*Bebop II

Introduction

There may be a million stories in the Naked City, but there are just as many in the study of Thoroughbred family lines.  *Bebop II, our current subject, caught our attention some years ago with our introduction to the late Hatchet Man.

We were already in love with his sire, The Axe II –  a truly gorgeous animal.  But Hatchet Man was a law unto himself.  At Greentree Stud where we “met”, nearly all the stallions were extraordinary in one way or other (Stage Door Johnny’s groom used to sit on him like a big chair).  Still, Hatchet Man stood out – and we’ve never been fond of greys.  So a grey has to be truly exceptional to catch our eye.

Hatchet Man was not only a superior racehorse, but he was easily the friendliest Thoroughbred stallion we’ve ever met.  We’ve said it before – given half a chance and a smaller size, we believe he’d have gotten in the car with us like a stray kitten and just come home with us.

Then last year, when Giacomo won the Derby, it did not escape our attention that he picked up a cross of The Axe II from sire Holy Bull and he also had Hatchet Man’s half brother, Stop The Music, for a broodmare sire.  All that plus our affection for champion filly Yank’s Music and we finally decided we better dust off the folder in our “to do” box that said *Bebop II.  And so here we are.

Background

*Bebop II was bred in France by Robert Forget.  The bay daughter of Prince Bio and the Le Capucin mare Cappellina was twice stakes placed.  She ran third in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and also placed in the Haverhill Stakes.  Although she did not win an important stake herself, she was sired by a classic winner out of a mare by a classic winner and thus fit the pattern of the “international outcross” with which Claiborne Farm found so much success.  To that end, she was imported to the U. S. and spent her entire lifetime at Greentree Stud where her worth was apparent almost immediately.

Top Notch Parents

*Bebop II’s sire, Prince Bio, was bred by Willy Head and was a classic winner in France, taking the 1944 French 2000 Guineas.  He suffered a career-ending injury in that race, so our only knowledge of how far he could run was his one other major win, the 1 5/16 mi. Prix Daru.

As good as he appeared to be as a racehorse, he was even better at stud, his career no doubt having been helped along by his new owner, Prince Aly Khan.  At stud, he led the sire list in France in 1951 and he sired two leading sires, Prince Taj and Sicambre.   Prince Taj had every right to succeed at stud, being out of *Nasrullah’s full sister Malindi.  Among his best runners were Taj Dewan, Rajput Princess and Petrone, the last named sire of 1989 Eclipse Award-winning turf mare, Brown Bess.

Sicambre was tail-female to Saperlipopette and got any number of good runners including Sicalade, the dam of *Sea-Bird; Irish Oaks winner Ambergris; D. C. International and French Derby second Diatome; Prix Lupin winner Roi Dagobert and Belmont victor Celtic Ash to name just a few.

*Bebop II’s dam, Cappellina by French Derby winner Le Capucin, was already a stakes producer, foaling Prix Jean Prat winner La Varende by St. Simon-line Blue Moon; Sun Cap an English Oaks winner by Teddy-line Sunny Boy (he from the Garron Lass family); and stakes placed Casque D’or by Hyperion-line Buisson D’Or, third in the Grand Prix De Bordeaux.

And A Triple Crown Double

As good as *Bebop II’s parents were, her inbreeding was even more intriguing.  She was inbred to two horses, Perth and Flying Fox, that won Triple Crowns in France and England respectively.

Perth won the Poule D’Essai Des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and the Prix Royal Oak (pretty much acknowledged as the French St. Leger).  Then, for good measure, he threw in the Grand Prix De Paris.

The other Triple Crown winner to which *Bebop II was inbred was Flying Fox (this supported only by her dam).  Flying Fox won the more traditional English Triple Crown of the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby Stakes and St. Ledger.

Both had intricate pedigrees, but Perth was most fascinating in that he was Galopin-line like St. Simon and was inbred to Galopin’s paternal grandsire Voltigeur (Voltaire-Martha Lynn) and his full sister Volley in the same generation at 5 x 5.  He was from the same family and was inbred to Newminster x4.  His fifth dam, Honeysuckle, was a full sister to Newminster.

Flying Fox brought in a compliment to St. Simon’s bottom side, as Perth had done with his sire line.  He was sired by Orme, a son of St. Simon’s full sister Angelica.

The Road Not Taken

All told, this mare had as intricate and intriguing pedigree as any we’ve ever seen.  And to top things off she even descended from the same family (No. 11) as St. Simon.

