Eleven Sires, Worth Millions, Standing at Spendthrift Farm: High Quality Broodmare Band Being Assembled at Combs Place in Kentucky, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-02


view raw text

► • -r- • -, Eleven Sires, Worth Millions, Standing at Spendthrift Farm High Quality Broodmare Band Being Assembled at Combs Place in Kentucky By H. T, McGUIRE LEXINGTON, Ky., May 1.— Four million dollars worth of stallions stand at Spendthrift Farm. This is considered a modest valuation of the 11 head at the pretentious establishment of Leslie Combs H. on the Iron Works Pike, near here. The figure is not accurate to the penny for it is based, among other things, on the purchase price of a half million dollars for Alibhai and that stallion is not for sale at any price. Included in the estimate is the 00,000 paid for the Australian champion Shannon n., who equalled three worlds time marks, and the 00,000 that brought Ardan top handicapper former in both France and England. Other estimates are based upon prices refused for the Maine Chance stallions of Mrs. Elizabeth Graham. These are Jet Pilot, whose good looking first foals are now yearlings; Mr. Busher, now in his first year at stud, and who took a top pedigree and an excellent racing record into retirement with him; War Jeep, sire of two stake winners last year; Ace Admiral, who won the Santa Anita Maturity, in addition to the Travers and Lawrence Realization, and Star Pilot, the Belmont and Pimlico Futurity and Hopeful winner. Assembles Notable Broodmare Group Other stallions at Spendthrift include the proven sire Requested, the property of Ben F. Whittaker of Dallas, who refused a half million for him; Louis B. Mayers Bernborough, sometimes called the Citation of Australia, who won 15 consecutive stakes, and R. W. Mcllvains fleet Billings, by Mahmoud from the Sir Galahad III. mare, Native Girl. While the stallions are, in the very nature of things, the head men at Spendthrift, Combs has been steadily but without fanfare assembling a group of broodmares believed to be of a quality worthy of their illustrious mates. The mares at Spendthrift have played a very important part in the success of the farm, and replacements are chosen with great care. In 1937 Combs started on his own as a breeder. He had been in the Soal and insurance business in Huntington, W. Va., but tfas closely connected with thoroughbreds through acting as agent in the sale at Saratoga of the yearlings of grandfather Leslie Combs, for whom he disposed of such prominent racers as El Chico and Painted Veil.. He served also on the West Virginia Racing Commission and when later he became a member of the Kentucky Racing Commission he established a unique record for having served on commissions of two states. Where Spendthrift Was Raised Death of Combs* maternal grandmother, Mary Swigert, found him with capital to purchase a farm. He wanted part of his great-grandfather Daniel Swigerts farm. FJmendorf, and he was able to purchase the portion that contained the house of the superintendent, the part where the horse Spendthrift was raised. There was still another problem to be solved. Combs had married Dorothy Enslow in West Virginia and there was a question of her acceptance of the life on a Kentucky farm. This matter soon resolved itself and now Mrs. Comb is an enthusiastic booster of the thoroughbred and her home is one of the showplaces of the Blue Grass area. Upon the death of his father, Combs inherited an interest in the mares on the estate, but they were getting along in years. Such excellent producers as Killashandra. dam of Mate, and La Chica, dam of El Chico, had passed their prime and in the past five years Combs has disposed of most of the elderly matrons. These have been relaced by younger mares such as Boudoir n., dam of Your Host, and six young matrons secured from Louis B. Mayer. All of these are stake winners or dams of stake winners. Boudoir II. has been mated with Bull Lea. The other mares of note include Belle Cane, the dam of Selector. Matings of Other Matrons A stake winner in Australia; Belle Cane will be mated with Requested. Combs bought back from Mayer the matron Painted Veil, who was rated with the best three-year-olds of 1941. In foal to Alibhai, Painted Veil will be mated with Ardan. The High Time mare, Lynn, the dame of Stirrup Cup, is in foal to Alibhai and will go to War Admiral. The once speedy Distaff, by Beau Pere, is in foal to Alibhai and has an engagement with Ardan. Model Flight, by Donatello, was imported from England by Louis B. Mayer and is a half sister to the English stallion Empire Builder. Now LESLIE COMBS II.