Once in a while, a great matron comes along who helps take the guesswork out of breeders’ decisions. Their names are familiar ones – Mumtaz Mahal, *The Squaw II, Myrtlewood, Plucky Liege, and a handful of others. These are the sire-source mares, those whose daughters and granddaughters have produced excellent stallions for a number of generations.
Standing tall among these stellar producers is *Boudoir II, a 1938 daughter of *Mahmoud out of Kampala by Clarissimus. Bred in England by C. Leigh, *Boudoir II raced for Mrs. R. L. Rogers. The grey filly won one race at two and the following season was second to Milady Rose in the Irish One Thousand Guineas.
This was no less than was expected of a mare with *Boudoir II’s credentials. Her sire was an Epsom Derby winner and her family traced to One Thousand Guineas winner Manganese, ancestress of St. Leger winner Wenlock. The family was an old one though, and *Boudoir II was a new link in the classic chain.
However, she would not remain in Europe to add to the family’s riches, but was sold in 1942 for a mere $2,000 to Louis B. Mayer who was building a Thoroughbred empire in Southern California. Mayer bred *Boudoir II’s first five foals. Included in this group was stakes placed Charivari, by Mayer’s stallion *Beau Pere, and his full sister Flower Bed (ancestress of Flower Bowl, Bowl of Flowers, His Majesty, Graustark and Gallant Bloom) plus major winner Your Host (by Mayer’s *Alibhai) who would gain fame by siring multiple Horse of the Year Kelso.
In 1948, Mayer sold *Boudoir II and five other mares to Leslie Combs II’s Spendthrift Farm. At the same time, Combs acquired *Alibhai, purchased for a then-record $500,000.
Combs bred *Boudoir II’s next six foals. Far and away the most important of these was Your Hostess, a 1949 daughter of *Alibhai who ran third in the Santa Susana Stakes. At stud, Your Hostess became the dam of Gay Hostess (by *Royal Charger) ancestress of Caracolero, Majestic Prince, Crowned Prince and Secreto. Your Hostess also produced multiple stakes winners T. V. Commercial and Coraggioso.
Despite all this success, Combs sold an aging *Boudoir II to Mrs. John L. McMahan who in turn sold her to Mrs. Harry Love in 1960 for $14,700. In 1961, *Boudoir II produced her last foal, Bowl of Roses, a non-winning full sister to Your Host and Your Hostess. Bowl of Roses finally found her way to Venezuela in 1976 and her name is now prominent in pedigrees all over the globe from Japan to Germany and from America to Ireland.
*Boudoir II had done her job well. Though she produced just one major stakes winner, Your Host, and two stakes-placed offspring, her daughters would out produce her for generations, making her a taproot mare of the highest order.
At the age of 25, after foaling 12 offspring, most of whom had a major impact on the breed in one way or other, *Boudoir II died. But not really. Today, she lives on in the finest imaginable way, through the sons and daughters of His Majesty and Graustark, Majestic Prince and T. V. Commercial and, most recently, in Real Quiet, winner of the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. She is truly a representative Reine-de-Course.
*Boudoir II’s first foal, Charivari by *Beau Pere, was a tough customer, racing 95 times. A winner of seven races, the colt won $23,962 while placing in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes.
The next of *Boudoir II’s offspring was Succession, a full brother to Charivari who was neither as tough nor as classy. Succession won four of 21 starts and $14,325.
Justifying the old saying that the third time is the charm, *Boudoir II’s third *Beau Pere offspring, Flower Bed, foaled a virtual dynasty.
Flower Bed’s first foal, Pelouse by Pavot, was stakes placed. She hit paydirt with her second, Flower Bowl by *Alibhai, winner of the Delaware and Ladies Handicaps. Flower Bowl produced double champion Bowl of Flowers by Sailor, in turn dam of stakes winner Spruce Bouquet; stakes placed Royal Bowl; and major Australian sire Whiskey Road (sire of Strawberry Road). But Flower Bowl’s most potent and lasting contribution were the Chef-de-Race full brothers Graustark and His Majesty, both sons of *Ribot.
Though Graustark has proved more effective as a broodmare sire, His Majesty had a major siring son in the now pensioned champion Pleasant Colony. Because producing two Chefs-de-Race is so rare an accomplishment, Bowl of Flowers also deserves Reine-de-Course status.
In addition to Flower Bowl, Flower Bed foaled the stakes winner Brambles by Beau Max and stakes winner and stakes producer Floral Park by *Alibhai. Floral Park is the second dam of Grade I winner Rootentootenwooten and Grade II placed Turn Bold. Floral Park also foaled stakes producers Mother Nature, Patriotic Petunia and Mugwumpery, dam of Grade II winner Muckraker and two other stakes placed runners.
The next major producer from Flower Bed is winner Green Finger by Better Self. Green Finger is the dam of Grade II winner Free Hand and Grade II placed Blandford Park, plus stakes producer Green Signal.