Both traced to the foundation mare of the line, Snake Mare (1713), but the family lines went off in different directions via half sisters Jeroba (family 11-C) and Young Camilla (family 11-G).  Jeroba owes much of her greatness to St. Angela, the dam of St. Simon and Angelica.  The family today is scattered over a wide area and has branches busy at work in such diverse areas as Japan and Brazil.

Young Camilla, ancestress of the *Bebop II group, has planted roots here and afar as well, with kin like War Admiral and Precisionist to brag of, in addition to *Bebop II.

The Foundation Superstars

There are any number of important runners that grace this tail-female line, but for the sake of brevity, we will concentrate on Stop The Music, Hatchet Man, and Buckaroo and more recent stakes horses like Yanks Music and Vision and Verse, as well as the Mr. Prospector daughter Proflare who is doing a grand job of marshalling the family along in France.

Stop The Music was a year senior to Hatchet Man and was foaled in 1970, thus sharing the same crop as Secretariat, Sham and Forego, as well as Dahlia and Allez France. A winner of the G2 Dwyer and placed in such important events as the Travers and Met Mile, Stop The Music earned $448,922.  He remains an important footnote in Secretariat’s career, too, a most unwelcome one for Secretariat fans, as he was awarded the victory in the 1972 Champagne Stakes when Secretariat was disqualified.

Later, Stop The Music would blend with Secretariat’s three-quarter sister via the mare Quick Cure to sire a son that carried on the family line, Cure The Blues.  Another son who was a better runner, Temperence Hill, was champion of his age and sex a three when he won the Belmont, but did not breed on as well as Cure The Blues.

Today, Stop the Music lives on through Cure The Blues and via two very nicely-bred Seattle Slew-line horse named Doneraile Court and Golden Missile.  He also appears in the pedigree of Include, Silver Music and Souvenir Copy.

His daughters have produced not only Derby winner Giacomo but also Queen’s Court Queen and Mr. Purple, Music Prospector, Ballindaggin, Silver Music and Top Hit.

Stop The Music began his career at Greetree Stud and was later moved to Gainesway Farm ‘next door’ when that farm purchased some of the Greentree property.  He died in July of 2005 at the grand old age of 35, but with a job well done as his legacy.

Hatchet Man got far less interest during his racing days, and was slower to come to hand.  He won the G1 Widener and Haskell Handicaps (the latter over Forego, though getting a 24 pound weight concession), the G2 Dwyer and the Assault.  He also placed in the Jim Dandy Stakes and retired with 10 wins in 32 starts and earnings of $359,491.

He lived 10 years less than his famous half brother, too.  The personable grey started out his stallion’s life at Greentree and later was sold to Win Row Farm near Lebanon, Ohio, where he died of an apparent heart attack in April of 1996.  The handsome fellow did well in Ohio and finished third on that state’s stallion list the year of his passing.

Among the best runners sired by Hatchet Man were Japan Cup winner Half Iced, Lawrence Realization winner Moon Spirit, Kentucky Derby second Woodchopper, and stakes winners Forest Maiden, Firgie’s Jule, Swazi Girl and Lordhyexecutioner.  The latter is an especially sad tale.  A good stakes winner in Canada, he descended from Storm Bird’s family and would have been an ideal foil for his daughters, but he seldom saw any mares and our latest efforts to locate him have been to no avail.

Hatchet Man beat big brother Stop The Music to the Kentucky Derby as a broodmare sire, getting the dam of Strike The Gold.  His daughters have also produced such good ones as Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Thirty Slews, $2.4 million G1 winner Xtra Heat and he is also found in the pedigree of the charming Kafwain as sire of his second dam, the aforementioned Swazi Girl.

Kafwain has his great-grandsire’s personality and likes to grab a broom and tidy up the floor in front of his stall.  In addition to being handsome and endearing, he could run a bit, too, earning over $700,000 and winning the G2 Norfolk, and San Vicente.  He also ran second to unbeaten champion Vindication in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Don’t tell any of the big, commercial types, but Buckaroo is alive and well and living on rather nicely via Spend A Buck.  Don’t believe us?  We have just two names for you:  Pico Central and Friends Lake.

We always thought we threw Spend A Buck away; he was such a lovely horse.  But he has come back to haunt us.  Pico Central and Antespend (dam of Friends Lake) are only two of his good ones.  On Feb. 25, Einstein showed his heels to a field of good older turf horses in the 12-furlong Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup H. (G1).  Not only did Einstein win the thing, he set a new course record of 2:24 and that was over a yielding course!  Fingers are crossed here that this handsome, almost black fellow carries on and wins himself a championship for Spend a Buck.  It would be so very fitting.

