Needles Can Establish Derby Line: Sire Ponder, and Grandsire, Pensive, Won Downs Race; In Addition, Latter Traces in Tail-Male Line to Hyperion And Gainsborough, Epsom Derby Winners; Score Would Equal Reigh Count-Count Fleet-Count Turf Victory Line, Daily Racing Form, 1956-05-05


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Photo by Meadors MeadorsPONDER PONDER Sire of Needles favorite for todays Derby renewal and himself the winner of the 1949 running of the Louisville classic Needles Can Establish Derby Line Sire Ponder and Grandsire Pensive Won Downs Race RaceIn In Addition Latter Traces in ToilMale Line to Hyperion And Gainsborough Epsom Derby Winners Score Would Equal Reigh CountCount FleetCount Turf Victory Line LineBy By LEON RASMUSSEN RASMUSSENAt At this time shortly before the eightysecond running of the Ken ¬ tucky Derby Reigh Count Count Fleet and Count Turf stand out boldly and uniquely as the only grandsire sire and son combination to have won this great race However this afternoon along about 434 CDT they may have to move over and make room for company Should D H Stables stretchdriving Needles win the Rose Run he will loin Count Turf as a winning son his sire Ponder will join Count Fleet as a winning sire and his grandsire Pensive will join Reigh Count as a winning grandsire Ponder won the Derby in 1949 for Calumet five years after Pensive had taken Americas No 1 racing prize for the same stable stableActually Actually should Needles prove successful the Derby heritage he will be expanding will have it on Reigh Count Count Fleet and Count Turf for his classic patrimony bridges the Atlantic and adds two more Derby winners these in England in the worlds oldest and most cherished Derby Hyperion and Gainsborough Hyperion Pensives sire captured the father of the Derbys in 1933 while his sire Gainsbor ¬ ough took a wartime running in 1918 Thus a victory by Needles today would make him fifth in a tailmale Derby line uniting two of the most difficult and desirable fixtures in the world to win Re ¬ search fails to uncover any similar or comparable dynastic succession to this golden classic thread that is weaving itself so durably into the fabric of the worlds most notable races for threeyearolds the Epsom Derby circa 1780 and the Ken ¬ tucky Derby circa 1875 1875Madden Madden Dissenter From Theory TheoryWhile While most breeders believe that the dam generally exerts the greater influence on the foal the epigrammatic John E Madden who bred four Kentucky Derby winners Old Rosebud Paul Jones Zev and Flying Ebony was a highly successful dis ¬ senter His contention was that the sire was the stronger influence In substantia ¬ tion of Maddens theory is his own excep ¬ tional record as a breeder and today were he alive he might justifiably point to the running style which won Pensive his Derby Ponder his and which has characterized Needles races to date datePensive Pensive on that May 6 1944 wartime afternoon was thirteenth of 16 at the half but with stubby Conn McCreary stroking his chestnut hide he unleashed an irre ¬ pressible drive from there on finally pull ¬ ing away to win by four and onehalf lengths from Broadcloth and the favored Stir Up in 204 over a good track Ponder his son coincidentally won the Diamond Jubilee running of the Derby in 1949 in identical time 204as And he did it hi much the same style as his sire After threequarters he had but two horses beat ¬ en and was still some 10 lengths off the flying Olympia In the final searching quartermile Atkinson asked Capot to take the leader and the eventual Horse of the Year responded willingly and shot into command but Ponder with Steve Brooks up was now under full sail and his determined bid was as explosive and as furious and as insupressible as that un ¬ corked by his sire five years earlier With only a sixteenth to go he had collared Capot and he swirled away to a convincing threelength triumph triumphPonders Ponders 204 was run over a fast track as opposed to Pensives identical time on a good one However this slow Derby rather than indicting Ponder once ank alized freed his ability for all to appre ¬ ciate First Olympia with Arcara and then Capot with Atkinson were rated in front cleverly by their superb riders but despite this false pace the latecharging Ponder who would most benefit from a murderous pace caught the pacesetters and drew away running a final quarter in 24 the hallmark of a truly classic colt when done at the business end of a mile and onequar ¬ ter terPensive Pensive who was to die most regret tably after but a brief stur career came to this country in utero his dam Penicuik H by Buchan having been bred to Hy ¬ perion before she left Englands shores It was the venerable Arthur B Hancock Sr of Claiborne Farm who purchased Penicuik n from Lord Astor and directed she be sent to the immortal Lord Derby stallion Shortly after Penicuik II arrived in this country the late Warren Wright master of Calumet who had purchased Dustwhirl from Hancock and bred Whirlaway Cal ¬ umets first Derby winner obtained Pen ¬ icuik n from Hancock and had the almost unbelievable good fortune to have her pre ¬ sent him with his second Derby winner Pensive Hyperions Influence in Bloodstock BloodstockThere There is no need to dwell on Pensives sure Hyperion That amazing little gentle ¬ man is already a legend in his own time and the most influential individual in world bloodstock But Pensives tail female side of the three is also of classic tones He dscends from Conjure one of the late Lord Astors foundation mares In fact Conjure foaled in 1895 was the dam of Winkipop who in winning the One Thou ¬ sand Guineas gave Lord Astor his first classic success Winkipop in turn foaled to the cover of Polymelus Plymstock and Plymstock a winner to Hurry On con ¬ ceived Pennycomequick winner of the classic Oaks Pennycomequick when re ¬ tired became dam of Penicuik n dam of Pensive PensivePonder Ponder not only boasts a remarkable Derby background through his tailmale antecedents but through his unraced dam Miss Rushin as well This matron is by Blenheim n winner of the Epsom Derby in 1930 and sire of Mahmoud winner of the Epsom Derby in 1936 of Whirlaway winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1941 and of Jet Pilot winner of the same race in 1947 Miss Rushins dam Lady Erne was by Sir Gallahad m sire of Gallant Fox a Triple Crown winner and sure of Triple Crown winner Omaha Gallahadion and Hoop Jr winners of the Kentucky Derby in 1930 1940 and 1945 respectively respectivelyThen Then there is Needles The classic win ¬ ners that are funneled into his pedigree through his sire have been noted But what of his dams side Noodle Soup his dam was a moderate winner but she has be ¬ haved exemplary as a broodmare her first two foals Menolene and Needles being ma ¬ jor stakes winners And what about her sire Jack High This son of Man o Wars antagonist John P Grier was one of the three best twoyearold of 1928 winning the Hopeful from no less an adversary than Blue Larkspur In 1930 when generously weighted with only 110 pounds by Hand icapper Vosburgh Jack High won the Metropolitan Mile from Balko in 135 the first time in American competition that figure had been attained Numbered among his stakes victims was the great Equipoise who later lowered his mile record Jack High was an ornament to the eye and a colt of intense class While most of his get represented speed his daughter High Fleet in 1936 won the Fillies Belmont the Coaching Club American Oaks at a mile and three furlongs Thus Needles in ¬ heritance even through his dam does not deny him the right to win classics classicsSo So let us turn to todays Derby There is real drama Is Needles to give it another breeding triumvirate at the expense of Calumet Farm which owned and bred both his sire and grandsire grandsireLet Let us see

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