May 1, 2005

Courtesy of our good friend Dom Rebelo and his video magic you’ll soon be able to see highlight races of McArdle and Red River Hanover on our website. Got a hunch that ultimately this particular crop of colts comprising McArdle, Red River, Art Major, Mach Three, Royal Mattjesty Three Olives and the ill fated Western Shooter will be considered among the more competitive on record.

Call the Beach Boys!. Better yet call Kathleen LaMontagne! Good Vibrations the Presidential Ball sister to Figure The Odds and Unspoken (who just won her 3-year-old debut in 1:52.4) just dropped a really nice Artiscape colt, a three quarter brother in blood to that fast pair. Kathleen you’ll want to see this guy…

Jack Parker’s impressive Dream Vacation colt WILDWOOD DAYS (Flash Of Dignity) has been in about 2:10 so we hear and looks terrific doing it. He’s not the only Dream Vacation attracting attention at the training camps these days. This colt is a half brother to Robin Schadt’s Enjoy Lavec 4-y-o Joyardee who’s now reached the open level out at Balmoral.

On the topic of alumni-starting to notice that Mattscape Seelster (Artiscape-Mattjestic) has at least a tad of ability having won a few races at Woodbine, the latest in 1:52 He was in-utero when we sold the daughter of Matt’s Scooter-Nadia Lobell at Harrisburg in 2001.

George Berkner trainer of the good Jate Lobell stakes filly Sugar Glider mentioned that Savannah Sky (Artiscape-Armbro Savannah) winner of her qualifier in 1:55 on Friday could be “another of those Artiscape fillies that’s how good she looked”. Being a half sister to Georgia Pacific certainly gives her a license you would think. Chris Ryder trains this Perretti bred 3-year-old.

Really nice to see all that dialogue concerning Rainbow Blue’s positioning on the list of great mares. Suffice to say at this point she is indeed among them. Also good to see mention of Countess Adios who did win two of three Triple Crown legs in 1960 beating colts like Bullet Hanover, Muncy Hanover, Dancer Hanover etc in the process. Don’t recall if she ever got above the Junior Free For All level in her aged form.

Back then there was a distinct difference between Free For All and Junior Free For All with promotion only occurring on the basis of merit not the hodge podge of terminology prevalent today. Therefore when Dotties Pick and Belle Acton were beating real free-for-allers it definitely set them apart from the other mares.

In addition older mares were classified to their abilities and a class A1 mare would be primarily facing male rivals as they seldom ran races exclusively for older distaffers . There were many outstanding mares like Quick Lady, Evalina Byrd, Reba Byrd, Harrys Laura, Glad Rags to name a few who could compete at the AA and sometimes JFA levels but were not real free-for-allers.

In later years, Miss Conna Adios and Sunnie Tar were excellent mares. Miss Conna Adios was a terror on the Liberty Bell-Brandywine circuit and did beat some rather prominent male rivals.

Silk Stockings, Tarport Hap, Handle With Care and Meadow Blue Chip all had their moments in the 70’s. Silk was certainly in a league with Countess Adios as a 3-year-old. Silk’s main rival Tarport Hap emerged as a perhaps a standard for all aged mares to be measured against beating male free-for-allers on multiple occasions.

Which leads to such modern day amazons as Fan Hanover Miss Easy, Shady Daisy, Eternal Camnation Bunny Lake and now Rainbow Blue. Be interesting to watch it play out for the Artiscape–Vesta Blue Chip daughter this year.

It wasn’t mentioned but Countess Adios was an Adios sister to the horse that virtually changed the pacing breed. Meadow Skipper! Which puts the dam Countess Vivian amongst the all time great broodmares.

Oh and Hodge Podge (Hodgen-Lady Scotland) was about a class A2 pacing sister to Breath O Spring that one most revered for champion sons Race Time and Storm Damage. Another sterling Lady Scotland offspring was Harold J whose daughter Oxford Mary Ann gave us the still all time fastest harness horse in Cambest!

Hodge Podge herself had but two foals. Fortunately one of them was Prelude Lobell dam of Pammy Lobell, Peter Lobell and numerous others of considerable stature.

There was discussion of outstanding broodmares in a recent print article. In there noticed the name Way Wave, a champion racemare though hardly distinguished as a broodmare except in the second generation. Way Wave, obviously a problem producer had but four foals the first two in 1964 and 1965 and the latter pair in 1975 and 1978. The first two by the Tar Heel stallion Painter were the unraced but extremely productive Reflection and Seascape. Reflection threw Striking Image and Mirror Image to Strike Out and True Duane while Seascape spent some time with Shadow Wave accounting for Shadow Star and Real Hilarious. The latter of course is the dam of Makin Smiles, who appears in contemporary pedigrees via son Die Laughing and other producing daughters.

Have to agree with Murray Brown that Romola Hanover and Evensong might top just about any list. Romola Hanover provided no less than three generational champions in Romeo Hanover, Romulous Hanover and Romalie Hanover all by Dancer Hanover. Romola Hanover’s legacy is still very evident today through granddaughter Rodine Hanover dam of Real Artist and contemporary broodmare stars World Order and Perfect Profile, they dams of Worldly Beauty and Art Major respectively.

Evensong produced the significant sires Victory Song, Gay Song, Peter Song, Mighty Song and Down Under based Flying Song. Also broodmares Scotch Song dam of Hambletonian champion Lusty Song, and Love Song dam of the noted Hoot Song although her greatest achievement might have been her exceptional though ill fated Hambletonian winning son Volo Song.

The name Margaret Spangler deserves mention as she had four Volomite sons who became stallions of some stature they being Kings Counsel, Chief Counsel, Blackstone and Attorney.

Don’t recall seeing Rich N Elegant mentioned either, Rich N Elegant is arguably the most prominent amongst all active contemporary pacing broodmares credited with such notables as Royal Flush Hanover, Rustler Hanover, hot Illinois sire Richess Hanover, North American Cup winner Red River Hanover and the world’s fastest 2-year-old Rock N Roll Hanover.

Did see the name Somolli who is certainly deserving of inclusion at that level. Interesting thing about Somolli is that she produced 14 foals to the same stallion Speedy Crown. Is that a record David Carr?

Don’t know about you but to this corner the major area of contemporary concern is the erosion of the fan base and with it a noticeable evaporation of the owners pool.

Most owners tend to be fans before actually gravitating to ownership.

Not so sure we concur with this uninviting of Mr. Muscleman by the Elitlopp officialdom. After all the horse was not involved in the Noel Daley incident and surely some other accommodations could have been made just as other arrangements get done when leading jockeys and drivers with “days” are forced to miss major events..

Mr. Muscleman is about $30,000 shy of the $2 Million mark and at this point does appear to be the leading aged trotter on our side of the pond.

Tain’t criticism and should not be construed as such but it is an observation concerning multiple recalls and frequent equipment repairs a post time. Perhaps the captive trackside audience has little alternative but to sit and endure but those in simulcast and RTN land do have other options and undoubtedly will exercise them.

Hey Jeff Snyder. Nice Red River Hanover colt from Myrna’s Jackpot. Paula’s Promise should drop her Red River baby any day now.

Seen a couple of Real Desire’s from Artiscape mares and they look rather interesting. It does set up a 3x4 line breed right to Abercrombie via Life Sign and Artiscape which almost always proves a good number. Won’t know how it’ll work for a couple of years but judging from other 3x4’s would expect it to be just fine.

More next week.

Bob Marks



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