Simon’s Shoes

Since this series’ inception in 1991, the role of the great mare *Rough Shod in major pedigrees has only grown, and inbreeding to her has become rather common. El Condor Pasa, the Japanese-bred who raced so successfully in Europe, has three lines of her and is the most recent major horse with this type inbreeding, following Fatherland; Booly; Verviene; American Day; Coreggio and Lubicon.

The time may well come when a breeder finds himself with a horse inbred to *Rough Shod II, or by a sire inbred to her. As a result, we felt it was quite practical to examine the rest of this great mare’s family for options to strengthen the bloodline outside the narrow scope of *Rough Shod II herself.

The modern foundation line of *Rough Shod II is the Simon Square mare Simon’s Shoes who was bred by Lord Dunraven and foaled in England in 1914. Simon’s Shoes had two major daughter branches: Dalmary (1931) by Blandford and Carpet Slipper (1930) by Phalaris. Dalmary’s descendents include *Rough Shod II herself plus Jennydang (ancestress of Thatching, Lorenzaccio, etc.) and Gold Mary, whose descendents include Prix Jean Prat winner Sillery and French 2000 Guineas winner St. Cyrien.

Carpet Slipper’s branch is larger and is responsible for such good recent horses as U. S. champion Hidden Lake; major winner and sire Val de Loir; Fastness (IRE) and many good foreign runners including Epsom Oaks winner *Valois II; King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Petoski and New Zealand champion Vialli. Then there is the Blaith Na Greine group of mares which contains American Broodmare of the Year Northern Sunset and her offspring Salem Drive, Lac Ouimet, St. Jovite and L’Carriere.

Thatching is one of the more interesting horses from the Dalmary/Jennydang group of mares. His sire, Thatch, was a half brother to King Pellinore, and a full brother to Lisadell, second dam of Sword Dance, and Special, dam of Nureyev and second dam of Sadler’s Wells. Thatch was an excellent two-year-old in England and was named champion of his age and sex.

Thatching’s dam, Abella, was a very smart runner by the speed influence Abernant, a son of Owen Tudor from Mumtaz Mahal’s daughter Rustom Mahal. But the key to Thatching’s pedigree was his fourth dam, Jennydang, who was a half sister to *Rough Shod II. Thatching made this inbreeding work for him, earning his Group 1 stripes in the July Cup and also annexing two Group 3 races, the Duke of York and the Cork and Orrery Stakes.

Today Thatch’s sire line remains very active in Europe via Puissance (Thatching-Girton by Balidar), a top sprinter, and his young son Mind Games, also good at shorter distances, whose first foals will run in 2000.

Unfortunately for Americans, there is not a great deal of Thatch or Thatching blood in the U. S., but two of Thatching’s daughters proved that when they have an opportunity to compete here, they are more than up to the task: Alabama Nana, a half sister to Serena’s Song’s dam, was a Grade 3 winner in the U. S. and was Grade 1 placed; while Fitzwilliam Place won two Grade 1’s; the Beverly Hills and Gamely Handicaps.

Another major Dalmary/Jennydang descendent is the excellent runner *Lorenzaccio, one of only two horses ever to defeat Nijinsky II. By French 2000 Guineas winner Klairon, *Lorenzaccio was out of the speed mare Phoenissa by The Phoenix, a half sister to Tudor Era, who was disqualified from a win in the Washington D. C. International, but who did go on to win the Man o’ War Stakes and Hialeah Turf Cup in this country.

Sadly, *Lorenzaccio failed as a sire, but his bloodline is far from dead thanks to his highly successful son Ahonoora and to Ahonoora’s son Indian Ridge, sire of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Ridgewood Pearl; Epsom Derby winner Dr. Devious; and other group winners Princess Tracy, Don’t Forget Me (a double Guineas winner) and many more. Today his sire line is well represented in Europe via Ridgewood Pearl’s full brother Ridgewood Ben; Definite Article; Compton Place; Case Law; Idris and Inchinor.

Remember that all European blood is only a brief plane ride away, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that one might encounter a mare with Thatch or Thatching blood. We’d like to think that if breeders do find such a gem, they will give her the respect she deserves. Imagine how well such a mare would fit a son of Nureyev or Sadler’s Wells, not to mention a horse with an Ahonoora cross. After all, an Ahonoora/Thatching cross would have three lines of Dalmary, *Rough Shod II’s dam – it’s just another way to accomplish an established linebreeding pattern.

The bloodline of *Rough Shod II’s other half sister, Gold Mary, was recently on display in the U. S. when Silic won the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Both his sire, Sillery, and broodmare sire, Sadler’s Wells, are Simon’s Shoe’s descendents and he is thus inbred to half sisters Gold Mary and *Rough Shod II 7 x 6.

Carpet Slipper’s branch of this family may have a grassy slant, but it has also contributed plenty to American dirt racing. One of the best known members of this family is French Derby winner Val de Loir, sire of another French Derby winner, Val De L’Orne, who did very well at stud in the U. S. Among his best runners were Golden Choice, La Lorgnette, Victory Zone, Baron de Vaux and Pay the Butler. His daughters have produced more than 45 stakes winners including Louis le Grand, Archers Bay and Arctic Laur. Val de L’Orne was destroyed in 1993 after a breeding shed accident, but two of his sons, Baron de Vaux and Kinnet, are now at stud.