— Master of Spendthrift Farm. in foal to War Jeep, she will be mated with Bernborough. Continuing his quest for superior mares Combs secured five well bred matrons from Neil McCarthy. Avilion is by Sir Gallahad m. and is of the family of Up the Hill and Imperatrice. She is in foal to Shannon H.. as is the young English mare, Brora, by Bosworth. The Sansovina mares, San Bpnita and San Rival, will be bred to Shannon H. and Count Fleet, respectively. Much is expected of the young mare, Dowry, by Beau Pere. Possibly the most interesting group of Spendthrift mares are the daughters and granddaughters of the great racer and producer, Myrtlewood. who died recently and is buried at Spendthrift next to her dam, Frizeur. Myrtlewoods Daughters at Farm Myrtlewoods daughters at Spendthrift include Crepe Myrtle, by Equipoise, the dam of the illustrious Myrtle Charm. She will be mated with Mahmoud. Spring Beauty, by Sir Gallahad III., goes to Alibhai. Gallawood, also by Sir Gallahad ttt, has been booked to Heliopolis. The Bull Dog — Myrtlewood mare. Moon Flower, has an engagement with Goya n. Granddaughters of Myrtlewood from the Kentucky Oaks winner, Miss Dogwood, are Sequence, by Count Fleet, and Amiga, by Mahmoud. Sequence will be mated with Ardan, while Amiga goes to Mr. Busher. Combs efforts to secure stake - winning and stake -producing families to be bred to the top sires of the country did not come about overnight, but is the result of careful planning. Starting with 127 acres, part of five farms. Spendthrift now covers 1,070 acres, modern in every detail. Combs believes that he was the first breeder to incorporate, a scientific laboratory as part of the overall plan for equine hygiene. This laboratory is operated with hospital-like efficiency even to the "men in white." Individual tail bandages for mares are used once and then destroyed. Droppings in the field are picked up, and commercial fertilizers are used. Land is rotated and does not become "horse-tired." The soil in each field is tested each year. Blue Grass is kept in top shape and a pest control program is in constant operation. Combs is particularly proud of the water at Spendthrift, and the distributing system that sends it around the farm from a 50,000-gallon tank. Water comes from a fine spring that has never failed, and it contains just the right amount of lime needed for healthy feet and bone. Buys With Eye to Breeding It is likely, now that Tom Smith is back as trainer of Mrs. Grahams Maine Chance stable, that the usual procedure will be carried out in her purchase of yearlings. These are bought with an eye to their usefulness in breeding should a mishap prevent them from, being raced successfully. It is customary for Smith and Combs to select 50 yearlings whose pedigrees are promising. The two then inspect the individuals for soundness, reducing the num.- ber to 25. From this lot Mrs. Graham picks those she fancies. Combs says she has an almost infallible eye for winners. Among yearlings bought by Mrs. Graham were such successful racers as Jet Pilot, War Jeep, Star Pilot. War Date, Knockdown and Colony Boy. Mr. Busher was purchased as a foal. Combs believes that the crop of 23 yearlings to be sold from Spendthrift at the Keeneland sales this summer is the best yet. Most interest just now centers on an Alibhai— Boudoir II. filly who is a full sister to Your Host. A half-brother to Myrtle Charm, by Jet Pilot — Crepe Myrtle, already is evoking keen comment. These will vie in demand with two Alibhai colts from Painted Veil and Belle Cane. Two fillies by the same stallion are from Distaff and Lynn. A Bull Lea filly from Devil Dancer is a nicely proportioned miss. Impulsive is the dam of a Bernborough filly, who should command attention. A filly by War Relic — Moonflower, is a handsome youngster. Believing the adage about not putting all the eggs in one basket, Combs prefers the syndicate system for stallions. With the fine array of sires on hand at Spendthrift and Combs* constant search to secure top young mares there is always a good chance that Spendthrifts owner will parallel the success of his great grandfather, Daniel Swigert, who owned the 1877 Kentucky Derby winner, Baden Baden, and bred the 1881 winner, Hindoo; the 1882 winner, Apollo, and the 1886 winner, Ben AIL

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1950050201/drf1950050201_4_3
Local Identifier: drf1950050201_4_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800