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From the Feb 4, 1942 Harness Horse


PegasusIn the Feb 18, 1942 Harness Horse, John Hervey provided the following explanation (below) of the photo and antecedents of Pegasus B. (Hervey's 2/18/42 article was titled "Memories of Zombro")

IT IS a long while since an article has appeared in the trotting turf journals that has interested me so much or seemed to me of such unusual informative value as that contributed by Mr. D. Hamilton Hickey to this magazine, issue of February 4; the subject being Pegasus B.; the son of Zombro that did so much for harness racing upon the Pacific Coast, first through his own performances and secondly through those of his get and later descendants.

It was particularly valuable because for years past the Pacific Coast has possessed no turf journal of its own worthy the name, in contrast to the past, when at one period it had a number of different ones, headed by the Breeder and Sportsman, for an extended period among the foremost turf weeklies of America. The B. & S., as it was familiarly known, was founded in the early 1880's by Joseph Cairn Simpson, one of the most remarkable men ever identified with our horse history. After conducting, it for about a dozen years, with great success, he sold it out to a holding company, which, as I recall it, was headed by the late William G. Layng-or, perhaps Mr. Layng took over from the parties to whom Mr. Simpson sold out. At any rate, for many years the B. & S. was published by Mr. Layng, who maintained its high standard of quality. Then, like others of the once-so-numerous American turf journals, the gradual contraction of equine interest before the merciless advance of the automobile juggernaut, caused it to lose ground and finally it was forced to discontinue. I have been told that no complete file of it today exists, owing to the great earthquake and fire of 1906, in which many of California's priceless treasures in the way of documents, files, books, records, etc., perished.

Mr. Hickey's article brought the old B. & S. vividly to mind because, if I am not mistaken, the photo of Pegasus B. used to illustrate, it is reproduced from one which appeared in that journal back in the days when he was racing on the California tracks, in the period of 1910-17.

Subsequently it is the only photo of the stallion in existence, which is a pity-it seems strange that none was made of him in later years after he had become one of the greatest sires that California has produced. The small quantity of his blood that now exists is much to be regretted, though by wise conservation it is to be hoped that it may be given a new start and made to ''increase and multiply."

In reading the article my attention was attracted by the statement that Pegasus B. as a race horse was markedly temperamental. This was not a quality that he inherited from his sire, Zombro 2:11, the renowned son of McKinney 2:111/4, and must have come from some other ancestor. Tracing his pedigree out, beyond his grandam, Annabelle, 3, 2:271/2, by Dawn 2:183/4, son of Nutwood 2:183/4. I find that the next dam was (as Mr. Hickey mentions) Pacheco, a thoroughbred mare by Hubbard, son of Planet; the next being Mercedes, by Lodi, son of imported Yorkshire. Perhaps it was from this source that the "temperament'' came.

The maternal breeding of Pegasus B. has always interested me because he was out of La Belle 2, 2:16, by Sidney 2:193/4, grandam Annabelle, as above, by Dawn. La Belle was the champion two-year-old of her season in California, and, according to my recollection, either unbeaten or practically unbeatable. I well remember the deep impression she made and of a well-known California horseman whom I met when he was on an eastern trip telling me that she was a really wonderful filly but that too much was being done with her and he doubted if she would ''go on"-which proved to be the case. Her dam. in turn, Annabelle, was another very fast filly whose record was no indication whatever of her speed.

Dawn, the sire of Annabelle, was a son of Nutwood and, as Mr. Hickey states, was out of Countess, by Whipple's Hambletonian 725; grandam Fly, pedigree untraced. In this connection Mr. Hickey remarks that "The time, location and everything else connected with her points to her being the same Fly which produced the dam of Lou Dillon."

As concerns this I may note that when Lou Dillon made herself immortal for all time as the first two-minute trotter, and her pedigree became the object of intensive study and investigation, among the first suggestions made by California horsemen was the one now made by Mr. Hickey-that her untraced grandam, Fly, must have been identical with the mare of the same name, also untraced, that was the grandam of Dawn. However, this lead, when followed up, speedily went into a blind alley. Research showed that Fly, the grandam of Lou Dillon, was accidentally killed after producing but a single foal, that having been Lou Milton the dam of Lou Dillon; while as regarded Fly, grandam of Dawn, it was established that she could never have been bred to Milton Medium 2:251/2, the sire of Lou Milton.

While it is hardly germane to the present article, I may add that for a number of years after Lou Dillon became so famous I engaged in a long and exhaustive attempt to verify the breeding of her grandam, Fly, which had been lost about the time of her death. The result was to practically establish the fact that she was a mare taken from Wisconsin to California in the 1870's, was bred in the former state and a daughter of Black Flying Cloud 378 and a mare by the imported English thoroughbred King of Cymry. The version that Fly was by George M. Patchen, Jr. 2:27 out of a mare by John Nelson 187, to which Mr. Hickey alludes, was advanced by the late Samuel Gamble but proved unauthentic, no evidence of value being brought forward to support it.

Dawn, sire of Annabelle, grandam of Pegasus B., was a grand performer in California in the high-wheel days. He especially distinguished himself by defeating Guy Wilkes 2:151/4 when that horse was at the height of his fame and the "uncrowned king'' of California racing stallions. As Mr. Hickey remarks, the concentration of Nutwood blood in the pedigree of Pegasus B. is remarkable, for in addition to his maternal cross through Dawn, he gets three more through his sire, San Francisco 2:073/4, that great progenitor going twice to Lida W. 2:181/4, by Nutwood, and once to his son California Nutwood 10119. Incidentally Nutwood Wilkes 2:161/2, sire of Oniska, dam of San Francisco, united the blood of the two rivals, Guy Wilkes and Dawn, being by the former and out of a mare by Nutwood, sire of the latter.