The Bard (U.S.)
"...there never was a horse who wore shoes on American soil who was as great a racer as The Bard has shown himself to be ... The chances are his equal as a racer doesn't live anywhere on earth to-day." That was the New York Times in 1888, after the plain, spare horse won three amazing races at Brooklyn, the last, the 1-1/2 mile Brooklyn Cup by ten lengths on a muddy track. He was owned by Alexander J. Cassatt, a Pennsylvania Railroad official who, twelve years later, would leave an indelible mark on the development of rail transportation, by planning and overseeing the network of rails and under-river tunnels that would connect New York with New Jersey and Long Island, and on New York's urban landscape by planning Pennsylvania Station and personally selecting the firm that would design the landmark structure.
The Bard was fast, could go a distance, and was a great weight-carrier. He was the leading racehorse in the U.S. at ages three, four and five, sharing that distinction with different horses in each year. Many considered him the best son of Longfellow, a leading sire and himself a grand stayer. But at Cassatt's 650 acre Chesterbrook Stock Farm, supported by a small, but really good band of stakes-winning mares, The Bard was an indifferent stallion. He got many winners, but most of them ran at the selling and allowance level. There were a couple of exceptions, notably his champion son, GOLD HEELS, as tough, talented and determined as his sire, but neither GOLD HEELS nor any other son of The Bard continued the sire line in thoroughbreds more than a generation or two, and sadly, none of his daughters, which included Alabama Stakes winner POETESS, established any strong female families.
His sire was the majestic Longfellow (1867, by imp. Leamington - Nantura by Brawner's Eclipse), a big brown horse that stood almost 17 hands. A grand stayer that did not start until age three, due to his size, his 14 wins in 16 starts included the Ohio Stakes, the Memphis Post Stakes and Nashville Citizens' Stakes, all two-mile heats, the 3 mile Wooley Stakes, the 2-1/2 mile Saratoga Cup and the 2-1/2 mile Monmouth Cup twice, the second time beating Harry Bassett in a sensational race memorialized by Currier and Ives in a famous print.
Longfellow was an equally successful stallion, always near the top of the sires list, and leading it in 1891, despite the fact that virtually all his offspring were stayers, and if raced at age two, did not shine. His best, besides The Bard, were the great race mare Thora (Alabama Stakes, Monmouth Oaks, Saratoga Cup, etc., dam of another great filly, Yorkville Belle, top stakes winner Dobbins, and good juvenile Sir Francis), the fast, game Longstreet (Jerome Handicap, Monmouth Cup, Coney Island Stakes, etc.), the excellent gelding Freeland (Phoenix Hotel Stakes, Merchants Stakes, etc.), as well as Kentucky Derby winners Leonatus (beat only once) and Riley (also Monmouth Cup). A number of his sons were useful stallions, including Leonatus and Jils Johnson,but none of them came close to his success in the breeding shed. His daughters, notably Peg Woffington (dam of David Garrick and Pegasus), Sallie M. (dam of Travers, Clark and Hindoo Stakes winner Bersan), Julia L. (dam of Kentucky Derby winner Halma), and Thora were important producers. Longfellow was bred at the Nantura Stud (named after his dam), retired there after his race career was done, and died there in November 1893.
The Bard's dam, the chestnut Brademante (1874), by the Lexington son, War Dance, was out of Brenna (1861), by imp. Knight of St. George, both bred by James Grinstead at his Walnut Hill Stud, Kentucky. This was the Levity branch of the Duchess family that contributed so much to the American turf. Brenna was an important matron in this family, producing fifteen foals, including Athalaric (by Gilroy, dam of the stakes winner Tom Martin), Strathmore (by Waverly, a useful stallion), the good runners Kinkhead (won Churchill's 2 mile Clark Stakes), Sir Walter, Long Stop and Violante (set a record for 5/8 of a mile), and Ella Hankins, an important matron. Brenna herself was a good miler, and was later purchased as a broodmare by Charles Reed, who owned Fairview Stud near Gallatin, Tennessee.
On the turf Brademante was a superior winner. At age three she was the best of her sire's get, with $4,419.00 in earnings, winning six of her sixteen starts, including Keeneland's Phoenix Hotel Stakes (mile heats), placed second five times, and out of the money three times. She set records over a mile at Saratoga (August 1876), over a mile-5 furlongs at Lexington (May 1876) and, reportedly, over two miles (Jackson, November 1877; some authorities found the time of 3:35-1/2 not credible). Grinstead raced Brademante through the early part of 1877, and for him she won the 1- mile-1 furlong Phoenix Hotel Stakes and the 1 mile-5 furlong Citizens' Stakes (beating seven with a four pound penalty) at Lexington, and ran second to Felicia in the Kentucky Oaks (1-1/2 miles) at Louisville. After that she was purchased by the Dixon and Wimmer partnership, and taken north to race. At Saratoga she won or was second in most of her races, and set a record in mile heats of 1:43-1/2. She won purses at distances from a mile to 1-1/4 miles, and was second to Baden-Baden in the Travers Stakes (1-3/4 miles). She went south in the fall, and at Jackson she won a $200 purse over two miles.
After her career was over, Brademante joined her dam at Fairview Stud, where she produced nine foals between 1880 and 1891, when she died foaling the filly Bradwick in February. The Bard (1883), her third foal, was her best runner, by far, and there's little doubt he got his extra speed from her record-setting qualities. Her sons Father John (1881, by Glenelg) and Joseph (1885 by the Duke) were winners. Daughter Vivacity (1880, by Virgil) was the dam of the good winner Tenacity. Bracelet, Brademante's 1889 daughter by Mr. Pickwick, and dam of several winners, including Long Island Handicap winner Invincible, sent her female line forward to the twentieth century.
At Reed's annual yearling sale in the spring of 1884 at Gallatin, Col. S.D. Bruce was engaged by both New Jersey horseman David Withers and by Pennsylvanian Alexander J. Cassatt to purchase youngsters. Withers told Bruce to buy either the Longfellow colt from Brademante or the Longfellow filly out of her dam, Brenna, "whichever one he could." Cassatt told Bruce to buy both the colt and the filly. Bruce compromised, buying the colt (The Bard) for Cassatt, for the high price of $1800, and the filly (Long Stop) for Withers.
The yearling Bard went to Cassatt's Chesterbrook Stock Farm (sometimes Chesterbrook Stud) near Berwyn, Pennsylvania (20 miles west of Philadelphia at the time), to grow up and get started on the farm's half-mile training track. From then until his death in 1908, Chesterbrook was The Bard's home base, where he retreated after illness and injury, and where he retired to stud. Topping out at 16 hands, The Bard was a bright bay with black points. Long-necked and plain-headed, at 1,000 pounds he was "...light in the flank and ran rather light in flesh." He was, said one writer, "not a pretty horse." He had a long stride, "...and while his action was not the most attractive, it carried him a pace at which few could live." He had a peculiar walk, lifting his off hind leg in a manner that suggested stringhalt.
