Bloodlines Presented By No-No Cribbing Collar: Maggie B.B. Was An All-Time Classic-Producing Broodmare - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Bloodlines Presented By No-No Cribbing Collar: Maggie B.B. Was An All-Time Classic-Producing Broodmare

The field for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf makes its way around the Keeneland turf course

Perched in time, as we are, between the second and third classics of the American Triple Crown, and within sneezing distance of the Derby at Epsom, racing fans can look back in wonder at one of the greatest broodmares in the breed, Maggie B.B. (by Australian), who produced a winner of each of these races.

A chestnut foal of 1867, Maggie B.B. is the dam of 1879 Preakness winner Harold (Leamington) and of the 1884 Belmont Stakes winner Panique (Alarm).

In between those U.S. classic winners, Maggie B.B. achieved her greatest fame from her sixth foal, Harold's full brother Iroquois. He became the first American-bred winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom and the St. Leger at Doncaster in 1881. Winner also of the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot and of the St. James's Palace Stakes, Iroquois was a versatile and high-class racer owned by Pierre Lorillard.

The proud owner brought his star racer back to his homeland, and Iroquois stood initially at Lorillard's Rancocas Stud in New Jersey. Then, in 1886, Lorillard dispersed most of his bloodstock, and for $20,000, Iroquois was sold to William H. Jackson and moved to his Belle Meade Stud in Tennessee. There, Iroquois achieved his greatest successes at stud and became leading general sire in 1892; the stallion died there in 1899 at age 21 and was buried at Belle Meade.

Iroquois's dam was foaled in Kentucky, and Maggie B.B. was bred by James B. Clay Jr., a grandson of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. The filly was a stakes winner at two and three. At the close of her racing career, she was sold for $1,800 to Aristides Welch in 1870 and moved to live at his Erdenheim Stud, located at Chestnut Hills near Philadelphia. There, Welch bred each of Maggie B.B.'s three classic winners, and the first two were sired by Leamington, whom Welch had purchased in the fall of 1869 and moved to Erdenheim. There, Leamington became the leading general sire in America in 1875, 1877, 1879, and 1881.

The mare's first foal of note was Harold, owned by George Lorillard, Pierre's brother. Harold's trainer Wyndham Walden said the colt was the most talented racehorse he ever had. Harold was a fast and precocious juvenile, winning multiple stakes at two, then training on to win the Preakness at three. Afterward, however, Harold began to bleed when he raced and won only once more, although he was second in the Lorillard Stakes and third in the Travers.

Sent to stud, Harold died in 1881 at age five after only one full season at stud.

A dark brown colt with a striking blaze, Iroquois was sold privately as part of a group of Erdenheim yearlings to both George and Pierre Lorillard. They divided the yearlings between themselves, and Pierre Lorillard shipped Iroquois and others to England for racing, where he won four of his races at two, then trained on to place second to Peregrine in the 1881 2,000 Guineas. The great jockey Fred Archer got the ride on the Lorillard's colt for the Epsom classic and rode Iroquois to victory in the Derby.

The degree and breadth of fame that Iroquois earned with his victories abroad is difficult to fathom today, when international accomplishments are relatively commonplace. Iroquois was the first; he broke the ground so coveted by others. And the horse was paid with lasting fame.

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There is even an Iroquois Stakes run at Churchill Downs for juveniles. Maggie B.B.'s fame was scarcely less than her famous son's. And when the mare was barren in 1882, she and her yearling son by Alarm (Panique), as well as the entirety of Welch's stud, were sold to the Kittson Brothers, Norman and James.

The Kittsons raced Panique successfully, then sold him to the Dwyer Brothers, Phil and Mike, for $14,000 on the eve of the 1884 Belmont Stakes. The dashing chestnut colt won the race, becoming the third classic winner for his dam. He became increasingly difficult to manage, however, and was retired in 1885. Panique went to stud, but, aside from a reputation for being difficult to handle, he accomplished little.

The same cannot be said for his older full sister, Red and Blue, who was a winner but achieved her true measure of fame as a broodmare. The lovely chestnut mare became the conduit to the future for most of Maggie B.B.'s female line.

From Red and Blue came Sallie McClelland (Alabama Stakes), Handicap Triple Crown winner Whisk Broom, champions Top Flight and Blue Peter, classic winners Crusader (1926 Belmont) and Timber Country (Preakness), as well as more recent international stars Dubai Millennium and Enable.

Welch bred Red and Blue, as well as Maggie B.B.'s classic winners, the Hall of Fame racer Parole (a winner of 53 races and also a son of Leamington), and stood the great sire Leamington. From the latter important sire comes one further piece of the breeder's historic legacy. Welch's fellow sportsman H. Price McGrath named a chestnut son of Leamington for his friend, and in 1875, McGrath's colt Aristides became the winner of the first Kentucky Derby.

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