*Royal Rose

One thing a researcher always gets plenty of when he writes a series like this is suggestions.  And you can imagine the number of times we have been taken to task for not having done the family of Storm Cat.  Well, now everyone who was made nervous by that fact can relax – here it is.


By adding this group of mares to the list, we need to backtrack just a little bit to long-ago named Reine-de-Course, Erin.   Since this is also the family from which Erin descends, we are now essentially expanding the family, with the foundation mare of the group being *Royal Rose, a foal of 1894.

*Royal Rose’s best daughter, Cherokee Rose II (1910 by Peter Pan) is then added, as are Rosie O’Grady (dam of Erin and Broodmare of the Year Potheen);  Liz F. (dam of Intent, and out of Rosie O’Grady’s daughter Weno) and Rowes Bud (a half sister to Rosie O’Grady and closely related to Weno).

Rowes Bud is the branch to whom Storm Cat traces, but even as she is named, so too are all the connecting lines to tie up the family and make it complete.  Which should have been done in the first place.

All of this re-positioning might not have been necessary but for the fact that when the Reine-de-Course series began in 1991, it was not firmly under our control.  Thus, more modern mares (like Erin’s descendent Shenanigans, who was the second-named Reine-de-Course) were preferred.   So this is actually the second time this family has been updated, i.e. we started with Shenanigans, expanded to Erin, and now expand the rest of the way to one of the first mares from the family that was imported to these shores, *Royal Rose.


This female family has been in the hands of many good breeders from Calumet Farm to Harry Payne Whitney to George D. Widener.   *Royal Rose herself was bred in England after being purchased by James R. Keene and was imported to the U. S. as a suckling.  Keene also imported her dam *Belle Rose, one of several important English producers he would bring to his Castleton Stud in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.

Besides the *Royal Rose branch with which we are immediately concerning ourselves, *Belle Rose is also responsible for another important group of individuals via the family of her daughter Pink Domino.  This large family will be discussed another day, but a few of its descendents include John P. Grier, Beau Purple, Crafty Admiral, Red God and more recently, Hennessy.

Cherokee Rose II

Although Keene bred all of Royal Rose’s stakes winners, Cherokee Rose II was purchased from the Keene dispersal in 1912 by H. P. Whitney.   From her, Whitney bred both Rosie O’Grady and Rowes Bud. Rowes Bud, incidentally, was so named to honor trainer James Rowe Sr.

After Whitney’s death, Rowes Bud was sold twice – first to W. S. Threlkeld and then to George D. Widener.   It was in Widener’s stud that the family thrived, producing for the breeder horses like champion Jaipur, the great broodmare Rare Perfume, and the minor stakes winner Battle of Roses.   Battle of Roses’ family ended up in Maryland, where via daughter Thirty Years it accounted for such good horses as Dixie Flag and Personal Hope.

The “Other” Storm Cat?

Personal Hope’s story is worth mentioning, for he was sold to South Africa to stand at stud after having served as a dual-hemisphere sire.   Thus, his offspring can be found on three different continents – and that could become very important.

Personal Hope has a great deal in common with Storm Cat pedigree-wise.   Both are by Storm Bird, and Personal Hope’s fourth dam, Rare Perfume, and Storm Cat’s third dam, Bolero Rose, are bred almost exactly alike.   Rare Perfume is by Eight Thirty out of Fragrance (*Sir Gallahad III-out of a daughter of Rowes Bud). Bolero Rose is by a son of Eight Thirty (Bolero) and her second dam is Rare Bloom (*Sir Gallahad III-Rowes Bud). Personal Hope and Storm Cat both have crosses of Bold Ruler as well via Bold Hour and Secretariat respectively.   It would be very intriguing to cross Personal Hope and Storm Cat somewhere along the way; we hope someone is paying attention and gives this a try; we’d like to hear about the results.

The Storm Cat Speed

Storm Cat’s own story is all about speed.   His second dam, Crimson Saint, is logically by Crimson Satan, whose dam *Papila is a Reine-de-Course and one of the most serious sources of top-class speed in the stud book. So Storm Cat’s speed actually originated with *Papila.

Crimson Satan did not always sire pure speed, but when he was bred to the Bolero mare Bolero Rose, who had set a six-furlong track record of 1:08 1/5, the mixture was pure combustion which raced as Crimson Saint.   The handsome chestnut filly was even faster than her dam, setting a half mile track record of :44 4/5, and she specialized in sprint races, often defeating colts as in the Hollywood Express.

Adding Secretariat’s classic influence to the raw speed of Crimson Saint did little to quench the fire.   Their offspring Terlingua did not set as many track records, but she was a two-year-old flash of the first order, and also beat colts in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship.   Two of her daughters, unraced Lyphard’s Dancer and stakes winner Chapel of Dreams have produced stakes horses, but Terlingua’s epitaph is “Storm Cat’s Momma”.   She didn’t have to do anything else.

At this point, it is well worth noting that although he has never been considered a very successful sire, Terlingua’s full brother Pancho Villa is still a very important horse.   How important will be determined by whether or not people can put aside their prejudices about his daughters long enough to breed them to Storm Cat sons and thus inbreed to the full siblings – and to the speed of Crimson Saint and thus to *Papila.

(Of course, this can also be done with daughters of other Crimson Saint sons like Royal Academy or Encino, but it’s not as potent.)


