Here and There on the Turf: Riddles of Breeding the Star Shoot Line. Bar Against Crusader. Racing for California, Daily Racing Form, 1927-06-16


view raw text

s J Here and There on the Turf Biddies of Breeding. The Star Shoot Line. Bar Against Crusader. Bacing for California. s There are sereral problems in thoroughbred racing that will never be solved. Agreed that theoretically faultless blood lines are a first requisite, it will always cause wonder that brothers are so utterly different. Many and many a case could be cited where brothers to , this or that champion were utter counterfeits. Then it can be carried a bit further back and the stud careers of these same brothers are utterly different. One will always greatly outshine the other on the stock farm even when the same mares go to their court. It is a mating of exactly the same blood, but the results are utterly different. And it is the same with the mares. Full sisters show vastly different results both on the turf and as matrons, and this has applied to every line, no matter how fashionable and, doubtless, it will apply to the end of the chapter. There is something in individuality on top of the blood lines after all. There must of course be, or it would not be much of a trick to turn out colts, just as one would manufacture an article of commerce. Find the right mold and the colts would be all alike, both in blood lines and in speed. Why was not Playfellow as good a horse as Man o "War? He is a brother and just a year younger. He was a good-looking colt and he had everything that the Riddle champion had, except the individuality and the supreme speed that made Man o War a champion. This same riddle of breeding is carried back in these two horses a bit further. Mahubah, the dam of each, had a sister. Rock Merry, that did little or nothing for breeding, though she had much the same opportunity in the stud as did the dam of Man o War and Playfellow. They were both daughters of Rock Sand and Merry Token, a daughter of Merry Hampton, winner of the Epsom Derby of 1887 and second in the St. Leger Purse. Merry Tokens second dam was Mizpah, by Mac-Gregor. These sisters, Mahubah and Rock Merry, were afforded much the same opportunity by the late August Belmont and, while Mahubah proved herself one of the great matrons of the country, Rock Merry was little short of an utter failure. Mahubah was sent to the court of Fair Play year after year, and she gave to racing and breeding Masda, Man o War, Playfellow, My Play and Mira-belle. Rock Merry has to her credit Doctor Jim, by Ogden, a bay filly by Star Shoot that died before coming to the "races; Rockford, by Sir Martin; .Hilary, by Fair Play, and, of course, a double and twisted cousin to Man o War; Sniper, by War Cloud; Iron Crown, by Stefan the Great, and she has a yearling colt, by Fair Play, giving him the same relationship to Man o War as that possessed by Hilary. There is the product of these sisters and it is at once realized what an infinitely greater matron Mahubah has been than Rock Merry. Of course, there is this or that particular line that is remarkable for its matrons, just as there are other lines that dominate in the male line. That is particularly applicable to two strains that have done much for the American turf. Star Shoot, for five different years at the top of the winning stallion list in this country, was one striking example of a brilliant horse and more brilliant sires, whose male progeny have done little in the stud, while his mares, with few exceptions, have been famous matrons. Star Shoot begat many a champion colt, but, when that same colt was sent to the stud, he has been to date a failure. Then Meddler was another that was famous for his mares, when they reached breeding age, while his stallions accomplished little indeed. -These are only two of the cases that could be picked out and, on the other hand, there are many others which have been just as. remarkable for the male line, while the mares failed. These are lessons in breeding that have only been learned by the breeding itself. Taking a line through this established theory of breeding it will be a contradiction of past stud performance if either .Crusader or Grey Lag, two great horses, attain any real degree of greatness in the stud. The reason for that may be found in the Star Shoot blood of each. Gray Lag is the son of Star Shoot, while Crusader is a grandson of the same horse through his dam, Star Fancy. As a matter of fact, Grey Lag is a son of Star Shoot from a Meddler mare, so that he has a double dose of the strains that are famous for female rather than male excellence of production. Grey Lag was one of the truly great horses of the American turf, but it will bs surprising to students of bloodlines if he shows any brilliance as a sire. To one who made no study of blood lines it would seem that both Grey Lag and Crusader had everything for success in the stud. Both are great horses and both bred along well-nigh faultless blood lines, but in each there is the bar sinister of the female line that has so seldom carried on, in breeding, through the males. Many good judges think that Crusader ran a greater race, when he won the Suburban Handicap recently, then any race run by his sire, Man o War. That, of course, does not in any sense indicate that he is a greater horse, for there have been few cases where a son has been greater than a great father, but, if he meets with anything like the stud success that has attended Man o War, he will be a contradiction to the accepted theories, worked out through years of production of thoroughbreds. Mars, Edith Cavell, Crusader, Flor-J ence Nightingale and American Flag are; only a few of the good ones sired by Man o War and of these both Mars and Crusader, both great horses, are from daughters of Star Shoot. American iFlag has a better chance than either one jof these to carry on in the stud, for his jdam is Lady Comfey, a daughter of Roi Herode and she does not carry the Star Shoot strain. Edith Cavell and Florence Nightingale are sisters and daughters of The Nurse, by Yankee. Once in a great while theor2s are upset, but thus far it does not seem that there is any danger of the best sons of Continued on sixteenth pace HEBE AND THERE ON THE TTJBF !$ Continued from second page Man o War ever approaching his breeding successes when their racing days are over. The announcement of a race meeting at the old Tanforan course in California may readily mean much for a complete and satisfactory return of the sport to the Pacific Coast. It will be remembered that an effort to revive the racing, by way of the ballot box, was a failure, but the fact remains that California undoubtedly would be found pro-racing if it had been possible to bring out the entire vote. As has been the case too often, the turfmen and the friends of racing do not show anything like the diligence in the use of the right of franchise that is used by those who would break down the racing everywhere. Now, if Joseph A. Murphy is able to conduct a successful meeting next fall, and he has gone over the situation carefully, it should be the same sort of opening wedge that restored the sport to Illinois. It was Murphy who took over the Hawthorne track to conduct the racing at the Cicero course in 1924, though there had been a meeting conducted there the year before. Incidentally that same year, 1924, there was a meeting at the Tanforan course that it is proposed to re-open in October. That was a meeting sponsored and conducted by the late A. B. Spreckels and it was a strictly "betless" meeting. Mr. Spreckels carried through his meeting with the assistance of many of the foremost turfmen of the country, at a tremendous expense. It was known at the beginning, despite the recent false claims of Marcus A. Milam of Florida, that it would cost considerable money to furnish racing without some sort of wagering, but Mr. Spreckels, with the help of his wealthy friends of the turf, was able to carry the load for a term of his favorite sport. - There was some hope at the time that this meeting would lead to other racing that could be brought to a paying basis, but it was the one meeting and, unfortunately, Mr. Spreckels died the following year and the California turf and the American turf lost one of its outstanding figures. Mr. Murphy in his promised bringing back of racing to .Tanforan and California, has devised a means of speculation that he has been assured is within the law and, by that means, he feels assured that he can conduct the racing in a fashion that will be no offense to the statutes.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1927061601_2_2
Library of Congress Record: