When the very first Reine-de-Course, Too Bald, was named in November of 1991, we recognized her as a unique individual in that she was capable of dominating her mates and enhancing the speed of her offspring. Had she been a male, she would have been designated a brilliant Chef-de-Race. But since she was “merely” a female, she became the bellwether Reine.
Seven years later, we come again to a speedy mare, *Papila, whose brilliance is not as apparent on the surface, but whose influence can be used in much the same way. When we recognize such a mare, one who is this speed dominant, we feel she should be pointed out to breeders who can look for her in pedigrees and understand just what she is.
It should be noted that *Papila and Too Bald are not alone in possessing the ability to pass on speed. Moccasin is not too far behind them and of course the queen of all speed is Reine-de-Course Mumtaz Mahal.
Today *Papila’s raw speed is most commonly expressed through Storm Cat, but she also has a young relation at stud named Ferara who is inbred to her and several daughter branches like White Jasmine and Arctic Swing that contain doubles of her blood.
*Papila was imported to the United States as a four-year-old in 1947. She made her way from California to Ohio and finally was purchased by Peter William Salmen, Sr. for a mere $8,500. It was upon her bloodline that Salmen built Crimson King Farm, named after the crimson king maples which lined the driveway of the farm.
*Papila had been a good racemare in her native Chile, placing second in the Chilean Oaks. By the time Salmen bought her, the mare was a little long in the tooth at age 15, and had already produced a daughter (Blue Canary by Buy And Sell) that would found a major branch of the family, and stakes winner Cardinal Sin, by Papa Redbird.
The story of the mating decision which resulted in Crimson Satan is an interesting one. When Salmen’s son Pete Jr. suggested that the staying *Papila be bred to speedy Spy Song, his father disagreed. But Mrs. Salmen also was in favor of Spy Song, and it was she who cast the deciding vote.
The younger Salmen almost didn’t get to keep Crimson Satan, however, as he was entered in the 1960 Keeneland Summer yearling sale. But unbeknownst to his father, he had a friend buy the colt for $13,700 and the handsome chestnut went home.
By the time Crimson Satan died at the age of 23, everyone knew that young Salmen had been very wise to keep him. The handsome chestnut colt was champion of his age and sex in some polls at two in 1961, sharing the honor with the unbeaten Ridan. He won the rich Garden State Stakes, the Pimlico Futurity, the Hawthorne Juvenile and the Lafayette Stakes and was actually weighted a pound higher than Ridan on the Experimental at 126 to Ridan’s 125.
At three, his early form was compromised by a stifle injury and a kidney infection and he ran unplaced in both the Derby and Preakness, then rebounded to race third in the Belmont behind Jaipur and Admiral’s Voyage, a pair of horses he had actually beaten in the Jersey Derby.
However, in what would be the first of several shows of temper, Crimson Satan savaged Admiral’s Voyage and his number was taken down. He also apparently intended to try the same stunt in the Belmont, but jockey Manuel Ycaza snatched him up, perhaps costing him the win or at least a second.
At four Crimson Satan had his best season, winning the San Fernando and Strub Stakes in California, the Massachusetts Handicap, the Washington Park Handicap in Chicago and setting a new track record in the Michigan Mile and One Sixteenth. He also ran second to Kelso in the John B. Campbell Handicap and placed in several other important races including the Santa Anita Handicap and Woodward Stakes.
Retired with nearly $800,000 in earnings, Crimson Satan went to stud briefly at Spendthrift Farms and finally to Gainesway Farm near Lexington, Ky., where he would become a popular stallion, three times finishing in the top 20 by seasonal earnings and siring at least 33 stakes winners. His daughters were even better as broodmares, having produced 83 stakes winners through the end of 1999. The best of these were T. V. Vixen; Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Royal Academy, excellent sire Mt. Livermore and of course Terlingua, dam of Storm Cat.
On a personal note, we remember seeing Crimson Satan shortly before his death in 1982. He had an unsightly tumor on his head, and as if knowing that we intended to take a photo of him, he turned his head so that the tumor could not be seen, arrogant and high-spirited until the end. There was something touching about that action, a horse who had such dignity that he did not want anyone to know he was less than perfect.
*Papila produced just one more foal after Crimson Satan, the winning *High Bandit mare Sister Satan, whose branch of the family includes such good ones as Til Forbid, Tampa Bay Buck and the excellent Australian runners Imperial Salute and Prismatic Star. Two of Sister Satan’s grandaughters are notable for inbreeding to *Papila; White Jasmine, by Crimson Satan’s son Whitesburg, and Red Jam, by Crimson Satan himself.