A pastel of Alexander ("Aleck") J. Cassatt, done by his famous sister, Mary Cassatt, in 1888
||Alexander J. Cassatt was the son of Robert Simpson Cassat, a stockbroker (established Lloyd Cassatt & Co. in Philadelphia). land speculator, and first mayor of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, and Katherine Kelso Johnston, who came from a banking family. Alexander's sister was the noted artist Mary Cassatt, with whom he was relatively close. The family was more than financially comfortable, and spent some years in Europe, where "Aleck" received some of his engineering training in France and the University at Heidelberg in Germany. Returning to the states, he graduated from Rensselaer Pollytechnic Institute with a civil engineering degree in 1859. He worked briefly in Georgia, supervising construction of a railroad line, and returned to Pennsylvania when the Civil War broke out. He joined the Pennsylvania Railroad, and gradually worked his way up the ranks, no doubt in part due to his social connections but also to his undeniable and frequently alluded to ability to focus on every detail of the operations he managed and his almost obsessive capacity for hard work, acting in various supervisory capacities for different small lines the Pennsylvania Railroad was gobbling up. |
Cassatt took the post of General Superintendent of the Railroad, and then was appointed the first General Manager of all the Pennsylvania lines, reorganizing the various lines and forming an integrated system of transportation. He moved into the ranks of executive office, assuming the first vice-presidency of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1880, with responsibility for political relationships with the Pennsy's various subsidiary lines.
All this time, Cassatt had extended his social and business connections, and was building a small fortune based on investments. His social-business circle included August Belmont and other wealthy individuals who had interests in horse racing. He resigned his position with the railroad in 1882, although retaining a seat on the board of directors, citing a lack of time for his other interests, one of which was racing and thoroughbred breeding. In 1878 he had joined with George and Pierre Lorillard, August Belmont Sr. and James Gordon Bennett to purchase Monmouth Park, and spent a lot of money upgrading the track and its facility. He invested in the new Monmouth Park in 1890, when the old park could no longer support the increasing popularity of the track. Cassatt served as president of the Monmouth Park Racing Association, after Lorillard died, until resigning two years later, in 1892, under the pressure of the New Jersey State Legislature, alleging an abuse under a "technicality." Cassatt, already winding down his racing interests, dispersed his racing stable, although the thoroughbred breeding activities at Chesterbrook continued, with The Bard as the premier stallion.
In 1880 Cassatt bought "the old Davis place" in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and set about developing the 650-plus acreage into a bloodstock farm, which he called Chesterbrook (a stream ran through the Chester County valley where it was located) including planting much of it in bluegrass seed imported from Kentucky. Cassatt did not live there; he drove a carriage from his country seat, Cheswold, some 11 miles away in Haverford, almost daily to supervise the operation. Like other bloodstock farms developed during this time in the U.S. by the wealthy, Chesterbrook was fully appointed with multiple barns, a training track, and vast grassy fields and paddocks. It included four packs of foxhounds, and was frequently used by the famous Radnor Hunt, founded by Cassatt's neighbor and business associate, Rudulph Ellis.
In addition to thoroughbreds and cart horses, Chesterbrook was the home of a celebrated herd of Guernsey cattle and of award-winning Shropshire sheep. By 1901, the farm had six miles of macadam roads, and considerable acreage devoted to growing timothy hay for the livestock. Cassatt was active in livestock and horse shows in the state.
Early on, Cassatt was caught up in the Hackney craze, and in 1883 imported the Hackney stallion Little Wonder from England. He was increasingly involved in promoting the use of Hackeys, was instrumental in forming an American Hackney stud book, and served as president of the American Hackney Horse Society, which was established in 1890. In 1892, he bought from the noted Norfolk Breeder Mr. Cooke, the eight-year-old stallion Cadet, already famous in England, for the unheard of price of $15,000. While Cassatt still retained a managerial role on The Bard's stud career after the horse retired in 1889, Hackneys were Cassatt's true -- or perhaps newest -- love, especially after the arrival of Cadet, whose progeny ended up in the hands of wealthy enthusiasts all over the world, from South Africa, to King Edward VII's stud in England. By 1901, Hackneys were the primary equine product emerging from Chesterbrook, and Cassatt also engaged in breeding many thoroughbred mares to Cadet to produce what he claimed was a superior riding horse. Cassatt showed his hackneys at Madison Square Garden horse show and other major shows in the east, and was president of the Four-In-Hand Club of Philadelphia, also participating in the New York Coaching Club and other driving clubs.
In 1899 Cassatt was offered the presidency of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which he accepted -- there had been rumors that he had resigned in 1882 largely because he had been passed over for that position at that time. During his hiatus from the railroad, he was still involved in its development as a director, and as soon as he became president, a series of decisions and construction contracts were let which significantly impacted the development of transportation on the east coast and New York's urban landscape. Under his presidency, construction began on a vast project of tunnels, stations, and connections to link the Pennsylvania mainline near Newark, New Jersey, to a vast new terminal in the heart of Manhattan to be known as Pennsylvania Station, and from there under the East River to a connection with the Long Island Railroad, which the Pennsy simply bought. Eventually, there would be a connection to the New Haven Railroad, so that trains could run through from Washington via New York to Boston, as indeed, they still are today by Amtrak, using the infrastructure committed by Cassatt more than a century ago. Cassatt also personally selected McKim, Mead and White, the most prominent New York firm in the country to design Pennsylvania Station, "...the largest, most difficult, and most rewarding commission for any architect of the time, or any other time..." He was in the middle of a sensational and serious ICC investigation of graft by the railroad's officials when he died of a heart attack in December of 1906.
By the turn of the century, then, Cassatt's focus on thoroughbred breeding, due both to his duties at the railroad and his Hackney enthusiasm, had declined significantly. Cassatt's son, Edward, inherited Chesterbrook, and continued its operation on a more modest scale until 1918. Edward also began racing again, unlike his father, retaining some of The Bard's foals. One of his best successes in his father's tri-color silks was when The Bard's son CHOIRMASTER OF CHESTERBROOK took the 1909 Huron Handicap at Saratoga as a rank outsider.
The Bard on the Turf
The Bard was a superior racehorse; many contemporary turfites considered him "one of the grandest racehorses ever bred in America," although his trainer, James Huggins, was more laconic, saying at one point, that he "guessed" The Bard might be a "champion." Even Cassatt, who thought him a "marvelous" horse, did not put him the class of the "hero of two continents," Parole (1873, by Leamington), that had won great races in England and the U.S., but that was the horse to which The Bard was compared.
The Bard was considered the best of his year at age three (with Inspector B. by the Leamington son Enquirer), at age four (with Troubadour, by the Phaeton son Lisbon), and at age five (with Kingston) . While earnings were a consideration for ranking racehorses in these years, the number of races won, the weights carried, and the distances and competition were all taken into account when horsemen considered the best horse of the season. The Bard, with his speed, staying power, and ability to carry great weights, and his frequent beating of the best that ran in those years -- the great Hanover, the top racemare Firenzi, Troubadour, Kingston, Sir Dixon, Exile, etc. -- qualified on all those counts. He won 27 of his 47 starts, and was second nine times, and most of the races where he went unplaced were at age two, when, like his sire and most of his progeny, he was immature. One thing's for sure; he was a tough, game, honest competitor that ran at the highest level, and was a popular hero whose career was closely followed in the press.
