“Don’t Forget Maggie”
Whenever my dear late friend Bob Stokhaugh (author of the “American Matriarchs” series in the old Thoroughbred Record which partly inspired the Reine-de-Course series) and I talked about our favorite blue hens, he would always say, “Don’t forget Maggie B. B.” So of course when I started writing this series many years ago, “Maggie” was a priority and we have revisited her several times.
Now, in an issue with a regional (California) flavor, we again turn to this grand mare and remember – with a smile – our favorites of her descendants from this sub-branch (U-Boat by Man o’ War via the Sallie McClelland line of Maggie B. B.) Recently, California Chrome (via his sire Lucky Pulpit) brought this family back onto our radar, though it was never really far from view.
Bring On The Boys
This is a sire-producing branch of Maggie B. B. which loves Seattle Slew and Fappiano blood – i. e. Myrtlewood/Frizette and Plucky Liege lines as well as an extra dose of Nearco and dam Nogara via Caro.
Because this blood appears via Unbridled’s Song, Tiznow (broodmare sire Seattle Song) and now Lucky Pulpit, there is ample opportunity to inbreed and linebred to the tail-line and to benefit from its greatest gift – speed which stays.
So let us begin at the beginning, fill in a few blanks and then sit back and watch as the family grows in importance. With branches in Australia, Venezuela and Japan as well as the U. S., we have little doubt Magic Spell will be around for a very long time to come.
The Man o’ War Factor
We’ve always loved mares who trace to one of Man o’ War’s daughters and U-Boat, the second dam of Magic Spell, was a tough one racing 65 times. Her daughter Subterranean, Magic Spell’s dam was bred by Walter Chrysler Jr. and brought in some lovely old Bradley blood: Her sire, By Jimminy, showed inbreeding to Black Toney and Padua plus Blue Larkspur and Macaroon lines.
Magic Spell herself was bred by H. B. Delman and was by the *Mahmoud son Flushing II. The overall pedigree showed linebreeding to the royalty of the breed from Sainfoin/Sierra to Canterbury Pilgrim and it had its share of the good, sound speed of Bend Or.
Magic Spell earned her black type in the Jean d’Arc Stakes behind eventual Coaching Club American Oaks winner Williamette. At stud when bred to Prince Blessed (most famous for siring Ole Bob Bowers, sire of John Henry) she produced her most important daughter, Incantation who was bred by Mrs. Martha Kilroe.
The Great Daughter
As the attached chart shows, Incantation was more than capable of carrying the family into the next century and beyond. If the family had produced only Unbridled’s Song it would have been immortal, but in also giving us Seattle Song, we have a natural inbreeding element via Tiznow to intensify the remarkable blood that has been as brilliant in France as it was at Churchill, and as solid in California as it has been in Venezuela.
Because Magic Spell was by a *Mahmoud-line stallion, we think there was a natural affinity for horses carrying that family line (Mumtaz Mahal). *Nasrullah was the tail-male line for both Caro and Seattle Slew, so strongly represented in her family and once that line was in place, Fappiano was a natural foil back to Slew with his Frizette/Humanity/Lady Comfey/*Bull Dog lines.
Any way you look at it, the closely related group of horses in this immediate family has made a major impact, even when they have been confined to regional markets. And it is still a relatively young family.
New Reines-de-Course are of course Magic Spell herself as well as her best daughter Incantation, then in turn the best daughter of Incantation, Lucky Spell. There are plenty of young mares from the immediate family but the real strength here lies in the ample amount of lines and crosses which can affect inbreeding to this remarkable group of horses.
Whenever I am ‘on to something’ in selecting a mare to add to the Reine-de-Course list I feel as though Bob is looking over my shoulder, guiding me on. If he was still here we like to think he’d approve of our not only continuing to write stories about grand mares, but especially remembering never to forget his beloved Maggie.