Though Potheen has nothing to do with Storm Cat, we do owe her her due.

This daughter of Wildair-Rose O’Grady, second dam Cherokee Rose II, was one of the original foundation mares acquired by Calumet founder Warren Wright, Sr.   Wright purchased the mare from her breeder, H. P. Whitney, at a Whitney dispersal sale in 1930. She cost all of $500.

Although she had placed in a minor stakes, she was far from a top-quality runner.   As good as her family was, and continues to be however, she was a bargain even in those days, as she would prove a fine producer for Calumet.

In all, Potheen produced four stakes winner, three of them major winners:  Arlington Lassie winner Theen, Champagne and Futurity winner Pot O’Luck and the great champion filly Bewitch.   Her other stakes winner was Lot O Luck, who won the Peabody Memorial.

There is not much of Potheen’s family left.   Sadly, Bewitch produced only one foal, even though she lived to be 17.   Her only foal was a filly, but she died as a two-year-old.   Two other Potheen daughters, Theen and Hoyden, have been responsible in tail-female for a handful of stakes horses, but no world-beaters.

So Potheen’s inclusion in the list is more to correct an historical oversight than anything else.   As a Broodmare of the Year, she deserves the honor, and there is undoubtedly still some of her blood floating around out there.   As a matter of fact, we know a breeder whose mare is sired by a horse named I. C. Diplomat, a son of Icecapade that traces to Potheen’s daughter Theen.   Naturally, since he was by Icecapade, the horse is inbred to half sisters Erin and Potheen.   So if you really want to seek out Potheen’s blood, some is still available.

Liz F. (Bubbling Over-Weno, second dam Cherokee Rose II)

This branch of the family found its way to Brookfield Farm, where its best representative became Intent, sire of Intentionally, he sire of In Reality.   For a sire line that became known for its speed (Intentionally was a champion sprinter, In Reality’s get are also speedsters), Intent’s own race record certainly gave no hint of things to come.

The son of War Relic, who raced in the colors of his breeder Harry J. Isaacs, twice won the marathon San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 3/4 miles and he also won the Santa Anita Maturity (now the Strub Stakes) and was disqualified from a win in the Santa Anita Handicap.   When Intent was crossed to My Recipe (by Discovery) to produce Intentionally, the mating doubled Fair Play and obviously ignited the fire of the line, plus the Balancoire II family from which Intentionally’s dam descended also contributed a fair amount of speed.

By the time In Reality came along, War Relic, who was himself inbred to half brothers Fair Play and Friar Rock, and was sex-balance inbred to Rock Sand, was doubled on a 3 x 3 cross.   Also added to the mix was the speedy sire Rough’n Tumble and the quick family of *Clonaslee.

This branch of the family has also produced a handful of other good horses who raced well from Florida to England, but it is struggling.   Two of the more recent stakes horses from the family are Group 2 second Beau Sher (by Ile de Bourbon) and Gold Lake (by Gold Stage), who won several restricted stakes before being exported to Australia.   We don’t feel very hopeful about this branch of the family experiencing a rebirth, but the dam of Intent, who kept the Man o’ War sire line going, still deserves Reine recognition, and she will be so designated.

The Pedigree of *Royal Rose

The pedigree of *Royal Rose is a study.   She is 4 x 5 to half siblings Haricot and Blink Bonny (out of foundation mare Queen Mary); and 4 x 5 to full siblings Newminster and Honeysuckle, the latter her fifth dam.  In addition, she has four crosses of Pocahontas (1837) via King Tom, Rataplan, and Stockwell x2.   Filling out her pedigree are sex-balanced crosses of Surplice (son Pylades/daughter Wild Cherry), with her sire Royal Hampton contributing two son lines of Sultan, and her dam two son lines of Touchstone.

When *Royal Rose was bred to Peter Pan to get Cherokee Rose II, another line of Newminster and another of Melbourne were added, plus another Pocahontas line via Rataplan.   The next mating, Cherokee Rose II to Broomstick to produce Rowes Bud, added two more Pocahontas lines, one via Stockwell and one more unusual line of Knight of Kars, and it also sex-balanced Alarm (daughter Albia/son Himyar).

The key, however, is *Royal Rose’s own pedigree as a foundation.   When a mare starts out with such a pedigree, she would have to be bred to very poor stock in order not to succeed.   Fortunately for the breed, this did not happen.

A Sire Source Family?

As to whether or not this particular family is a sire-source family, the answer is yes and no.   The family can certainly produce a good sire, as both Intent and Storm Cat prove. Further, the Erin group of mares can boast of Majestic Light, Icecapade and Irish Castle, to name only a few.   But if you stop and think about it, with the exception of Majestic Light, who looks like and sires more like the *Ribot cross in his pedigree, the bottom line is that the most brilliant horses from this family are the best sires.   So if you happen to come across a horse from this particular line and you like him, make sure his pedigree tends toward the precocious – and that he resembles that pedigree. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.

The New Reines

New Reines-de-Course from this family are therefore *Royal Rose, Cherokee Rose II, Rosie O’Grady, Liz F., Potheen, Rowes Bud, Rare Perfume, Rare Treat, Rare Bloom, and Crimson Saint.   It’s good to see this dynasty finally complete, and to make all those Storm Cat fans happy at last.

Family 8-C