Like his sire, he was a growthy colt that ultimately reached 16 hands, and came to hand slowly, but that didn't prevent Huggins and Cassatt from running him fourteen times as a juvenile. He won three of his races, and placed second or third five times, but almost all of these races were among the most significant juvenile contests on the east coast. He was second in Sheepshead Bay's 3/4 mile Great Post Stakes, and third in Morris Park's 3/4 mile Seabright Stakes, and then won Monmouth Park's 3/4 mile Red Bank Stakes, beating Buffalo, who had outrun him in the Seabright. In Sheephead Bay's Flatbush Stakes, 7/8 mile, he was third to Charity (by Sensation), who had run third to him in the Red Bank Stakes, with the good filly Dewdrop second. Next up was the Bouquet Stakes, 7/8 mile, at Sheepshead Bay, which he won, beating Inspector B., and then he was third to Dewdrop in Morris Park's one mile Electric Stakes, and third to Bess and Elkwood (by Leamington son Eolus) in the 3/4 mile Arlington Stakes at Washington D.C. His last race of the season was Washington D.C.'s Capitol Stakes, one mile, which he won, beating Bess and Biggonet and others.
At three The Bard began to exhibit his superiority, winning seven of his seventeen starts, placing second five times, and out of the money once. He took the Preakness Stakes, then 1-1/2 miles, with Eurus second and Elkwood third, and then ran second to Inspector B. in the Belmont Stakes, with Linden third. He was unplaced in the Bluegrass Stakes over 1-1/2 miles, and in the Coney Island Stud Stakes (Gravesend) was second, again, to Inspector B., with Ban Fox (by King Ban) and Buffalo in the field. In the 1-1/2 mile Emporium Stakes at Coney Island two weeks later, he was second by a short head to Winfred, giving him ten pounds.
A few days later, in Coney Island's Spendthrift Stakes, 1-1/4 miles, he ran a dead-heat with Dewdrop; Dewdrop's connections, the Dwyer brothers, not wanting to stress the filly, offered first to split the stakes, rather than engage in a run-off, and when Cassatt refused that offer, countered by offering a dead heat and giving Cassatt the stakes, but Cassatt refused on the grounds that his friends who had backed the horse would lose their bets (at 2 to 1 against), and the Dwyers caved. The Bard took the walk-over and win.
Next The Bard took Monmouth Park's Barnegat Stakes (1-1/2 miles), beating Quito, Winfred, and others. Dewdrop beat him at even weights in the Stevens Stakes (1-3/4 miles) a week later, with Quito, Linden and Inspector B. in the field. He was second again, to Charity, a little over a week later in the 1-1/4 mile Raritan Stakes, beating Pontico and Winfred.
A painting of The Bard in racing trim
||After this, The Bard won eight races in succession: at Monmouth Park in late July and August, he won the Freehold Stakes (1-1/2 miles), Omnibus Stakes (1-1/2 miles, by four lengths, beating Dewdrop, Ben Ali, Charity and others), and the Choice Stakes (1-1/2 miles, with Dewdrop and Ben Ali second and third). At Coney Island he took the September Stakes. At Jerome Park he won the 1-3/4 mile Jerome Stakes (beating Elkwood, the good filly Mollie McCarty's Last, and others). At Baltimore he won the two mile Dixie Stakes and the two mile Breckenridge Stakes, and at Washington D.C. he took the 1-3/4 mile Potomac Stakes by eight lengths, with Elkwood a poor second. He and his nemesis, Inspector B., were considered the best colts of their year.
At age four there were rumors in the press that Cassatt planned to ship The Bard to England to race. After the horse fell ill, it was reported in one journal that all preparations had been made for him to be shipped there in the summer before illness struck, but neither Cassatt nor anyone associated with him ever confirmed this plan. The Bard's scheduled four-year-old season was cut short ... by illness. He started eight times, won six races and placed second twice. He won Brooklyn's 1-1/8 mile June Special (1 mile-1 furlong), and a week later took the 1-1/4 mile St. James Hotel Stakes, beating Hidalgo and other good ones. He took the 1-1/8 mile Coney Island Stakes by three lengths, beating Troubadour, and the 1-3/4 mile Coney Island Cup in a canter, beating Barnam, Elkwood, and others. In the 1-1/8 mile Ocean Stakes at Monmouth Park, he was second to Troubadour, and they ran in the same order in the Monmouth Cup over 1-3/4 miles. However, he turned the tables on Troubadour in the Freehold Stakes (1-1/2 miles, at Monmouth), which he won, and then took the one mile Eatontown Stakes, his last race that season.
Not long after the Eatontown Stakes, while still at Monmouth, he exhibited signs of colic and a blocked colon. Typical treatment then was an injection, but the shot irritated the bowel membranes, and The Bard became seriously ill; at one point his trainer told the press the horse was dying, duly reported in the New York Times. Public concern for the turf hero was then, like now, high, and "...people went to Monmouth to the races, but never forgot to ask after The Bard." Somehow, he pulled through, and was sent back to Chesterbrook to recuperate, but his season was over. Even so, he ranked with Troubadour as the best horses that year.
In 1888, age five, he won seven of his eight races. He started with the Brooklyn Handicap (1-1/4 miles), where he beat the great Hanover, even weights, with the not-too-shabby Exile third, and the rest down the field. Next was the St. James Hotel Stakes, where he beat Sir Dixon while giving him 18 pounds. Then came the Brooklyn Cup (1-1/2 miles), where on a muddy track he beat the field by ten lengths, with Volante, Hanover, Fenelon far behind. After this race, the New York Times said "...there never was a horse who wore shoes on American soil who was as great a racer as The Bard has shown himself to be during the past two weeks. Three such races, won with such consummate ease against horses of good quality, stamp him as pre-eminently of the very highest class. The chances are his equal as a racer doesn't live anywhere on earth to-day. That he has speed of unusual quality every one knows. If they didn't know it before, yesterday's mile in 1:45-1/4 over a track confessedly five seconds slow in the mile...positively proved it. Weight will never stop him."
After this great start to his season, he took a walk-over for the Second Special and for the Coney Island Stakes, where no one showed up to meet him. He then beat Hidalgo and Elkwood in the Coney Island Cup (1-3/4 miles), and at Monmouth, beat Kingston and Firenzi in the 1-1/8 mile Ocean Stakes, carrying the heaviest weight. In Monmouth Park's 1-1/2 mile Freehold Stakes in August the Bard (120 lbs.) was second to Firenzi (113 lbs.), who set a record of 2:34 in that race. The Bard pulled up lame, having injured a hind leg, and it was the end of his career.
He had won $84,990 over four seasons, winning high class races at distances between one and two miles, often carrying the heaviest weight and beating the best.
The Bard in the Stud
The Bard was sent to Chesterbrook after he pulled up lame at Monmouth Park. Cassatt intended to return him to racing, but he never came right, despite some efforts to school him in 1889. He joined Cassatt's older stallions imp. Uhlan (1869, by The Ranger), the speedy Bend Or (1878, by imp. Buckden) and Stratford (1873, by imp. Leamington). In 1890 he was put to a choice selection of Cassatt's comparatively small thoroughbred broodmare band, with the first foals born at Chesterbrook in 1891. In the summer of 1891 Cassatt shipped The Bard to New York to show in the thoroughbred stallion class at Madison Square Garden (he was third of four).
The Bard was eighth on the list of leading sires in 1897 (Hanover was first), with Alabama Stakes winner POETESS his leading runner, and eighth again in 1901 (with the beaten Sir Dixon first, and Hanover second), when his champion son GOLD HEELS took most of the major handicaps in the east. Both POETESS and GOLD HEELS won good races and stakes, but the fact was The Bard just wasn't seeing enough mares to compete with stallions with open books. Even during his lifetime, his lack of opportunity was noted: in 1900, when Cassatt was in negotations with Col. Milton Young to stand The Bard at Woodburn Stud in Kentucky (the deal fell through, although The Bard did later spend two seasons in Kentucky), a turf reporter noted:
"It is generally conceded and admitted by breeders that this excellent son of Longfellow and Brademante has not had a fair opportunity in Pennsylvania. Although he is a sire of many winners, a majroity of his foals have been undersized and many think he will yet achieve great distinction in the land of his birth [Kentucky] as a sire of good racehorses..."