Not to be forgotten, by the way, is Buckaroo’s tough son Lite The Fuse, who stands in Pennsylvania.  About as commercial as a case of the measles, he’s done it all on his own – and while the “big horse” continues to escape him, he has sired 12 stakes winners and 14 more stakes placed.  They last awhile and are nice horses to own for small breeders.  (And would be even nicer with a Stop the Music cross!)

As a broodmare sire, Buckaroo, who died the same year as Hatchet Man, has 23 stakes winners, the best of which are G2 Iselin winner Cat’s At Home and his G1 winning half brother Prenup, listed stakes winner My Jeff’s Mombo, as well as Emailit and Wild Hits.  One has to think he might have done somewhat better, but a broodmare sire is only as good as the quality of his mate’s bottom lines and Buckpasser-line sires tend to get ignored since they are grouped as “broodmare sire types”.  Right.

The Future Hopes

This family currently has three young members who are truly holding its future in their hands.  One is a stallion, young Vision and Verse, who has three-year-olds this year and who, last season, got two stakes-placed youngsters in Acceleration (G3) and Magical Powers.

By Storm Cat, Vision and Verse was not as precocious as some, and ran only once as a juvenile.  He won the Illinois Derby and was good enough to run second to Lemon Drop Kid in both the Belmont and Travers.  Not only is he an excellent conduit for Bebop II blood, but his broodmare sire, Private Account is inbred to *La Troienne and therefore he not only has something in common with Spend A Buck (who was inbred to *La Troienne and was tail-female to her three-quarter sister Adargatis), but he is all set up for other *La Troienne inbreds like Seattle Slew and Woodman.

His Tom Rolfe blood also suggests that mares carrying Sham, Ack Ack (Broad Brush in particular) and Chieftain would be good mates, as well as Alzao and or Just The Time.  Storm Cat’s bottom line would love Royal Academy or Pancho Villa and if anybody out there is lucky enough to own a Lordhyexecutioner mare, she would be an almost perfect match (provided she had a decent tail-female line, of course).  Vision and Verse stands at beautiful Hill ‘N’ Dale Farm near Lexington, Ky.

The two mares in question are champion Yanks Music and Proflare, a stakes placed daughter of Mr. Prospector.  Proflare is obviously in France and she has, to date, produced six stakes winners:  True Flare, River Flare, Apple of Kent, Capital Secret, War Zone and Set Alight.

Three are fillies:  True Flare, River Flare and Apple of Kent.  River Flare shows no foals and may have had problems or died, though there is no report of her death. Apple of Kent has not had time to have any runners.  But True Flare, a stakes winning daughter of Capote has had a stakes winner, Art Master a colt by Royal Academy who won a Group 3 in France and Real Trust, a stakes placed filly by Danzig.  She also has a winning filly by Cherokee Run name Indian Flare and a winning colt by Maria’s Mon called Latent Heat, who is nominated for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

This branch of the family seems healthy to us and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it carries the line forward well into the 21st century.  Sad to say, we are not so optimistic about Yank’s Music.

She has not been bred intelligently a single time.  Well, perhaps once – a match with Siphon that resulted in a dead foal did double Schiaparelli via Barley Corn and Masthead.  However, we are nervous about this horse’s soundness.

The rest of her matches to Awesome Again, Touch Gold, Storm Cat and even dear Holy Bull – simply do not fit.  Far better for her a horse carrying Hatchet Man like Kafwain, or any of the horses with Stop The Music blood like Rock And Roll, or even Pico Central or Lite the Fuse.

But our choice for this champion would be another champion, Favorite Trick.  Like Yank’s Music, he has fallen from favor and ended up in New Mexico.  It may sound contrived, but these two champions who have yet to reproduce themselves may well be able to do so together!

This match would render not only a double of Reine-de-Course Nellie Flag via Last Wave and Nellie L. but it also would double another Reine, Erin, via half sisters Shenanigans and Longford.   We just hate to see either one wasted, and that’s what’s happened so far.

New Reines-de-Course

This is a wonderful family and we’re so glad to finally have added it to the Reine-de-Course list.  Newly minted Queens are *Bebop II, Bebopper, Stepping High, and Proflare.   There are a couple of nice young mares under Larceny Gal, a full sister to Stepping High, named She’s Got the Beat and Merry Mary.  There is also a young stakes producer from this branch named Herba Buena, dam of Group 2 French winner Campo Bueno (FR).  We’ll keep tabs on this branch for future inclusion.  It has great promise – but then it is from a great family.

Family 11-G