Americans are lucky. No major military conflict since the Civil War has been fought on our soil. Certainly we remember the photos of Count Fleet’s Belmont where the “in case of air raid keep calm” sign is prominently displayed. And Californians remember that Golden Gate Fields near Oakland was used by the Navy as an amphibious training base. But our racing was barely affected, and was in fact untouched by European standards.
In England, for example, racing was cancelled in Sept. and half of Oct. 1939, then resumed in 1940 only to be stopped when France fell later that year. It never fully re-started until 1945.
And in France itself? The devastation was sickening. During the 1940 occupation breeding stock was confiscated, some never to be returned. Jewish owned-studs were disbanded or destroyed. Longchamps, home of the Arc de Triomphe, was damaged by bombing right before the start of racing in 1943 and a German vehicle-park was in the middle of the course.
On the positive side, some stallions were recovered; namely Pharis, Bubbles and Brantome, in 1945. Others, like Prince Rose, sire of *Princequillo, Prince Bio and Prince Chevalier, were not so lucky.
Prince Rose was killed by German artillery fire in 1944 at the age of 16, though the mare Cosquilla, carrying *Princequillo at the time, had been spirited away to Ireland where the great horse was foaled. Likewise in 1940, during the fall of France, a mare named *The Squaw II was seized by the Nazis. In Germany, she won three races and later produced two foals before her return to France after the war.
*The Squaw II might never have been in France but for a quirk of her breeder, Joseph E. Widener. Widener, despite the obvious threats of World War II, insisted on breeding and racing in Europe up to the bitter end. His foolishness nearly cost American breeding the likes of Tom Rolfe, Sham, Ack Ack and a host of other good ones.
*The Squaw II’s dam, Minnewaska, a daughter of Blandford from Nipsiquit by Buchan, was bred in France by Widener then imported to Elmendorf, which Widener owned at the time, to be bred to *Sickle. The result of that mating, *The Squaw II, was then returned to France for racing, was subsequently captured and was not recovered until after Widener’s death in 1943.
When *The Squaw II was found, the administrators of Widener’s estate decided to sell her at Keeneland in 1946 and there she was purchased for $16,000 by Prince Dmitri Djordjadze. What made that purchase so fateful was that Djordjadze (who claimed, at least, to be a Russian prince) had earlier claimed *Princequillo for his Boone Hall stable for the munificent sum of $2,500 and placed him in the hands of Horatio Luro, who would make his reputation as a “cup” horse.
When Djordjadze then purchased *The Squaw II, the die was cast. The mare, whose own story was so parallel to *Princequillo’s, became his “monogamous” mate, producing foals only by him (though she was bred to three other stallions and did not get in foal near the end of her life) until her death in 1962 at the age of 23. Even the date of her death, Pearl Harbor day, Dec. 7 seemed to be a haunting reminder of the world war whose thread had been woven throughout her life.
*The Squaw II’s first foal was *Bohemienne by the captured sire Bubbles. *Bohemienne did not win but produced stakes winner Alcidor and stakes placed Savage Pagan. Her other European mate was Dogat, to whose cover she foaled the stakes producer Salable Product.
Finally home to stay in the U.S., *The Squaw II promptly showed her affinity for *Princequillo by foaling two Coaching Club American Oaks winners, How and Cherokee Rose, from her first three matings to the sire. The third mating produced a colt named Powhatan who won 13 races and $36,130.
How herself became an important producer all due to the exploits of one offspring, Pocahontas. A daughter of Roman, Pocahontas won the Schuylerville Stakes, produced champion and Chef-de-race Tom Rolfe and was named Broodmare of the Year in 1965, Tom Rolfe’s championship season. Pocahontas’ other stakes winners were Chieftain, sire of Handicap Triple Crown winner Fit To Fight; Ahdeek; Wenona, granddam of Norwegian champion What Nonsense; and Lady Rebecca, dam of the very good European sire Alzao.
Cherokee Rose made many contributions, but some of her finest have been through her daughters Shoshanna and Fast Turn. Shoshanna is responsible for Belmont Futurity winner Just The Time, who was a fine regional sire in the Pacific Northwest, and Vaguely Royal, dam of Grade I winner Reluctant Guest and Grade I placed Dowery. Fast Turn is the dam of Horse of the Year and Chef-de-race Ack Ack and granddam of Venezuelan champion Sweet Candy.
*The Squaw II was barren in 1952 then foaled unraced Mirandy Rose in 1953. Mirandy Rose did not contribute as many major winners as her dam’s first two daughters, but her daughter Victory Rose by Hasty Road is the second dam of $501,827 winner Deputy Jane West, a champion in Canada at two and three in 1992-93.