As to his legacy, very few horses descended from either his sons or his daughters are seen as winners of major stakes races. But some female lines descending from his daughters persist, generations of hard-knocking low-level runners, and some of his sons and daughters are seen in American Quarter Horse pedigrees.
Almost without exception, The Bard's services were reserved solely for Cassatt's mares at Chesterbrook. Apparently, no outside mares were accepted, with the exception of Rudulph Ellis' mares, and a few others owned by Cassatt's associates. Ellis was a near neighbor and social and business associate of Cassatt's. Ellis, a young Philadelphia banker before the Civil War, joined "Rush's Lanciers," the famous Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry that used lances in the war, where he was a lieutenant, later promoted to captain, and afterwards was inspector-general for the Army of the Potomac. After the war he formed a stock brokerage firm in Philadelphia, R. Ellis and Company, and in 1901 became president of the Fidelity Trust Company. He served on the board of directors of numerous Philadelphia and New York firms, among them the Pennsylvania Railroad. His Fox Hill Farm was among the estates near Bryn Mawr, built along the Pennsy railroad line in the 1880s. A founder of the famous Radnor Hunt at Bryn Mawr, and later its president, he was also active as a director of the major horse shows in Pennsylvania.
Ellis' interest in racing appears to have been limited, although in 1904, after Cassatt cut back on thoroughbred breeding, it was announced Ellis planned to start a breeding stable, a project that does not appear to have gotten off the ground. Before that, however, there was a breeding partnership of sorts between Cassatt and Ellis. Ellis' mares -- Blossom (by Virgil), Rosewood (by Woodburn), Florimel (from the Belmont stud, by The Ill-Used), Belladonna (also from the Belmont stud, by Kingfisher), Glengarine (by Glengarry), White Squall (by Falsetto), and the Cassatt-bred Saphhire (by Cassatt's stallion Stratford) -- were being bred every year to The Bard, and their foals appeared under the Fox Hill Farm title next to the Chesterbrook youngsters in the annual yearling sales up through 1901.
Another mare at Chesterbrook, Lisbon Maid (1890), by Lisbon, bred by A.J. Alexander, was owned by W.D. Althouse, owner of W.D. Althouse Co., a Philadelphia-based coal company that owned the Allegheny and Ponfeigh Mines. He was a political, social (he had a farm in Chester County) and business associate of Cassatt's, and raced a few horses, but his main equine interest was trotting horses, and he later owned a noted trotting stallion William Penn. Lisbon maid produced three foals to the cover of The Bard: BARTENDER (1901) a winner, including of a $900 purse at Morris Park over the Withers mile and later a modest stallion; THE BARD OF PHOENIX (1902), and MISS LISBON (1903, later bred to her brother, BARTENDER, producing the filly Inbreed).
It wasn't until around 1904 that The Bard began to receive outside mares that weren't owned by Cassatt's friends, after Cassatt divested himself of most of his thoroughbred bloodstock. But by then The Bard's modest reputation as a stallion had superceded his stellar race record. In 1906 The Bard was sent to Woodburn Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, to stand as a public stallion, although retained in Cassatt ownership. He saw 14 mares, total, including a few Cassatt had shipped south with him. He made two public seasons there at a fee of $50 (Ben Strome's $500 fee was the highest charged in Kentucky in 1907, and The Bard's son, GOLD HEELS was standing in Kentucky at a fee of $100, as was Star Shoot), but received few outside mares. He went back to Chesterbrook when the season was over, but returned to Kentucky in 1907, where he got ten mares in foal, and again returned to Chesterbrook at the end of the season, which was his last.
One of the few outside mares after 1904 was E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin's La Goleta, a good winner in the east bred twice to The Bard before being sent back to California. The great race mare Los Angeles (1885, sister to Cassatt's mare Heel-and-Toe, that produced GOLD HEELS), was purchased in 1902 by a wealthy Jersey City contractor J.J. Chanley for $10,000 from her California owner, Lucky Baldwin. At age seventeen, she took the long train trip in Baldwin's private horse car from the west coast to Chesterbrook, and was bred to The Bard in the spring of 1903. She produced three live foals to his cover: LOS ANGELES 2ND (1905), BRYCE (1906) and KEMPTON PARK (1907), the latter two at Woodburn, where she was sent when The Bard went to Kentucky. None of her The Bard foals did much on the turf or in the breeding shed...none of them were another GOLD HEELS. August Belmont's aged La Danseuse visited Woodburn in 1907, producing BARN DANCE (1908) that ended up running in selling races at Charleston.
It's often mentioned how disappointing The Bard was as a stallion, but when his breeding record is examined, the reason is evident. He had a limited book of mares, almost all of which belonged to Cassatt or Ellis, and they were returned to him year after year, micro-managed by Cassatt. On the other hand, many of Cassatt's mares were good stakes winners and well-bred to boot, which made The Bard's lack of success more conspicuous.
Cassatt's increasing absorption in Hackeys, and his 1899 acceptance of the presidency of the Pennsylvania Railroad and his supervision of its major civil engineering projects, left the thoroughbred breeding operation under the supervision of competent, but relatively powerless staff. The introduction of new thoroughbred mares ceased, and many of his old Chesterbrook gals died or aged out of breeding. By the time The Bard got to Kentucky, more recent successful racehorses had retired to stud, and The Bard's now distant reputation, combined with his modest stallion career, left him wanting for mares; of the outside mares that did come, none produced a high class racehorse.
The Bard's progeny covered below are organized under their dams, because Cassatt had some good race mares in his broodmare band, and they all went to The Bard in successive years.
Heel-and-Toe (1880) was the premier Chesterbrook producer. She was by Glenelg, the great stayer and four-time champion U.S. sire, and out of the good runner (winner of the 2-1/4 mile Grand National Handicap and other races) and excellent producer La Polka, of the famous Gallopade family. Heel-and-Toe was a full sister to E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin's outstanding filly Los Angeles. Heel-and-Toe, purchased at Daniel Swigert's annual Elmendorf Stud Farm yearling sales by Cassatt, was a sturdy, long-running mare that won 21 of her 107 starts in four seasons on the turf, including Jerome Park's Fordham Handicap Stakes (beating eight), Vestal Stakes, and Manhattan Handicap (1-1/4 miles) in 1884. Heel-and-Toe bred eleven foals for Cassatt, all but the first two by The Bard. Her first foal, Come-and-Go (1888, by Alarm), produced the stakes winner Ocean Tide, and was tail-female ancestress of many good stakes winners. Next came the gelded Back Step (later called Con Lucey) by Cassatt's old stallion Bend Or, a gelded sprinting winner of 71 races in six seasons on the turf, mostly in Maryland. After that, she was bred only to The Bard.
