Reflections: Flying Gal, 19, Dies at Claiborne Stud; Produced Boswell, Sire of Lord Boswell; Plucky Liege Was Great Mother of Sires; Matrons Receive Scant Recognition, Daily Racing Form, 1946-05-23


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REFLECTIONS I — fly Nelson Dunstan Flying Gal, 19, Dies at Claiborne Stud Produced Boswell, Sire of Lord Boswell Plucky Liege Was Great Mother of Sires Matrons Receive Scant Recognition NEW YORK, N. Y., May 22. With hundreds of mares roaming the paddocks at our breeding farms, it is not surprising that when one passes away that onlv a short obituary appears in the papers. Yet, oftentimes. there is a long story in the record of just one mare. A good example of this is Flying Gal, who, at 19, died at Arthur B. Hancocks Claiborne Stud in Kentucky a few days ago. a daughter of Sir Gallahad III. — Filante, by Sardanapale, Flying Gal was a good race-mare, just one of her victories being in the Schuyler ville at Saratoga in 1929. When her racing career was over Flying Gal was shipped to England and it was there that a mating with Bosworth brought Boswell to the racing world. In winning the St. Leger, Boswell defeated Mahmoud, Thankerton, Rhodes Scholar and other good ones. Boswell was then brought to this country and his first crop of foals appeared here in 1942. One day at Belmont Park, William Woodward told us that he was shipping Boswell to the Canadian Stud of Palmer Wright, just outside of Toronto. Shortly after that Lord Boswell started his two-year-old career that by fall had many declaring him the best two-year-old in the land. Thus, Boswell came into great prominence and we dare say that Flying Gal was as responsible, if not more so, than his sire Bosworth, for the fine qualities he possessed. Yet, Flying Gal earned scant notice when she died a few days ago. For some reason or other, it has always been that way in turf history. If a stallion who won a few great races, but was just mediocre in stud, passes away his obituary is likely to be of considerable length. Down through the years, we have failed to understand why the sire has been lauded to the house tops, but the mare who produced one or more famous horses barely gains newspaper mention. There was the case of Marguerite who, too, was the property of the Belair Stud of William Woodward. Of course, all the Belair Stud mares are domiciled at the Paris, Ky., establishment of Arthur B. Hancock. Marguerite is second to Dustwhirl as the worlds record holder of mares whose get won the most money. Mated with Sir Gallahad III., she produced Gallant Fox, Foxborough and last, by no means least, Fighting Fox, the young horse who is more than making his way in stud today and may be one in the long run who will carry on the male line of Sir Gallahad III., that great son of Teddy, who has made his mark in the breeding annals of this country during the past 25 years. Recently our friend Ed. Danforth, sports editor of the Atlanta Journal, went down to Kentucky and visited the Claiborne Stud of Arthur B. Hancock. During that visit, he wrote "on a sundrenched knoll that commands a view of undulating Blue Grass thands a stone on the grave of Marguerite, sweetheart of Claiborne Stud. A locust tree waves its white spring plumes over the carpet of fresh green and the breeze shakes down fragrant petals within the white-fenced plot. A. B. Hancock, master of the farm, carrying his 70 years with grace and dignity, made the pilgrimage to the grave with us. Hancock said we are saving a space beside her for Sir Gallahad ni. The old fellow is 26 and as vigorous as ever, but the watch is catching up with him. " There is one of the most romantic stories in the annals of the worlds turf. At Claiborne, they are reserving a place beside Marguerite for that great stallion, Sir Gallahad HI. But has the turf ever known a greater producer than Plucky Liege, the daughter of Spearmint, who produced Sir Gallahad III? Plucky Liege was indeed the "great mother of sires" and the story told of her by her breeder, Jefferson Davis Conn, is one of the most remarkable that we have ever listened to. Plucky Liege, who was out of St. Simons daughter, Concertina, was domiciled at Jefferson Davis Cohns stud in Normandy when the Germans came through that part of France in World War I. They drove every thoroughbred before them, but, according to Cohn, Plucky Liege was so sickly looking that they decided to leave her behind. In 1920, she produced Sir Gallahad III. Seven years later, she dropped Bull Dog and a year after that came Quatre Bras. II. That trio of full brothers left a mark on the American turf that will be a potent factor for the next 50 years. In 1931 she produced Admiral Drake and two years later came Bel Aethel who, too, was imported to this country. In 1935 she dropped Bois Roussel, who was to prove a Derby winner. In 1938 Plucky Liege died, but, to this writers knowledge, there was very little printed about it in France or England and there was not a word in the newspapers in this country. Had a great sire died, it would have been printed in every country in the world, but, for some reason or other, the producers have earned little recognition even when after they have dropped outstanding horses they pass on to the places where great horses go. Flying Gal, Marguerite and Plucky Liege are not the only ones who passed away with a bare notice. In former years, the newspaper records of horse racing was slim indeed. This was even true in England. Popingoal was foaled in 1913 and, although she produced Book Law and Book Debt, it is difficult to find even when you check the records, when she passed to the equine valhalla. Pretty Polly, who was foaled in 1901, is another racemare whose record was a good one and still when she died and where she was buried is a moot question. It has always surprised us that outstanding stallions are given considerable newspaper notice when they pass from this earthly picture, but little space in the general press given to the mares who, over a period of years, send out the truly great horses of the turf. Whether the sire or dam is responsible for the success of a youngster in racing has long been disputed, but there is no dispute that the stallions are given far greater notice when death comes.

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