Sequoia, a foal of 1955, was *The Squaw II’s last major contribution. Sequoia won the Spinaway Stakes in 1957 and her first foal was Sham, whose shadow dogged the footsteps of Secretariat throughout 1973.
In addition to Sham, Sequoia foaled San Bernardino Handicap stakes winner Dendron and Leonato, a Group II winner in England. She also foaled four stakes producers including Shinnecock, dam of Athenia Handicap winner Poppycock and $125,245 stakes winner Top Competitor.
*The Squaw II produced her last live foal in 1957, a colt named Happy Hunting who won two races and $4725. She was twice more tried with *Princequillo, once coming up barren, another time producing a dead foal before matings to Dark Star, Flying Fury and Top Charger all resulted in barren years. But her work had already been done, and done well.
There are several good young mares from this family, most notably Reluctant Guest and Deputy Jane West. Dowery, a stakes winning half sister to Reluctant Guest, has some unraced offspring by good sires as does Smarter By The Day, a Grade 3 placed stakes winner. But to be fair, this is a zig-zag family. *The Squaw II produced good racing and producing daughters and those daughters produced not only some very good sires like Tom Rolfe and Ack Ack but some pretty good sires like Chieftain, Sham, Alzao, Sweet Candy and Just The Time. On the whole, *The Squaw II can be cast in no other role than as a “sire source” mare with the occasional good daughter or granddaughter who keeps the family going.
Nonetheless, these sires have plenty of daughters and those daughters can be crossed with sons of the other sires to effect inbreeding to *The Squaw II and bring out the meat of a truly fascinating pedigree. Keep in mind, too, that all inbreeding to her through her daughters is actually inbreeding to a series of full sisters, a rare opportunity indeed.
About *The Squaw II’s pedigree: the heart of that pedigree is the four crosses of the mare Pilgrimage, whose story we told in relation to Selene. Pilgrimage appears twice through her daughter Canterbury Pilgrim via Chaucer and Swynford and twice more through her son Loved One via Gondolette and Doris.
Added to this superior mare is a plethora of Galopin blood through three crosses of St. Simon and two through Galopin daughters Aida and Merry Gal. There are three crosses of Isonomy through his daughter Arcadia and sons Gallinule and Isinglass; two of Quiver through her daughters Maid Marian and La Fleche; three of Cyllene through sons Polymelus and Minoru and daughter Maid Of The Mist; three of Hermit through Queen Adelaide and a double of son Tristan; and a double of Springfield through Sainfoin and Sunrise. The question now becomes, “What did *Princequillo add to this embarrassment of riches that worked so very well?”
Basically, he added even more Galopin, through three St. Simon crosses and three other independent crosses of daughters Merry Gal, Galeoitta and Galicia – perfect balance. There are other elements, of course, but the foals of *The Squaw II and *Princequillo had no less than 10 crosses of Galopin, six through St. Simon. On balance, *Princequillo did add a son of Sainfoin, Rock Sand, to The Squaw II’s daughter cross of Bromus and a daughter cross of Isinglass through Lady Lightfoot to her son cross of John O’Gaunt. But make no mistake, the St. Simon inbreeding was the key.
Because *The Squaw II had foals by *Princequillo only (in this country), the logical thing would be to look at which sires bred best to her daughters, but no answer is there. Ack Ack was by the Domino-line Battle Joined, Tom Rolfe by *Ribot, Sham by Manna (Phalaris)-line Pretense and Chieftain by Bold Ruler. However, despite their widely divergent sire lines, one thing all four sires did share in common was the abillity to add to the build up of Canterbury Pilgrim/Pilgrimage blood in *The Squaw II’s own genealogy.
Ack Ack for example, added a cross of Selene and his broodmare sire, *Turn-To, added one of Sunstar, both descendents of Pilgrimage. Chieftain had even more to offer – two Selene crosses plus broodmare sire Roman’s cross of Doris. Sham brought in three Chaucer crosses through Selene and Lady Nairne and Tom Rolfe gave a Chaucer cross and three Sunstar crosses. One thing is certain: all were good sires and only Sham did not get a son to carry on. Tom Rolfe became immortal through Hoist The Flag; Chieftain has Fit To Fight; Ack Ack’s Broad Brush is a top sire.
Perhaps the real story of *The Squaw II is the very irony of it all – that two horses would end up in the hands of a would-be Prince – one whose sire was killed by Germans, another who was herself captured by Germans, and together be responsible for such a gigantic legacy. But then racing lore is such gloriously inspiring reading just because of stories like *The Squaw II’s.
As always, it is a pleasure to add a good mare and her best daughters to the Reine-de-Course list. Welcome then *The Squaw II herself and her Coaching Club American Oaks winners How and Cherokee Rose as well as granddaughter Pocahontas. The stud book, as well as the story book, would be far less interesting without them.