Heel-and-Toe's first The Bard foal was the bay colt SONG AND DANCE (1891), a gelded high class and frequent winner -- including Sheepshead Bay's 1-3/4 mile Autumn Cup at age four -- that ran for six seasons. In 1892 she dropped TOOTS, a winner of 26 races, mostly over a mile. In 1893 Frank Jaubert was foaled; gelded, he won 28 races, mostly at the selling level. In 1894 came CAKEWALK, a bay filly that won a number of races between ages two and four, most of them, after age two, on outlaw tracks. She produced the 1910 colt Ortiz (by Sain), later sire of the Quarter Horse Happy Jack, seen in some Quarter Horse pedigrees today. In 1895 Heel-and-Toe dropped POLACCA, who became a broodmare at James Ben Ali Haggin's Rancho del Paso in California where she produced two foals. The bay filly TOP NOTE followed in 1896.
Gold Heels after his world-record Brighton Beach Handicap with jockey George Odom dismounting
||In 1898 Heel-and-Toe dropped the bay colt GOLD HEELS, who, as the U.S. champion older horse of 1902, would become the best racehorse she produced, and The Bard's best winner, as well. Like his sire, he wasn't especially good-looking, and when grown was a 1/4" under 15.2 hands, but he was a very tough customer, and like The Bard, he got better with age, demonstrating speed, stamina, and courage; in all his races, he never gave up. Unlike his sire, he passed through many hands, both during his racing career and when at stud, ending up as a U.S. Army remount stallion in Virginia. He saw very few mares, about a dozen each season, got few winners, and before his sale to the government, he was offered at stud without charge to mare owners.
He was picked up at the Chesterbrook yearling sale by W.C. Whitney, and started his career with Whitney's stable, but with his small size and seeming lack of talent, he was "judged wanting" after several races, and he was sold to trainer David Sloan, for whom he won a number of races at the selling level, gradually rising in class. At the end of his juvenile season he had won five of his 24 starts, including Empire City's Chappaqua Handicap. Sloan, "unfortunate in his betting ventures," had to sell GOLD HEELS in the winter of 1900, and he was purchased for $7,000 by the partnership of Col. (later General) Fred McLewee and "Diamond" Jim Brady.
Trained by Matthew Allen, GOLD HEELS won seven of his twelve races for the partnership at age three; at the end of the 1901 season, he was among the top three-year-olds in the country. In the early summer he won Sheepshead Bay's Spindrift Stakes (1 mile-1 furlong), setting a track record, and five days later he took the Long Island Handicap. Three weeks after that he won Brighton Beach's Seagate Stakes (1 mile-1 furlong). In late September he took Gravesend's Monarch Stakes (1 mile-1 furlong), and ten days later won the Oriental Handicap (1-1/4 miles), setting a track record. His "greatest triumph" was taking Morris Park's Municipal Handcap (Woodlawn Vase, 2-1/4 miles), in record time and proving he could go the distance.
The 1902 campaign was even more impressive. He ran second in his first race of the season at Gravesend, giving away gobs of weight to the winner, Colonel Bill, lost, it was said, "only because of a bad ride." After that he won his four remaining races before injuring himself and ending his season. His run started with a triumphant win of the 1-1/4 mile Suburban Handicap, beating ten and setting a record for that race on a muddy track, while carrying the highest weight. Two weeks later he took Sheepshead Bay's 1-1/2 mile Advance Stakes, and a week after that won Brighton Beach's Brighton Handicap (1-1/4 miles), setting a world record of 2:03-4/5 for the distance whiel carrying 126 pounds (the highest weight in the field). "The popularity of the victor, the time of the race, and the spectacular nature of the contest all combined to drive the immense crowd into a frenzy of joyous satisfaction, and such an uproarious ovation as the stout and game conqueror received when he returned to the scales have never been witnessed before on the popular old track by the sea," the Times reported.
Three weeks after his Brighton Handicap win he took the 2-1/4 mile Brighton Cup by twenty lengths, carrying the heaviest weight; it was in this race he injured himself, and his jockey, George Odom, eased him to a canter before he crossed the finish line. It was his last race.
In September of 1902 the racing partnership was dissolved. GOLD HEELS and the partners' Major Daingerfield, one of the best three-year-olds of the season (Brooklyn Derby, Lawrence Realization Stakes, $60,000 in earnings that season), were both auctioned off at Gravesend. Both horses were lame, and neither reached the price expected. Major Daingerfield brought only $10,500, and GOLD HEELS went for $6,500, sold to jockey Winfield "Winne" O'Connor. There were four other The Bard youngsters in the sale, all of which had been bred by Cassatt at Chesterbrook, and purchased as yearlings by McLewee and Brady: FAIR ROSALIND (1900, sister to GOLD HEELS, purchased for $2,000 by Wall Street magnate C.A. Draper), FAULCONBRIDGE (1900, out of Roulette, purchased for $1,800), PRINCE OF ARRAGON (1900, from Imp. Northminster, bought for $850), and ANNA HATHAWAY (1900, out of Equipoise, sold for $800).
O'Connor immediately resold GOLD HEELS to E.J. Arnold, a self-promoting marketer whose big plan was to form a racing and breeding partnership, the "E.J. Reynolds Turf Investment Company," based on "investments" from the general public. The scheme included the idea of using GOLD HEELS as an advertising ploy, and apparently a goal to bring the horse back to the track to run in the rich World's Fair Handicap at St. Louis, Missouri. The bubble burst fairly quickly, although not before GOLD HEELS bowed a tendon in training, and was turned out at the Arnold Farm in Illinois. In May of 1903, a little over six months after Arnold purchased him, GOLD HEELS was auctioned for $5,100, as part of a seizure of the Arnold stable by the sheriff at Greenville Illinois. While whiling away in the pasture in Illinois, he had bred a handful of mares that spring, which were his first foals, born in 1904.
GOLD HEELS' new owners were the partnership of Thomas W. Hinde of Chicago and the brothers Richard and George Baker of Frankfort, Kentucky. He was sent to the partners' Millbrook Stock Farm near Frankfort. But the champion still wasn't done, once again subject to human hopes and dreams. Hinde and the Bakers leased GOLD HEELS to trainer Tom Hayes for $5,000. Hayes believed he could train the horse back to soundness. It was reported through the summer of 1903 that he was being brought along slowly, trotting and lightly cantered in front of a sulky to build up his muscles, with the goal of...yes, the World's Fair Handicap. If he won that race, worth $50,000, and one other, the partners hoped to push him into the rare realm of $100,000 earners. There were also rumors, beginning in the summer and continuing through the winter, that the partners had been offered large sums of money (one report said McGrathiana Farm owner Milton Young had offered $20,000) for GOLD HEELS, but it's hard to tell if this was hype from the partners, general racing scuttlebutt, or the real deal. In any case, the partners vowed several times to the press that the horse would not be sold for any money.
GOLD HEELS came along slowly, but in early June of 1904, two weeks before the World's Fair Handicap, after working a mile in 1:42, he pulled up "so sore...that it will be impossible to send him a trial over the handicap distance - a mile and a quarter - without completely breaking him down." That was finally it for GOLD HEELS and the turf. In 1905 saw his first mares in Kentucky. Unfortunately, this was just two years before the great depression of 1907, which hit Kentucky horsemen hard. He appears never to have seen more than a dozen or so mare each season, and usually less. In 1907-08 Millbrook dispersed the bulk of their broodmare herd, which numbered around 50; many small-time breeders picked up some well-bred mares at bargain prices between $50 and $150. As an added incentive, Millbrook offered a free cover to any of these mares by GOLD HEELS or his fellow stallion, Charade, "...merely to encourage the breeding of race horses." The obvious goal was to get some foals on the ground and onto the turf. GOLD HEELS was seen in June of 1909 by a reporter who wrote:
Gold Heels has not changed much in looks from the time he was a favorite of race goers and turf patrons. He is kind and gentle, and leads a somewhat lonesome life at the Forks of the Elkhorn on the farm adjoining the farm where his great-grandam Nantura was foaled many years before the war. His paddock was formerly a race track, one of the most famous in the west, but that was many years ago and many generations of great thoroughbred race horses have passed into turf history since Gold Heels' paddock was a race track.