Multiflora, a 1961 filly by Beau Max, is the last of Flower Bed’s major producing daughters. Multiflora foaled double champion Gallant Bloom, herself a stakes producer.
Your Host, sire of Kelso and Windy Sands, was *Boudoir II’s 1947 offspring and the best of her racehorses. A winner of 13 of 23 career starts, Your Host won such important features as the Santa Anita Derby and Del Mar Futurity. His earnings of $384,795 for a runner of his time speak for themselves. However, Your Host was also a pretty good stallion, ranking second in North American in 1963, one of Kelso’s five Horse of the Year seasons.
The following year, 1948, *Boudoir II produced My Host, a full brother to Your Host who won two of 32 starts. Though his race record was nothing to brag about, My Host was a pretty good sire, getting 23 stakes winners, or 13% from just 172 named foals. His best runner was Most Host, who started 100 times and won the Charles H. Strub Stakes and $299,275 in the 1960’s.
*Boudoir II’s sixth foal, the stakes placed Your Hostess, is deserving of Reine-de-Course honors on her own.
Your Hostess was a hit from the outset. Her first foal, Etiquette by *Bernborough, was a winner and became a major producer. Two of her foals, Mr. Pomranky and Command Module, were stakes winners and a third, White Lie by Bald Eagle, was dam of Hippodamia, champion two year old filly in France in 1973; and Group I placed Bad Conduct. Another of Etiquette’s foals, Thank You Note, foaled stakes winner Liswaki.
Your Hostess’ second foal, Royal Clipper by *Royal Charger, was a tough gelding who won a minor stake and $473,234 from 159 trips to the post. Great Host, her 1956 colt by *Royal Charger, was a non-winner, then in 1957 came the marvelous producer Gay Hostess, a Reine-de-Course in her own right.
Gay Hostess, who was unraced, has long been a favorite subject of trivia buffs. She and her three full siblings are the answer to the question, “Name a horse who has all Chefs-de-Race in his or her first four generations.” Gay Hostess’ illustrious stallion representation is: *Royal Charger; Nearco; *Alibhai; Pharos; Solario; Hyperion; *Mahmoud; Phalaris; Havresac II; Gainsborough (twice); *Blenheim II (twice); Tracery; and Clarissimus.
Gay Hostess did very little wrong as a producer. Her son Crowned Prince was a champion, his full brother Majestic Prince a double classic winner. Both were good stalliions.
Majestic Prince, something of a folk hero to racegoers, nearly preceeded Seattle Slew as the first American horse to win a Triple Crown while undefeated. However, the glowing chestnut was second by six lengths to Arts And Letters in the Belmont and never raced again. This was considered by his army of fans to be an unworthy end to a noble story and those same fans were deeply moved when Majestic Prince’s son Coastal revenged his sire’s only loss by ending the Triple Crown bid of Spectacular Bid in the 1979 Belmont.
Beside Majestic Prince and Crowned Prince, Gay Hostess also foaled stakes winner Lovely Gypsy and stakes placed Betty Loraine, herself a major producer. Betty Loraine foaled champion and French Derby winner Caracolero, stakes placed Native Loraine, and unraced Betty’s Secret. Betty’s Secret duplicated her dam and granddam’s classic-producing success, foaling Epsom Derby winner Secreto. Betty’s Secret also produced another stakes winner and two stakes placed foals.
Further, Gay Hostess is the dam of stakes placed Our Queen, and stakes producers Rollabout, Caronatta, Meadow Blue (second dam of Real Quiet) and Our Lady Queen.
Lady Ambassador is yet another stakes producing daughter of Your Hostess. This 1959 daughter of Hill Prince foaled stakes winner Minstrel Grey; stakes placed Unimpeachable, Bugle Bow and Classy Twist, herself a multiple stakes producer; stakes producers Lady Nasus, Crimson Envoy and Stately Lady.
Votre Hotesse by Nantallah, represents another branch of Your Hostess’ family. The unraced mare produced stakes winner Auberge and stakes producers Spare That Tree and Our Duckling.
Your Hostess’ 1963 Mister Gus daughter My Guest was another good producer. She is the dam of stakes winners Memorable Mitch, Native Guest and Raise Your Sights, plus stakes placed Protocol, and stakes producer Exclusive Hostess.
T. V. Commercial, Your Hostess’ 1965 colt by T. V. Lark, won the Arlington-Washington Futurity and placed in such major races as the Blue Grass Stakes, winning over $400,000 in 55 starts. Though never a commercial success, T. V. Commercial was a very good stallion, siring more than 30 stakes winners including the excellent stallion It’s Freezing.
Coraggioso, Your Hostess’ 1970 filly by *Gallant Man, was a multiple graded stakes winner and became a stakes producer as did her daughters, Hoist the Banner and Love Sick.
