by Bill Lathrop © 2004
When evaluating the female family of recent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Bago, one might trace tail female back five generations to the mare Natalma, and stop. ‘Nuff said, there’s the key. The multi talented descendants of this great producing mare have been keys in shaping the Thoroughbred into the racing presence that we see in all corners of the world today. Her son, Northern Dancer, has been one of the breed’s greatest influences as a sire, and sire of sires. The great stallion, Danehill, is inbred to her 3x3, and other outstanding individuals such as Proud Citizen, La Prevoyante, Jules, Orpen, Machiavellian, and Diatribe, among many others, trace tail female to this mare.
The exploits of the individuals listed above have secured Natalma a place in racing history’s list of elite mares, but I would like to take you a little farther back to the family’s “Conduit Mare”, Dazzling (1900), by St Leonards.
Dazzling was bred and raced by the brothers James R. and Foxhall Keene. The chestnut filly didn’t compete as a two-year-old, but was highly tried at three. Departing her homeland, she tackled the best fillies in England in the 1000 Guineas, and the Epsom Oaks Stakes, and, failing to place in either Classic race, she was sent back to America to be bred.
In the breeding shed she produced six foals, all fillies. J.R. Keene was the breeder of her first four foals, and Dazzling then was acquired by J.N. Camden of Heartland Stud, Versailles, Kentucky, who is listed as the breeder of her last two foals, one of which, Fly By Night II, raced in England under the colors of H.P. Whitney. Dazzling’s 1908, and 1909 fillies were sent to Argentina in 1910, and Dazzling died in 1911.
The influence of Dazzling is predominately carried on through Fly By Night II, who’s daughter Flying Witch, a winner of 1 of 6 starts, was the dam of the stakes winner Mother Goose, who’s unraced daughter, Arbitrator, produced Almahmoud, the dam of Natalma. In addition to the superb individuals listed above the dual Classic winner Spectacular Bid, Kentucky Derby winner Cannonade, Breeders Cup Classic winner Skywalker, and Broodmare of the Year, Cosmah, dam of the influential sire Halo, are also part of Dazzling’s resume, one which would rank her as one of the most influential of the Conduit mares.
Bago’s courageous victory in the ‘Arc, has inserted another diamond into the royal crown of this dazzlingly regal female family, and I am certain there will be more gems to come.
Bill Lathrop © 2004