You don't see progeny of GOLD HEELS listed as winners of any important U.S. races, although they occasionally showed up as winners in selling races, in places like Butte, Montana, Juarez, Mexico, Cour d'Alene, Idaho, Oakland, California, and Vancouver (Canada). Many would run more than 20 times yearly, winning a small number of races almost all at selling level. One gelding, Astute (1909, out of Volyothen), was a pretty good winner of flat hunter races held at various steeplechasing venues, like Piping Rock, Meadowbrook, and Brookline.
His best was probably the filly Golden Francis (later Covadonga, 1908) out of Fads and Fancies (1904, by Yankee), a Whitney-bred mare that was owned by Millbrook. This filly was purchased by Eduardo Insua, and shipped to Puerto Rico at age three, one of the first thoroughbreds imported into the country. She won the first F.W. Teele Cup and many other races, and was an early inductee to the Puerto Rico Racing Hall of Fame. She broke down in the last 300 meters of a race in March of 1913, and had to be destroyed. A sister to Golden Francis, Golden Fancies (1909) was tail-female ancestress to some good winners, including Beldame Stakes winner Outer Space (1954), the California filly Avigaition (1979, La Canada Sakes, Santa Ana Handicap, etc.), and Premio Dormello winner Miss Carina (1975) and her son, Prix du Moulin de Longchamp winner Menez (1981).
GOLD HEELS got two useful sire sons, although not to the thoroughbred racing world. The first was Labold (1908, out of Wings, by Gallantry), bred at Millbrook, and a sprinting winner of selling races at venues like Latona, Lexington, and Douglas Park, for owner H. Benzinger. Labold later got some fillies that were broodmares at Coke Roberds' Colorado ranch, seen early in Quarter Horse and Appaloosa pedigrees. Wings also produced Goldfinn, a winner of allowance races at Oakland, California.
The Bard's grandson Gold Oak, a popular remount stallion
||The second was Gold Oak (1908, out of Jane Oaker by Hanover), bred by Louisville horsemen Waltring and Fonda. Gold Oak went into the U.S. Army's remount service as a stallion, first serving at Front Royal in Virginia, and later shipped off to the famous Parker Ranch at Waimea in Hawaii, to serve as a remount stallion at the depot there. In Virginia, he was a noted sire of cavalry chargers, all of them "quick, smart horses that never got over their snortyness...but their superior endurance as cow horses [in Hawaii] made up for their shortcomings." In addition to cavalry chargers and Hawaiian cow ponies, he got a number of registered thoroughbred foals, one of which, Gold Bryan (1917), established a quarter-mile record of 48:25. Some of his descendants were shipped from the Parker Ranch to California, where they ran at Tanforan and Bay Meadows in the 1930s and '40s.
Another GOLD HEELS daughter, Flora McGinn (1910, from Miss Simplicity by Imp. St. Blaise), bred at Sunny Slope Stud in Midway, Kentucky, was the dam of Reno Bay, a colt bred at the U.S. remount depot at Fort Reno, Oklahoma, and later a remount stallion located in Brady, Texas. He was dam's sire of the NCHA champion cutting horse, Jessie James. Another daughter, Virginia Nunn (1908, from Salvia by imp. Rossington), was second dam of the thoroughbred stallion Bernie Harding (in-bred to The Bard), a remount stallion that is seen in some Quarter Horse pedigrees.
GOLD HEELS was sold to the U.S. remount service in December, 1912, age 14, and got a number of foals in Virginia, many of which were deemed promising enough to be purchased by the army. The former great, gutsy, champ stood for free at various Virginia farms, in Gainsborough, Gloucester, and Washington. It's likely many of early offspring, born in 1914, saw service in World War I.
In 1899 Heel-and-Toe dropped a bay filly, FOOTPRINTS, to the cover of The Bard. In 1900 Heel-and-Toe produced FAIR ROSALIND. Fred McLewee and his trainer Matt Allen were very high on GOLD HEELS after his three-year-old season, and in 1901 went to Chesterbrook to purchase some yearlings by The Bard. According to the Morning Telegraph, they "...picked out four colts and fillies from the number. They could not buy these -- so Mr. Cassatt told them -- unless they would buy the whole crop of eleven head, for which he asked $5,500. Cassatt is a man who means business, and says what he means, wherefore it had to be done, and the eleven head passed into the possession of F.C. McLewee and Co. Originally they meant to dispose of the seven head which they had not selected, and put them up to auction at Sheepshead Bay in September. Buyers fought shy of what they looked upon as cast-offs, and as a consequence they had to be got rid of to the best advantage..."
FAIR ROSALIND, as a full sister to GOLD HEELS, and who looked very much like him, was one of their goals when they went to Chesterbrook, but she was sold for $2,000 to C.A. Draper when the partnership broke up at the end of her juvenile season, and failed to place at age three. Disappointing on the turf and as a broodmare, she was ultimately sold to Argentina.
One colt McLewee could not get rid of was PRINCE OF ARRAGON (1900 out of imported Northminster by Silurian), a big-barrelled muscular colt with short legs and "plenty of bone", but with The Bard's head and neck. He was also bought by Draper at the partnership auction, and went on at age three to win a six furlong race for maidens at Jamaica, Long Island in two starts. He also was sold to Argentina.
Northminster (1891, from Queenminster by the Newminster son, Exminster) was imported as a yearling in 1892, and was bred to The Bard at age two in 1893. It was not unusual for unraced fillies at Chesterbrook to be bred at age two. She produced CHOIRMASTER OF CHESTERBROOK (1906), a colt by The Bard retained by E.B. Cassatt after his father's death, who won Saratoga's Huron Handicap (1-3/4 miles) in his maiden start at age three. He was the first of Edward Cassatt's winners since he revitalized his father's silks and started racing again, mostly with homebred Chesterbrook youngsters. Later that season he was second in Belmont Park's Autumn Stakes. Northminster was also dam of Cassatt's 1910 Preakness Stakes winner Layminster (1907, by Matchless), another homebred retained by Edward.
Ella Lakeland (1880, by imp. Great Tom), bred at the famous Belle Meade stud, was a Chesterbrook matron. Like Heel-and-Toe, she was another good race horse, although she only ran as a juvenile, winning four of her eight starts, with two second placings and a third. She started off winning a half-mile purse at Mobile, Alabama, and went on to New Orleans, where she won the Withers Stakes (1/2 mile) by three lengths, beating three, and five days later won the Boston Club Stakes (5/8 mile) by two lengths, carrying a five pound penalty. She was second to Clipsetta in the Ladies' Stakes (5/8 mile) at Louisville, with ten behind her, and then ran unplaced in the 3/4 mile Tennessee Stakes. She then won the Cincinnati Ladies' Stakes (1/2 mile) by two lengths, beating colts and fillies, and two days later, carrying a five pound penalty, ran second to her stablemate Bonairetta in the Jockey Club Stakes (3/4 mile). At Brighton Beach she was third to Delilah and Barbarian in the Ocean Hotel Stakes (5/8 mile), her last race.
