*Rough Shod II
Gambetta, Moccasin, Special, Thong
When A. B. "Bull" Hancock traveled to the Newmarket December Sales in 1951 to purchase four mares for various clients, the Hyperion matron *Hydrangea was the real apple of his eye. While Hydangea did top the sale, two of the other three mares which Hancock purchased, *Knight's Daughter and *Rough Shod II, would go on to greater glory.
In 1954 *Knight's Daughter produced eventual Horse of the Year and three-
The big, rangy mare was bred in England by Major H. S. Cayzer where she placed in a minor added-
Although Bull Hancock actually chose *Rough Shod II, owing no doubt to her inbreeding to St. Simon (a favorite pedigree pattern of the Claiborne master), she was first sold to T. M. Girdler for whom she produced her first five foals. One of these, a colt by Nantallah, was champion Ridan; another was stakes winner Ruffrullah, a 1955 daughter of *Nasrullah who dropped San Carlos Handicap second Riot. And a third was Gambetta, the foal by *My Babu which *Rough Shod II was carrying at the time of her importation.
Gambetta, too, became a stakes winner, annexing the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Susan Stakes as well as placing in Arlington Park's Pollyana Stakes. Her real worth, however, was as a broodmare.
In 1960, Girdler decided to sell Ridan (then a yearling) to Moody Jolley and partners for $11,000. Girdler also sold *Rough Shod II and Gambetta, to the partnership of Bull Hancock and William Haggin Perry.
*Rough Shod II's first foal for Claiborne was a full brother to Ridan, Lt. Stevens, who won three stakes and placed in several others, earning $240,949. Best known as a broodmare sire, Lt. Stevens achieved immortality when his daughter Bel Sheba produced double classic winner and Horse of the Year Alysheba.
In 1963, *Rough Shod II foaled her greatest racing daughter, Moccasin, a full sister to both Ridan and Lt. Stevens. A winner of $388,075 during her racing career, which included an unbeaten eight-
In 1964, *Rough Shod II again was bred to Nantallah and produced the stakes placed Thong, who has become one of the greatest broodmares of her time. Even counting only her son Thatch and her grandson Nureyev, Thong would be priceless, but her daughters are every bit as excellent as producers as their dam and granddam.
*Rough Shod II's last foal, Cleat, a colt by Sir Gaylord, was born April 18, 1965. Cleat did not win at the racetrack and died as a three year old. A few hours after foaling her last-
Recognition came late to *Rough Shod II and she was never named Broodmare of the Year. However, she is well deserving of the title of Reine-
Gambetta, *Rough Shod II's 1952 daughter by *My Babu has four main branches to her family: Gamely; Staretta, Zonah and Aphonia.
Gamely's branch was cursed with ill luck. She produced but two foals, Cellini and Gambling. Cellini, a son of Round Table, was second highweighted two year old in Ireland in 1973 but proved sterile at stud. Gambling, a full sister to Cellini, unfortunately produced nothing of note.
Other branches of Gambetta's family have fared better. Staretta, a 1957 Dark Star filly, was a hardy racemare who made 53 starts and won two stakes. Possessed of excellent speed, Staretta set a track record in the Colonial Handicap in 1961 and also set a five furlong record at Laurel.
As a broodmare, Staretta's best produce is the twin Star Strewn (by Native Dancer), dam of the *Forli filly Asteroid Field, a Group winner in Europe and winner of the Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park in the U.S.
Zonah, Gambetta's 1958 *Nasrullah filly, is her best producing daughter. A stakes-
Drumtop made a career of beating colts and defeated champions like Ft. Marcy at the top of her game. Among her best foals were the fine runner and sire Topsider; classic placed Brogan and Bedford and stakes placed War Of Words. Topsider, by Northern Dancer, now has a good sire son in Europe named Salse whose blood is as much a tribute to *Rough Shod II as to his more famous Northern Dancer cross.
Zonely's best offspring is Hollywood Derby winner Victory Zone by Val de l'Orne, who was exported to stand at stud in New Zealand. However, her two daughters, Georgie by Damascus and Zeal by Round Table, both are stakes producers. Georgie foaled Tempted Stakes winner Surely Georgie's and Zeal produced Homeowner, Group II placed in Ireland.
Finally from Staretta's branch comes Alphonia, a daughter of Dunce who won only $2600 at the races but foaled such good horses as Cutlass, Sitzmark, George Spelvin, Messina and the fine producer daughter Nosey Nan (by Nantallah). Nosey Nan is reponsible for stakes winners Regal Rumor, Table The Rumor, and No Cabeza.