Two recent major runners, Hidden Lake and Fastness, are also strong representatives of the Carpet Slipper branch of the Simon’s Shoes’s tribe.

Hidden Lake was the last foal from the Round Table mare Friendly Circle, who had previously produced stakes winners Ginistrelli and Midway Circle. Slow to come to hand, Hidden Lake improved with every race and with every year. But it was the decision to send her to trainer John Kimmel in New York that gave her the chance she really deserved.

Previously, Hidden Lake had run well, but not exceptionally, in California under the care of Walter Greenman. After the filly ran second at Churchill Downs in the Humana Distaff, Greenman told her new owners, Robert Clay and Tracy Farmer, that he thought she would be better suited to racing in the East, particularly at Belmont Park.

From that moment on, Hidden Lake did nothing but improve. Under Kimmel’s care, she reeled off four straight graded stakes wins: the Shuvee and Hempstead Handicaps and the Go For Wand and Beldame Stakes. All except the Shuvee, which is designated a G2, are G1 events.

Hidden Lake had only the 1997 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Hollywood Park left on her dance card prior to retirement. Unfortunately, returning to the type track that had prevented her from showing her best was not to her advantage, and when the hard footing stung her feet, Hidden Lake stopped and faded to next-to-last in a most uncharacteristic performance. Kimmel later said he believed she was protecting herself.

Voters forgave the performance and elected Hidden Lake champion older mare and she thus went to the breeding shed with the highest credentials. She produced a Storm Cat colt in 1999, but it is the right kind of filly to carry on the family line that one really hopes for from this daughter of Quiet American.

Fastness (IRE) has a very different type pedigree than Hidden Lake and while he did not earn a championship during his racing career, he was certainly one of the fastest turf horses seen in recent years, equalling a mile course record of 1:32 3/5 at Hollywood Park and setting a new nine-furlong course record of 1:44 3/5 at the same track.

Fastness is by the Riverman son Rousillon, himself a major winner, whose dam, Belle Dorine, is a half sister to the second dam of Sharp Cat and Royal Anthem. His broodmare sire, Troy, won the Epsom Derby, and his second dam, Queen’s Castle, is a half sister to the champion Reform.

Reform is worth remembering. Upon his retirement in 1967, TIMEFORM wrote of him, “Ignoring his first outings at two and three years, Reform suffered only one genuine defeat in his life; and that he handsomely avenged. What a grand little character he was!”

Reform is difficult to find in American pedigrees, but we have certainly seen his handiwork. His daughter Good Lass produced the excellent Yellow Ribbon winner Bonne Ile; Our Sue II got Grade 1 winner The Hague; Mrs. Moss produced Jupiter Island, who placed in such important American races as the D. C. International and San Juan Capistrano and his gelded son Admetus won the D. C. International himself. One still finds the occasional daughter line out there and considering his class, he is definitely an asset in a pedigree.

As to Fastness, he will have to overcome the American prejudice against grass horses if he is to succeed at stud. However his runners do, look for him to become a good broodmare sire when properly matched, especially with other branches of this family that are better known to have succeeded in the U. S., like *Rough Shod II, Norther Sunset and Really Trying.

It is impossible to understand the true worth of of this great family without giving the highest praise to Northern Sunset, whose her sub-section of this family is one of the best known in the U. S. A. Northern Sunset is the type mare whose foals all have some ability and she is one of few modern mares that have three successful sons at stud.

The best of them to date is most definitely Lac Ouimet, who has gotten 19 stakes winners and who improves his mares with an AEI of 1.54 vs a CI of 1.33. His younger full brother, major winner and champion St. Jovite has been something of a disappointment, but then he was not as sound and tough as Lac Ouimet, who ran 40 times to St. Jovite’s 11.

Simon’s Shoes’ own pedigree is typical of the mares of her time in that she was by a son of St. Simon, Simon Square. But this particular son of St. Simon was from the family of Reine-de-Course St. Marguerite and his sub-branch actually is the same as important sire Rock Talk and one of 1999’s top freshman sires, Rizzi.

The dam of Simon’s Shoes, Goody Two Shoes, was by Isinglass and is inbred 3 x 2 to half brothers Wenlock and Kisber, from the Manganese family. This group of mares went on to account for the great French sire Bruleur and Formor, sire of the second dam of Lyphard. All of which is merely to illustrate just how inbred the Thoroughbred really is.

Because of her overall importance to the breed, we thus expand the *Rough Shod II family to include the new Reines-de-Course Simon’s Shoes; Dalmary; Jennydang; Gold Mary; Carpet Slipper; Vali; *Valoris II; Country House and Northern Sunset. Keep their names in mind when you see them and know that this, too, is the family that gave us names like Sadler’s Wells, Moccasin, Lt. Stevens, Cutlass, Nureyev and many more.

Family 5-H