Ella Lakeland's first few foals, Benedict (by imp. Prince Charlie), Ella L. (by Bend Or) and Sam Bryant (by imp. Uhlan) were all modest winners. Her first foal by The Bard, BARONESS (1891) won a 5-1/2 furlong sweepstakes at Monmouth Park, and placed second twice in her eleven starts at age two. At three she won three races at St. Asaph racetrack in northern Virginia, and continued to run, unplaced, through age six. The next The Bard foal was BARSTOW (1892), unplaced in five starts at age two, and, running as Jimmie James at age three, he won once on an outlaw track. In 1893 Ella dropped DEVAULT, a bay colt that won two purses at Detroit as a juvenile, in fourteen starts; won eight races at the selling level at age three, mostly under a mile, and at age four won five races in 20 starts, most of them in Detroit, Michigan.
In 1894 Ella Lakeland produced The Bard's chestnut filly POETESS. She was a successful winner of ten of her 25 starts, placed second or third five times. Stout, like her sire, she had a heavy schedule for most of her three seasons on the turf, but unlike him and more like her speedy dam, her best distance was 1-1/8 miles. She ran twice as a juvenile, winning a purse over the Eclipse course at Morris Park, beating eight. At age three she ran eight times, and won five, her best distance a mile, although she stretched to 1-1/8 miles to take Saratoga's Alabama Stakes by 1-1/2 lengths, beating six other fillies, and receiving weight from two of them. Her other wins that season included a selling purse over a mile at Sheepshead Bay, a mile selling race at Saratoga, a one mile Handicap at Sheepshead Bay (beating four older horses on a heavy track), a mile race for mares of all ages at Brooklyn (beating seven other fillies and mares). She placed second to Cleophus by a head in the Hunter Handicap (1-1/8 miles) at Morris Park. At age four she won four races, all at Saratoga, in thirteen starts, including a 1-1/8 mile purse, a 1-1/16 mile purse (top weight), a one mile sweepstakes (beating Havoc in a canter by four lengths), and the Spencer Stakes Handicap (1-1/4 miles, top weight), beating two. She produced Fair Rosamond (1902, by Hamburg), a winner and stakes-placed several times; her tail-female line continues to the present with some long-running, hard-knocking mares in the family.
Ella Lakeland's next foal was BARDELLA (1895), a flat-out sprinter that won seven races at a mile or less, including purses at Saratoga over 3/4 and 7/8 miles, and a purse over the Withers mile at Morris Park. At age four she won two selling races easily at Aquduct, and a handicap over 6-1/2 furlongs at Washington, carrying 130 pounds. She won two races at Saratoga at age five, and did not win at age six.
Ella's 1896 foal was another bay filly by The Bard, MAID OF HARLEM, raced by the Osceola Stables. Unlike her sister BARDELLA, she was a stayer. At age three she ran second in the Jerome Handicap, and won a mile race at Brighton Beach, beating four, and a 1-3/4 mile handicap at Morris Park, beating Spurs and one other. At four her wins included a 1-1/4 mile handicap at Brighton Beach, beating three colts; Sheepshead Bay's 1-1/2 mile Russet Handicap, easily beating a good field that included David Garrick and Laverock; the 2-1/2 mile Morris Park Handicap, beating Ethelbert and two others, and the Belmont Park Autumn Highweight for Age Stakes. At five, at Sheepshead Bay, she won a 1-1/2 mile handicap and the 2-1/4 mile Annual Champion Stakes ("easily by six lengths"), the latter the richest U.S. race at the time, that netted her owners $25,000. She produced some foals but her female line did not continue.
Water Lily (1884, by King Alfonso), a full sister to Ed Corrigan's outstanding, ill-fated Kentucky Oaks winner Lizzie Dwyer, was another well-bred, well-performed mare raced by Cassatt. She came from A.J. Alexander's Woodburn Farm in Kentucky, and was out of Lilly Duke, a Lexington daughter. Water Lily's wins included Monmouth Park's Camden Stakes, the Sheepshead Bay Bridge Handicap (1-1/2 miles) and the 1-3/4 mile Jerome Stakes at Jerome Park (the same day Heel-and-Toe won the Manhattan Handicap for Cassatt). She was bred in successive years to Cassatt's stallion Stratford, starting in 1885, and was first bred to The Bard in 1892. After that she produced seven live foals to him, but of these, the best, by far, was the bay colt VENDALE (1899), and his wins were in Europe. Her other winners were WATERMAN (1893) and the long-running gelding BARD OF AVON (1898).
In January of 1898 the press reported Cassatt was going to start racing again, but in England, not America. He was, said the Times, going to ship six colts and fillies by The Bard to The Bard's old trainer, John Huggins, who by that time was handling Pierre Lorillard's interests in England in the partnership Lorillard had with Lord William Beresford. But there is no record of any The Bard youngsters going to England that year, or the next. In 1900, however, five The Bard yearlings went to England in charge of Huggins, and all ended up in Beresford's stable. But Beresford died in 1901, and his stable was sold at auction, including all The Bard youngsters. American Richard Croker, based in Ireland, picked up three of them, including VENDALE, at 160 guineas, the highest price paid for any of The Bard's foals.
Vendale steaming after his Chester Cup win
Croker ran VENDALE in selling plates, some of which he won, but Sir George Thursby (His son, Sir John, later owned John o' Gaunt), claimed him out of a selling race, and in 1903 he handily won the 2-1/2 mile Chester Cup for Thursby, beating twelve, including the good horse St. Maclou. After that Thursby set VENDALE over fences, and in 1904 he won Manchester's Jubilee Handicap Hurdle Race (2 miles, worth £1,000), and was beaten by barely a head in the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle) in France (won by Hipparque).
VENDALE was sold to John F. Rees of Carmarthen in Wales and served as a hunter sire there, winning a King's Premium as a hunter sire for District F (which included Wales) in 1907. In 1909 he was purchased by the Danish government for £800 for use as a remount stallion in Denmark. So, yet another Bard son went to the army, although this time a foreign one.
Equipoise (1881 by Enquirer - Bandana by imp. Bonnie Scotland) was purchased at the Belle Meade yearling sales for $575.00 by Cassatt, and raced for him, afterwards retiring to Chesterbrook. She was another member of the Lucy Grey (Duchess) family. She was a speedy, precocious filly that won the Great Two Year Old Selling Stakes (3/4 mile) by five lengths, and placed second in the Atlantic Stakes (3/4 mile); at three she won a mile purse. At Chesterbrook she produced the filly Equality (1886) to the cover of Cassatt's stallion Bend Or: Equality became the dam of Algol, a top runner, and of Matchless, who got Edward Cassatt's 1910 Preakness Stakes winner Layminster (1907, out of imp. Northminster, another Chesterbrook matron).
