "to commemorate more than one notable date in its history, says the "Lexington Herald" in its current turf centennial number. Besides being the centennial of the opening of the oldest rack track in America, this spring is : The sixty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of Kentuckys unchallenged and unbroken supremacy in thoroughbred breeding, popularly dating to the foaling at Woodburn in 1M1 of Kentucky, Asteroid and Norfolk, the three sons who carried the name of Lexington to a position he held for two decades as the leading sire and the head of Americas first great thoroughbred line. The thirty-fifth anniversary of the coming of Maj. Foxhall 1 aingerlield to Kentucky, to inaugurate the stables greatest breeding renaissance and to establish the most brilliantly successful production center in all the history of racing ; and the twentieth anniversary of the close of that renaissance, which practically ended as a definite entity with the foaling, in IMC, of Major Dainger-fields "ultimo salute," the chestnut colt, Iltinius. The record of Lexington and the family which In- fathered, dead now as a male line, but still living in the pedigrees of so much of our greatness, is essentially a monument to a great horse: the record of Castleton Stud and the assembling of blood still the most pervasive in our breeding establishments today, is essentially a monument to a great genius. It seems well within bounds to say that the coming of Major I finger-field to Kentucky is the most important event on the pages of all her thoroughbred history. n It was not always considered so : Indeed the full significance id his work at Castleton was only partially appreciated, even when the horses he sent from there were sweeping the turf, and has come into fullest recognition years after his death. Rook back at them now. that imposing list of trojans that Maj. Daingerfield sent from Castleton Commando. Sweep. Peter Pan, Colin. -Delhi. Cltimus, Hippodrome, Cap and Rells. Maskette, Disguise. Peter Quince. Transvaal. Von Trump, Castleton. Kunny-mede. Ballot, Superman, Celt — was ever there a stud to approach it ! Today the genius back of Castletons greatness is recognized ; and yet it was not always so. The years are not so many since the principles under which breeding was carried on there were subject to the friendly perplexity f some, and the open laughter of others. It reached even to grave wondetinjjs Continued on fourteenth page. flj ~ of _ son to r sn j,,. . And v m, m jt| in had o D of of but tl the l" " Of ai and hr sj w 1 re ni ol i, l! T. the U] the v a V; t« lo p| j j a the . ■ ; H a a !l by 1 w „ |, v I ol of 1 be | • u l ti . h • » S t[ ;| | « „ ., i e h | .1 | n r y . . ■ I ■ i t y i fe 0 of . , I s * j | MA J. DAINGERFIELDS WORK Continued from first peRe sanity when Major I ainfjerf ield mated a of I omino with a daiiKhter of Domino jiroduce the climax of his work. Iltimus. It is told that the Major, in answer to his critics, made the prediction at that time: "Mark yon, sir. if we live lona: eaoasjh ■• shall see a sire of this line on every great Breeeliaej farm In Kentucky. Ma successful BreeeVr can afford to be without the blood. I he most successful of them will demand the Llood of Iltimus." The memory of this speech came hack with impressive force just last year when, the stuiL announcement of the farm that led all other American breeders for eight consecutive years, finally appeared a son of Iltimus and ano her sire from a daughter Iltimus. The daring of the prediction was enormous; it was as nothing in comparison with extent to which it has heen fulfilled. nearly fifty farms in the Initd States Canada which might be teimtd major breeding establishments, with two or more sires standing, there are less than a dozen without a sire whose lines go back to tas-tleton ! An analyst of the Jockey Ctab in New York a year or two ago went through the records of a seasons racing and found that more than eighty per cent of the two-year-old winnings of that season traced to Cas-tleton blood ! Major Daingerfields gifts to the thoroughbred world of today were not merely of the Ureal horses and great blood which were products of his matings. They were also gifts of principles, laws and customs which, when finally proved, were universally adopted. Me eetahhaheel at rather revived the value of inbreeding, though he did not live earty °ut his experiments to his complete satisfaction. He had a definition for it : "Inbreeding— secret of success in the breeding of a great race horse, but with the inexperieneced. loaded gun in the hands of a child." ILTIMIS WAS SLOK NF.IL The extremely inbred Iltimus was scorned the breeding world. When he was first offered for service, as a three-year-old. he was almost universally declined. Half-bred mares of no racing or breeding value wore bred to him merely to keep him quiet. The veteran .lohn Schorr, of Tennessee, was one the exceptions. "The Major said he would a good sire." he explained, "and thats enough for me." He sent his one mare, Woodlane. to the court of Iltimus. euid from the union he got Harry Kelly. Today the blood of Iltimus is priceless. While Major I aingerfield did not Iie to find the "cross" for which he had been looking to make the inbred sire line "stick." he had foitunately a loyal assistant who inherited much, and learned more, of his skill. Miss Kli/.abeth I aingerfiold, his constant associate, took up the work where he left off. If her father was a believer in in-broeding. the daughter was even more so. She did the amazing thing of taking Iltimus. the son of a I omino sire and a Domino mare, and crossing him on another daughter oT Domino. It was predicted that the result would ke a monstrosity: instead it was a normal looking animal, that was named High Time. High Time left her hands in his infancy. Five years later he was returned to her care, even more scorned by breeders than Iltimus had been. She finally found in Dr. Marius Johnson an attentive listener, who bought a mare she recommended and agreed to the mating The result was Sarazen. the greatest race horse our turf has seen since Man a" War. Mis once despised sire is now valued at 5100.000. Major Daingerfield taught the breeding world a new appreciation of their own Amer-j ican thoroughhied. In a time when it was the growing principle of breeding to send to Kngland for sires, he pronounced the American sire the heat in the world, and suited iiis actions to the word. Almost to the point an open break, he refused to use the im-[K rted sires furnished by James R. Keene. the owner of Castleton. and clung tenaciously to American sires. Uecognizing the need of an outcross. he sent abroad for mares, thus directly revers- ing the universal practice of the time, of bringing foreign sires to American mares It was revolutionary, but it worked. Its ad vantages are now universally recognized. Indeed, our entire thoroughbred world toil. i bears, here and there in countless places. _ erkleacea of his genius. The rerjr barns on every stock farm in Kentucky are of a type not known before In- in his unbounded love for the thoroughbred s i omfort and uncanny I knowledge making for its type impro eao-nt devised out of that knowledge As a lawyer who. in twenty years of practice, never had a case rwiieed t n higher •ourt. he was abundantly equipped to aid In the revision of old laws and the forma a ion of new ones for the better government of lacing. Mis advice ea such matters was constantly sought and Invariably beneficial There was not on branch of thoroughbred life that wa. sat the better ov hla preseate Kaciug has •.•! IcrtOWn i f.giie to who:ii ;t •«••• i « ••! •! I -.i of gtstltude

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