There may be some argument as to whether Moccasin or Thong is the best producer, but there is no argument about which was the best runner. Indeed, Moccasin was that rarest of commodities, a great racehorse who became a great broodmare. To this day, no one can duplicate her. She remains the lone two year old filly to be voted Horse of the Year (an honor she shared with Roman Brother); at stud she produced nine foals, seven stakes winner and two champions (Chef-
To no one's surprise, two of Moccasin's daughters, Flippers by Coastal and Scuff by *Forli, both stakes winners themselves, are now stakes producers. Flippers produced the Grade I-
By the time Thong came along, her future as a broodmare was pretty well acknowledged. Other daughters of *Rough Shod II who had gone before had assured her of access to the world's best stallions. That she also was talented enough as a runner to be stakes placed in good races like the Selima and Alcibiades, was merely icing on the cake.
Thong's first foal was the Irish champion colt Thatch (by *Forli) who has become a good stallion in Europe. Now possessed of a good siring son in Thatching who himself has a good sire son in Tirol to carry on, Thatch may be responsible for keeping *Forli's male line alive.
Thong's 1972 foal, the brilliant classic-
Thong's next two foals, Espadrille by Damascus and Lisadell by *Forli were both good racehorses who became good producers. Espadrille won stakes and was Grade III placed. Her daughter Pump by *Forli has produced the Nijinsky II stakes winner Classic Sport and Swiss Derby winner Filao Beach while Lisadell won a Group III stakes and produced stakes winner and leading Australian sire Yeats (by Nijinsky II) and Group I National Stakes winner Fatherland (who broke down and was destroyed in the U.S.) as well as stakes winner Golden Dome, by Golden Fleece. In addition, Lisadell foaled the stakes placed Secretariat filly Rosa Mundi, dam of Del Mar Handicap winner Sword Dance (by Nijinsky II), who is showing early signs of being a fine sire representative for the family. This year, Sword Dance's best runner is the Hollywood Derby winner Marlin.
In 1969 Thong produced the *Forli filly Special who was unplaced in her only career start. However, Special saved her best for her career in the breeding shed.
Her first foal was champion miler and Chef-
Special's Nijinsky II filly Bound, a three-
Thong's best daughter, Fairy Bridge (by Bold Reason) came along in 1975. In addition to being a pretty smart racemare (she was highweighted at two on the Irish Free Handicap), Fairy Bridge has been a wondrous producer.
Her first foal, Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) was second highweight on the Irish Free Handicap at two, and champion miler in France at three. His major victories included the Irish Two Thousand Guineas, Champion Stakes, and the Coral-
Fairy Bridge foaled three other stakes winners, all by Northern Dancer: Tate Gallery, a Group I winner and second highweight on the Irish Free Handicap at two in 1985; Puppet Dance, a minor stakes winner; Fair Gold, a Group II winner who was Group I placed and Fairy King, a flop at the racetrack but sire of champion miler Turtle Island and 1996 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Helissio. Fairy Bridge also produced a stakes placed Nijinsky II filly, Fairy Dancer.
A word about *Rough Shod II's own pedigree is in order. The big, coarse mare, was bred on a pattern sure to catch the eye of Bull Hancock -
One Thousand Guineas winner Manganese is present three times via a double of her St. Leger-
Other crosses which *Rough Shod II carried were a double of speed influence Orby via her sire Gold Bridge and a double of Isinglass, scion of the Blenheim II line, via her dam Dalmary. Dalmary also supports three crosses of Isonomy on her own. Bend Or and Hermit are also doubled in the sixth generation.
Obviously, the majority of bloodlines which *Rough Shod II possessed were either classic or stamina-
While classic bloodlines are normally suited to a variety of sire lines, the quality of *Rough Shod II's produce by Nantallah and *My Babu serve as proof that she was best served by breeding to speed. Obviously, *Rough Shod II's own classic strength blended well with this quick, precocious blood and in so blending allowed her foals to become American classics. In Europe, she might have been bred to plodders and she could well have faded into oblivion if that had occurred.
What makes such a thought a tragedy is the strength of her family world-
These, then, are the high points of *Rough Shod II's contributions to date. The nice thing about a dynasty is that it keeps on building. Just since the original article was written on this mare in 1992, the Special branch has grown to include a major sire in Fairy King and the Lisadell branch has a major stallion prospect coming along nicely in Sword Dance. But Special in particular catches the eye. She has three world-
Oddly enough, neither Rough Shod II or any of her three great daughters—Moccasin, Gambetta or Thong—were ever named Broodmares of the Year. However, there are other honors. And we bestowed such honors in naming them, along with granddaughter Special, as Reines-