Two more of Your Hostess’ stakes producing daughters are Gallatia, winner of the Schuylerville Stakes, and Dancing Hostess, a winner. Gallatia is the dam of stakes winners Right Cross and Gallina; Dancing Hostess is the dam of stakes winners Palladium, Loosen Up and stakes placed Urbana Cowboy as well as multiple stakes producer Balcony Dancer.
Of *Boudoir II’s remaining foals, Miniature, an unplaced 1951 daughter of Bull Lea, is responsible for no major winners; Royal Hostess, a winning 1952 daughter of *Alibhai is the second dam of stakes placed Paisley Square and the third dam of stakes winner Native Goal, as well as the second dam of stakes winner Spanish Julie and Governor Dan, all minor stakes winners. Bar Le Duc, a winner of his only start, was a full brother to Your Host, My Host and Your Hostess. Despite his modest race record, Bar Le Duc made several notable contributions to California pedigrees. His daughter, Greta, from the family of champion Brown Bess, won the now Grade I Ramona Handicap, and another Bar Le Duc daughter, Hi Little Gal, produced millionaire and multiple Grade I winner Ancient Title.
Splendido, a 1954 son of *Ardan, won four of 39 starts and died in 1973, a disappointing stallion; while the unraced Caluria (1955) by *Heliopolis became the second dam of two Group III winners in Argentina, Yamolai and Morisqueta.
*Boudoir II’s last foal, Bowl of Roses by *Alibhai, was born in 1961 and was unplaced while racing in England, Ireland and the U. S.. In 1976 she was exported to Venezuela. Nontheless, she founded a branch of *Boudoir II’s family worth mentioning for its international flavor.
Bowl of Roses is the second dam of Japanese stakes winner Nichido Arashi and stakes placed Nichido Raizah. She is also the second dam of German stakes winner Fahrewohl and Irish stakes winner The Neurologist as well as U. S. stakes winner Oui Madame Rose. She was no Your Hostess, but Bowl of Roses’ family surely got around.
*Boudoir II’s own pedigree is a fascinating one. She is inbred 5 x 4 to Two Thousand Guineas winner St. Frusquin. St. Frusquin was beaten a neck in the Epsom Derby by another St. Simon son, Persimmon, who appears in the fourth generation of *Boudoir II’s pedigree. All in all, she is inbred to St. Simon 6 x 6 x 5 x 5.
*Boudoir II has a 6 x 6 x 5 cross to English Triple Crown winner Isinglass plus another sixth generation cross of *Isinglass’ sire, Isonomy, through Gallinule, to whom she is inbred 6 x 5.
Further, there is a 6 x 6 cross of Black Duchess, supported entirely by her sire, *Mahmoud. Black Duchess, a phenomenol source of such classic blood as Caro, Shahrastani, Santa Claus and Fabius to name only a few, is also responsible in direct descent for Bay Ronald, scion of the Gainsborough (Hyperion) and Dark Ronald (Son-In-Law) sire lines.
Both Ayrshire (6 x 6) and his sire, Hampton (6 x 6) are also represented in *Boudoir II’s pedigree. Ayrshire won the Two Thousand Guineas and Epsom Derby and was the sire of Robert le Diable, Festino and the great mare Ballantrae, ancestress of numerous distinguished horses including Equipoise. Hampton is the scion of the Dark Ronald sire line.
Boudoir II’s pedigree was versatile enough to support some experimenting, though she was fairly well loaded up on St. Simon and Galopin blood. When bred to Beau Pere, whose dam Cinna was 2 x 2 to half sisters Maid Marian and La Fleche (out of Reine-de-Course Quiver), this matched up with her John O’Gaunt blood (tail-male of *Mahmoud) for a 4 x 4 x 7 cross of Maid Marian/La Fleche.
Beau Pere also added a line of Bend Or via Cyllene, to give Flower Bed a 6 x 5 cross. With his Bay Ronald blood, there was thus a 4 x 6 x 6 cross of Bay Ronald/Black Cherry and it was this very different-looking pedigree that Flower Bed brought to *Alibhai to produce Flower Bowl.
*Alibhai added two more lines of Bend Or via Cyllene and Ormonde and another of Bay Ronald and St. Frusquin. He also brought two more lines of St. Simon into the mix, giving Flower Bowl a lineage hugely infused with this bloodline, but having more balance overall thanks to the Rock Sand, Bend Or and Bay Ronald blood which had been added along the way.
Because of the unique influence of Quiver and Black Duchess in these horses, we would be tempted to use the blood of a horse like Relaunch, from another branch of the Black Duchess clan, or the bloodlines of Naskra or Wild Again, who trace to Quiver, to linebreed to these old strengths. This could be a particularly good way to reawaken a lesser branch of the family.
For the contributions to pedigrees around the world, most importantly to the sire ranks thereof, it is a pleasure to add *Boudoir II and her descendents Flower Bed, Flower Bowl, Your Hostess and Gay Hostess to the Reine-de-Course list. Without their presence in modern pedigrees, the Thoroughbred as he exists today would surely be a lesser specimen.