Blue Canary’s branch, however, is the strongest and it has produced several good runners: the excellent handicap horse Lively One and his half brother Swing Till Dawn, a Grade I winner on two coasts; Digression, a European champion by Seattle Slew, Digression’s three-quarter brother Ferrara, who did not win stakes but is Grade II placed, and of course the smashing full brothers Tiznow and Budroyale.
So far as Crimson Satan’s daughters are concerned, his Crimson Saint is everywhere with Storm Cat, of course, but T. V. Vixen may have been his daughters’ most tenacious offspring. Winner of 20 of 31 starts and $419,314, T. V. Vixen never earned a title, but the daughter of T. V. Lark won 10 stakes, and at the age of three she had a 13-for-16 season.
Peter Salmen, Jr. gave her the highest compliment a horse could get from the owner and breeder of Crimson Satan himself. “There is only one other horse I’ve known that wanted to win as badly as she does,” he said. “That was Crimson Satan. When he savaged Admiral’s Voyage in the Jersey Derby – well, you don’t train that into a horse. They either have the desire or they don’t and many of them don’t. Last spring, we had a half dozen fillies that showed more promise than T. V. Vixen, but none of them had her desire.”
T. V. Vixen had a rocky beginning as a broodmare, but that desire was finally passed on. Her seventh foal (and only filly), Lady Vixen by Sir Ivor, is the dam of Acorn Stakes winner Star de Lady Ann and Rare Perfume winner Auntie Mame. She also produced the stakes winning Known Fact colt T. V. Heart Throb, who won stakes in New York and earned over $225,000. He is now a sire in Australia. Her only other offspring of note was the Smart Style colt Telesmarts, a stakes placed earner of $129,984.
Many times we have warned breeders to beware South American blood, as some of the bloodlines have grown ‘old’ and are weighted down with stamina lines that are not compatible with American horses. But *Papila is the glorious exception. Although her pedigree line sounds odd to our ears, her inbreeding and linebreeding tell a tale of intense speed and versatility.
*Papila is linebred to Bend Or via several interesting sources. Bend Or, as we have noted before, may have been the original speed source in the English Thoroughbred, or at the very least the most easily recognizable source of speed among the early, important sire lines. There are six crosses of Bend Or in *Papila’s immediate pedigree via five lines of Ormonde and one of Bona Vista. Ormonde’s influence is via four lines of Orme and one of Goldfinch.
Orme’s influence is via three lines of Flying Fox and one of Topiary. And Flying Fox is represented by two lines of Val D’Or and one of Kouba.
First, it must be remembered that Orme is out of Angelica, a full sister to St. Simon. Thus, the two lines of St. Simon which appear in the pedigree of *Papila’s sire, Requiebro, are met with four of Angelica.
Val D’Or, the closest Bend Or relation in the mix, was a wonderful racehorse who won from six to ten furlongs. Among his best wins were the Eclipse Stakes, the French 2000 Guineas and the Grand Criterium.
His sire, Flying Fox, of whom there are three lines, was a Triple Crown winner as was Ormonde himself. So the horses to which *Papila was inbred were the best and purest stock of the time and they were not one-dimensional runners. These were horses who could sprint and stay, like Ormonde who won from six to 14 furlongs. Imagine a horse in today’s racing climate with that kind of versatility!
There is more, however, to *Papila’s lineage. She is inbred 5 x 5 to half siblings Roquebrune and Antibes, both daughters of Reine-de-Course St. Marguerite and she is also inbred 5 x 4 to half sisters Kylesku and Mostaza, both out of Strathfleet.
Strathfleet is a full sister to Highland Fling (ancestress of Ultimus and Ballot) and Scotch Reel, ancestress of Irish classic winners Harvest Feast, St. Brendan and D.C.M. Strathfleet’s branch was very prominent in Argentina, where it is responsible for Carlos Pelligrini winners Palospavos and Albacea as well as Pippermint, sire of Papila’s broodmare sire Papanatas, another Pelligrini winner.
Additionally, *Papila’s dam Papalona is inbred to King Edward VII’s winner St. Mirin, a son of Hermit.
*Papila’s female line traces to “Old Merlin Mare”, which is designated Family No. 26. There are several notable branches besides the Justice branch from which *Papila descends. The Voleuse branch gave us Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Trempolino and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stake victor Park Top; the Arc Light branch is responsible for D. C. International victor Bowl Game, champion filly De La Rose, and Hollywood Turf Invitational winner Political Ambition; and the Electric Light Branch spawned St. Leger and Ascot Gold Cup winner Solario, Irish Derby winners Phideas and Museum, and French Oaks winners Dunette and Seria.
