Sires and Dams: Blood of St. Simon Powerful in America Name Found in Pedigrees of Top Racers Selenes Sons, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-15


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Derby Derby or or the the St. St. SIRES AND DAMS *" By Nelson Dunstan Blood of St. Simon Powerful in America Name Found in Pedigrees of Top Racers Selenes Sons Exerted Great Influence Excessive Inbreeding Caused His Decline NEW YORK, N. Y., May 13. Before- the running of the Kentucky Derby we analyzed the pedigrees of the three-year-olds who would compete and did so as a result of a splendid article which our friend, A. S. Hewitt, had had written written on on "St. "St. Simon Simon — — An An Astonishing Astonishing had had written written on on "St. "St. Simon Simon — — An An Astonishing Astonishing Record." In that article the Virginia breeder said, "There, is more of the blood of St. ~ Simon today in the American thoroughbred than there is of any other horse sirice the eighteenth century." On checking the facts we have to agree with him, and it becomes the more remarkable when it is recalled that St. Simon was never brought to the United States, nor did he ever have a worthwhile son come to this country. For years there has been controversy in England as to who was her greatest horse, and in these debates the name of St. Simon is emphasized, sized, even even though, though, he he was was not not a a starter starter in in the the name is emphasized, sized, even even though, though, he he was was not not a a starter starter in in the the Derby Derby or or the the St. St. Leger because his owner, Prince Batthyany.had died. In those days the death of an owner automatically cancelled a horses stake engagements. That was also true in the case of Challenger n., who came to this country to sire Challedon. Great as he must have been as a race horse, St, Simon was even greater as a sire, but, until we reviewed the facts, we did not realize the position he has come to occupy in thoroughbred pedigrees, especially American pedigrees. Whenever a great horse comes on the scene, there Is an immediate search to find the source of his extraordinary influence. There are race horses of merit who some-" times spring from obscurity, and such a horse was the great Hurry On, for his tail-female contained no broodmare of note for some nine or 10 generations, and his dam produced no other race horse of the slightest consequence or a daughter capable of carrying on the line. It was much the same with St. Simon, for his dam was a cheap mare both on the race course and in the stud. His sire, Galopin, was a Derby winner, but his pedigree was nothing to rave about, for he was by an 18-year-old sire out of a 19-year-old dam. Galopin had four full brothers and two full sisters. But none of them ever came within a shadow of him on the race course or in stud. Yet, the fact remains that St. Simon was "great" in all that the word implies, and he gave to such sons as Persimmon, Diamond Jubilee, St. Frusquin, William III. and others the spark that sent them to victory in the most important of all English races. His fillies were just as good as his colts, and it was the daughters who were to make such an impression on the American breeding structure. Rock Sand spent the major portion of his life in the United States, but his male line is held in little esteem in this country. He was by Sainfoin, out of Roquebrune, a daughter of St. Simon. It would take a book to cover thoroughly what daughters of St. Simon-line horses have accomplished in this country. Selene, a daughter of Chaucer, who was by St. Simon, sent two stallions, whose imprint will remain for. many years to come, to this country. They were Sickle and Pharamond H. In later years, Selene, when mated with Gainsborough, produced Hyperion, who is considered the greatest of modern-day English stallions. Hyperion, in turn, sent several of his sons to this country, and on the list must be included Pensive, Alibhai, Heliopolis, Radiotherapy and Khaled. But, even before their coming, two of the greatest stallions of all time arrived here who had the blood of St. Simon in their veins. They were Sir Gallahad HI. and Bull Dog, a pair whose influence will long be felt. Both Bull Dog and Sir Gallahad in. were by the great horse, Teddy, out of Plucky Liege, who was a daughter of Spearmint — Concertina, by St. Simon. St. Simon led the sire list nine times, but had he never produced a daughter beyond Concertina his fame would have been solidly established. While St. Simon had no famous sons come to this country, a study of the above paragraph is all that is necessary to indicate why his name shows so prominently in American pedigrees. Capot, who was horse of the year in 1949, has two crosses in his pedigree. In the male line we find the name of Selene, dam of Pharamond II., while his fourth dam was Felicity, a daughter of Rock Sand. Then there is Ponder, by Pensive, and again as .the dam of Hyperion, Selene earns another mention. Olympia, one of the best sprinters of the season, is a son of Heliopolis and through his son, Friar Rock,- Rock Sand is found in the pedigree of Two Lea, who is generally regarded the best mare in the handicap ranks today. While St. Simon is not in the immediate pedigrees of Bed o Roses or Middleground, he is prominent in the pattern of Oil Capitol, Theory, Wisconsin Boy, Hill Prince, Curtice and many of the sophomores running this season, and also in many seasons preceding this one. It will be the same next, year, for many of the sires and dams of our two-year-olds have a pedigree which traces back within five removes to the great son of Galopin. The St. Simon line died in England about 15 yearff ago and, strangely enough, the same phenomenon occurred in this country in the case of Lexington. The "Blind Hero," who led the American sire list on 16 occasions, was the rage in this country, but his male line failed here, and from that day there has been speculation as to whether inbreeding was not the cause of the sudden decline. History repeated itself in the case of St. Simon. For a time, English breeders wanted no horse but this sire, who had been the greatest since the days of Stockwell. Considerable* is written about the advantages of inbreeding, but some of our most noted breeders claim that more harm than good is done by close inbreeding of horses of the same blood. Abe Hewitt asks, "If inbreeding is an advantage, why -did these famous lines eventually fade out?" The passing of St. Simons male line in England makes it- the more remarkable that his name is one of the most powerful to be. found in the pedigrees of so many of present champions racing in this country.

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