In The Blue Grass: Maine Chance to Sell Yearlings at Keeneland; Thirteen Colts and Seven Fillies in Consignment; Concentration of Breeding Periods Deplored, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-14


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In The Blue Grass By Hugh J. McGuire Maine Chance to Sell Yearlings at Keeneland Thirteen Colts and Seven Fillies in Consignment Concentration of Breeding Periods Deplored LEXINGTON, Ky., May 13.— Records of past years indicate very definitely that when regular and prominent consignments are absent for any reason from the summer or fall sales at Keeneland they are replaced with almost uncanny regularity by a group or groups which fill the gap admirably if somewhat unexpectedly. It has happened repeatedly and this year is no exception. This year, the Crown Crest yearlings were dispersed privately and the Mere-worth Farm group has been transferred to Saratoga for auction. Added to the Keeneland summer sales catalog are 20 roy ally-bred yearlings from the Maine Chance Farm of Mrs. Elizabeth N. Graham. There are 13 colts and seven fillies in this consignment and they were bred and raised originally for the Maine Chance racing stable. It is not often that choice members of the Maine Chance nursery are available for purchase. The produce of this farm consistently has gone to the racing stable. The last and only time that Maine Chance has had representation in the Keeneland summer sales was in 1955 when a half-dozen colts and fillies were offered. This year sales company vice-president George Swine-broad personally chose the 20 to be catalogued from the full-crop at the farm and he didnt miss any top numbers. There is no secret of Mrs. Grahams reluctance to part with her beloved young stock but the operation of a nursery of the magnitude of Maine Chance sometimes makes this mandatory. Actually, the distribution of a farms best horses to other owners often results beneficially to the vendor. Excellent Matron Representation Sires of the Maine Chance yearlings to be auctioned are Jet Pilot, Jet Jewel, War Admiral, Royal Charger, Gun Shot, Botticelli, Mr. Busher, Alibhai, Arctic Prince, and Ace Admiral. This is an impressive list of. stallions but from the farms select mares comes at least equal strength. Among the three mares by Alibhai is Miss Busher, a half sister to Jet Action. Beaugay, by Stimulus, was leading juvenile filly of her year. Six daughters of Mr. Busher includes the stakes winners Incidentally and Fantine Busher. Silence n., dam of the farms stallion Gun Shot, is dam of a sales filly by Alibhai. There are many others equally impressive. The sudden, unexpected death of the 10-year-old stallion Agitator n. at- Darby Dan Farm last Sunday may result in placing double parentage on the foals of some of the mares he -had served. Apparently quite healthy, the young stallion was found to have had an enlarged heart. Although stallions, like people, die of heart ailments, such deaths are not frequent in young horses and it might be permissable to wonder if the concentration by regulation of breeding periods in this country might be a contributing factor in such deaths. A popular stallion, regardless of the size of his stud fee, finds his services condensed into three months, usually with a saturation peak period within that time. Some time ago and with some trepidation, this space questioned the perfection of the January 1 national birth date for all foals. It was pointed out that such a date uselessly concentrates breeding and the arrival of foals in periods that are something less than climatically ideal. It was also ventured that the only apparent reason for the continuance of the January 1 date was custom, as imported from Europe where people drive on the left side of the road. To be sure, a change might work an inconvenience on European breeders but are American regulations made for them or for the breeders of this country? The nations south of the equator where seasons are reversed have their own time schedules. No Opposition; No Action Somewhat to our surprise, no one in the Blue Grass laughed at the suggestion, at least not within earshot. But no one did very much about it either although there were conferences relative to easing the strict adherence to the January 1 deadline. This would not spread the breeding period. The way some things are done "over ome" is not necessarily the best method for this country. There is some hope through The Jockey Clubs research on equine blood types that the foals of some of the mares served primarily by Agitator n. will not be obliged to carry double parentage identification. The recent running of the 1,000 Guineas was of particular interest to John Hay Whitney, U. S. Ambassador to Britain. Bob Green, manager of Whitneys Greentree Stud, advises that the farms mares include Persian Garden, a sister to the dam of the winner, Petite Etoile; Rose Coral, dam of the second place Rosalba; and Teh-riva, sister to the dam of Paraguana who was third. Two excellent producers at Greentree are to be retired. Piquet, by St. Germans and dam of Capot and several other good winners is to be relieved of her duties. She is 22 and has a filly foal by Tom Fool. Blade of Time, 21, has also earned a life of ease. By Sickle, she is the dam of stakes winners, Ruddy, Blue Border, Guillotine, Bymeabond and others. The early threat of a preponderance of filly foals at Greentree dissolved when 11 of the last 15 foals to arrive were colts. This brings the foal score to 15 colts, 17 fillies and five yet to arrive.

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