Probably the most interesting horse from this family, at least so far as *Papila is concerned, is the Epsom and Irish Derby victor Orby, a son of Orme. Considering that he is one of Orme’s fastest sons – and the one whose bloodline is most prized for sheer speed (even by Quarter horse breeders) – it is intriguing to find that he descends from *Papila’s own family, since her inbreeding to Orme suggests that this female family reacted very positively when exposed to the Orme/Bend Or speed.
The intensity of the Bend Or blood in *Papila’s lineage was certainly not slowed down by being bred to so fast a stallion as Spy Song, which produced her best racing offspring, Crimson Satan. But imagine if you will the effect of her having been bred to Buy And Sell (sire of Blue Canary): Buy And Sell has six more lines of Bend Or, so Blue Canary has 12 lines of this great speed sire!
Now consider her descendent Ferrara, whose last known address was New Mexico. Ferrara already gets a dose of serious speed from Too Bald in the pedigree of his sire Capote, but his dam, Arctic Swing, is inbred to Blue Canary! Should Ferrara encounter a daughter of Lively One or Storm Cat, there is little doubt the combination will be highly combustible.
What is really amazing (and somewhat frustrating) about *Papila’s influence is that Americans seem to think so little of it unless it comes in the form of Storm Cat. Digression, Seattle Slew’s champion English two year old from this family, is at stud in Utah where he is hardly accessible to many good mares, while Lively One, a son of Halo from this family, was recently sold to Japan. Swing Till Dawn, at least, is in California, but he has not been bred with much imagination. However, his excellent son Fly Till Dawn, is now in Kentucky where he should serve more quality books. Thanks to Tiznow’s victory in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, there is yet another agent through which *Papila’s blood will live on.
American breeders have bred themselves into a corner with fragile early speed without recognizing ways to inject speed into the breed with good, solid legs beneath it. *Papila, Too Bald and other mares of this ilk are a way to utilize this speed without bringing along with them the fragility of Native Dancer inbreeding. The availability of the blood is good, too, with Tiznow sure to be a popular sire; Swing Till Dawn and his best son Fly Till Dawn still at stud, and champion Answer Lively recently retired.
Tiznow and Budroyale also have three full sisters who will undoubtedly advance the line; Balboa Betty, Tizso and Tizsweet. All, of course, would be lovely with any number of Storm Cat sires, just as their full brother Tiznow would do wonderfully well with Storm Cat-line mares.
Thus for her contribution of that most prized Thoroughbred asset – speed – *Papila is named a Reine-de-Course, along with her daughters Blue Canary and Sister Satan. Inbreeding to this mare will have the same effect as inbreeding to a very fast sire, the only difference being that the majority of *Papila’s offspring are far sounder than many of the fragile early-maturing sires at stud today.
The following update was published in Pedlines #166
It’s no secret to Pedlines subscribers that *Papila is one of our pet mares. A source of sound speed, she first showed her colors by giving us Crimson Satan and then moved on to deliver two serious daughter branches via Blue Canary and Sister Satan.
But that is hardly all. She also gave us a classic sire in Tiznow, a horse who has two class-producing full sisters, not to mention some very solid group horses under Sister Satan. First named a Reine-de-Course in December of 1998, *Papila was long overdue for update status. We admit to getting older and slower, but will continue to do our best with our beloved Reines.
There is no need to reprint the entire original *Papila story; it is available elsewhere. But do note that her considerable linebreeding to *Bend Or, St. Simon and Angelica and doubles of such notable lines as St. Marguerite, Atalanta and Strathfleet all made her pedigree of considerable complexity and diversity. It was a wonderful backdrop upon which to add American speed like that of Domino, which she got via Spy Song when producing Crimson Satan.
We also do not believe it was a coincidence that the linebreeding of a horse like Cee’s Tizzy, who picked up multiples of Bend Or and St. Marguerite via all his Man o’ War lines melded well with *Papila’s own patchwork quilt of lines and crosses. And we find it a good thing in the ‘like to like’ department when a South American like *Papila meets another great South American mare in *Tizna in the pedigree of Cee’s Tizzy.
That *Papila has continued to prosper is one of those things that makes us smile. In a sport where there is entirely too much disappointment and heartbreak due to careless or expedient breeding, sound speed is such a wonderful thing to see.
So for ‘carrying on’ we add *Papila descendents Swinging Lizzie, Snow Bower, Sleep Lonely, Cee’s Song, Red Jasmine, and White Jasmine to her legacy as Reines-de-Course. Never underestimate the power of a mare like this; she is a unique and special treasure.