As far Equipoise's The Bard offspring are concerned, one, BLONDIN (1895) was purchased by Pierre Lorillard, gelded, and was sent to England with other Lorillard youngsters, joining the Beresford stables there. He is noted as having won some races in England. Equipoise's 1899 son, CHARLES LEVER was one of the Cassatt yearlings shipped to England (with VENDALE) that was sold after Lord William Beresford's death to Richard Croker (for 100 guineas). SCALES, her bay colt of 1897, did not run at age two, but at age three was a useful runner that won six races and placed second and third four times each, mostly at selling level, but his wins did include the Riverside Stakes (7/8 mile at Harlem, beating Greenock, The Lady and other good ones), and a 1-1/4 mile purse at Hawthorne Park, beating Our Nellie and Prince Blazes. THE RHYMER (1898) was another tough The Bard colt, that ran 26 times as a juvenile, winning twice, second eight times, and third four times; his two wins were a 5/8 mile race at Brooklyn, beating Sharpshooter and thirteen others, and a 5-1/2 furlong race at Yonkers. At three, he won "a lot of good races," including four straight wins at Washington, the 1-3/16 mile Huron Stakes Handicap at Saratoga and a handicap at Brooklyn beating a good field. He ran through age five, and won some races in 1903.
Athalaric (1875, by Gilroy) was out of Brenna by imp. Knight of St. George, and like her half-sister Brademante, The Bard's dam, was bred at James Grinstead's Walnut Hall farm, and was lighly raced by him through age four. Her first six foals were bred at Walnut Hall, among them Tom Martin (1881, by Longfellow), a very good racehorse whose wins included the Twin Cities Handicap. He first ran for P.C. Fox, who purchased him as a yearling, and then for the Dwyer brothers, who bought him at age four. Cassatt secured Athalaric at the dispersal of Grinstead's bloodstock in Louisville; how could he resist a half-sister to The Bard's dam, that had produced a good runner? She went on to produce eight foals to the cover of The Bard, but the in-breeding to Brenna was not especially successful. Her best from this cross was the bay colt GALILEE (1891), a good juvenile that won Saratoga's Flash Stakes, and was second in Sheepshead Bay's Futurity Stakes, Flatbush Stakes, Surf Stakes, and Prospect Handicap. At three he won the Flatlands Stakes.
Other Cassatt mares at Chesterbrook included Ulsie (1875, by King Alfonso), who was Cassatt's first winner on the track. She later produced a couple of winners by Bend Or. Her best offspring by The Bard was STEPHEN J (1891), who was in The Bard's first crop. His wins included Brooklyn's rich Brookdale Handicap (1-1/8 mile beating the good horse Sir Walter) for George Jacobs. Cassatt's mare Rica (1879, by Kingfisher), purchased at the Belmont Stud yearling sale, was a precocious juvenile whose wins included the Breeders Stakes and the Homebred Produce Stakes, both over 3/4 mile. At Chesterbrook Rica produced a series of foals to The Bard; her daughter PAMONA BELLE (1891), later bred some winners and that female line continued through the 20th century. Another Rica-The Bard daughter, RICABAR (1896) was the dam of Agent, a winner of the Brook Steeplechase.
Another early mare purchased by Cassatt, Bye-and-Bye (1877, by imp. Bonnie Scotland) won the Ladies Stakes at Nashville, the Ladies Stakes at Chicago, and the Lucas and Hunt Stakes at St. Louis. Her gelded son AL MILES (1892, by The Bard) was a long-running horse that occasionally won, as did his brother STANZA (1893), that raced sixteen times at age four, and won once, a $300 purse over 7/8 mile at Oakley (Cincinnati). Her daughter, The Dawn (1884, by Rayon d'Or) ran for Cassatt and at Chesterbrook produced a series of modest winners to the cover of The Bard, including BREAK O'DAY (1894), a winner of a $200 purse at New Orleans in fourteen starts at age three; FIRST LIGHT (1892) ran through age seven, and won some low-level races at Maryland and Pennsylvania tracks; another daughter, SUNRISE (1903) produced Soumangha, another winner of the Brook Steeplechase.
Minnie Andrews (1876, by Victory) was bred and raced by Franklin Stearns of Virginia, and was a broodmare for him, her best the very good colt Elkwood (1883, by Eolus), whose wins included Saratoga's Kenner Stakes and the Suburban Handicap. In 1886 Cassatt was able to secure her, and bred her to The Bard in successive years. Of those foals, LOCHINVAR (1892) was a long-running colt that won races through 1897, and ROCKWOOD (1894) was also a winner on the secondary circuit, although neither at a very high level.
Another Cassatt mare was Maumee (1882, by Vauxhall). She was a good racemare that ran through age four at high levels; she was purchased as a juvenile by Cassatt. She was just beaten by a head in the Hunter Stakes (1-3/4 miles) at age three, and won Coney Island's Westchester Handicap in 1886. Her The Bard son BAYARD (1895) was purchased by Pierre Lorillard and was shipped to England to race, where at age three he won the Hermitage Plate at Sandown Park and was second in Kempton Park's Waldegrave Nursery Handicap at age two. She also produced MAIDSTONE (1897), a winner at two of an $800 allowance race over 3/4 miles at Sheepshead Bay.
Chopin at age 2
||The grey Victress (1874, by Victory) was another mare purchased by Cassatt after she had been a broodmare. Her colt CHOPIN (1896) had a long career on the turf, running through age seven and changing hands several times. After his three-year-old year for the Dwyer brothers, when he raced hard and won once over 5-1/2 furlongs at Aqueduct, almost all his races were at selling level -- occasionally rising to allowance level -- on the secondary ciruit of Detroit, New Orleans, Nashville, and Fort Erie, Hamilton Park and Toronto (Canada), where he won a few races up to 1-1/8 mile (there were very few at those venues over any longer distance). That was, sad to say, a typical career arc for many of The Bard offspring.|
FLORAL PARK (1894), was out of Rudulph Ellis' mare Florimel (bred in the Belmont stud), by imp. The Ill-Used. Florimel had been a good race mare ridden by jockey Edward Peters, and Peters bought FLORAL PARK as a yearling, knowing his dam well. FLORAL PARK ran eighteen times at ages two and three. He won a 3/4 mile allowance at Washington D.C. as a juvenile in his second outing. At three he ran at Fort Erie (Canada) in one mile allowance races, winning three of them. After that, he disappears from the racing charts.
Other Ellis mares bred in consecutive years to The Bard included: Blossom (1875 by Virgil), a winner in Maryland, whose The Bard foals included the filly CLARECE (1892), also a winner in Maryland. Rosewood (1873 by Woodburn), a winner of the Kellogg Sweepstakes and Occidental Stakes, produced DOGGETT (1892), a long-running racehorse whose wins included a $750 handicap in Canada. Belladonna (1884, by Kingfisher, a Belmont-bred mare), who raced under the name Jessie F., was the dam of BEAU IDEAL (1893), another heavily-raced The Bard son that won the Gaston Hotel Stakes in Kentucky , and then was raced mostly in Canada, winning several races over 1-1/4 miles at Windsor. Beth Broeck (1886 by Ten Broeck) produced another long-running hard-knocker, the gelded CELTIC BARD (1893), that won selling races at Memphis and St. Louis over a mile at age three in six starts, five selling races at age four, and had seven more wins through age eight, all at selling level on the secondary circuit.
Ellis also owned White Squall (by Falsetto), whose The Bard son PETREL (1894) won some races. Sapphire (1888, by Stratford) was bred by Cassett, and owned by Ellis as a broodmare. Her The Bard foals included MAGGIE WEIR (1895) that later produced Bryn Mawr (1901, by Atheling), a winner of the Brooklyn Derby and of Gravesend's Preakness Stakes (one mile).
Empress (1889, by Narragansett) was owned by R.C. Hall of Baltimore, but it appears she stayed at Chesterbrook for a number of years. She produced BUDDHA (1894), a fairly high-class runner that won the one mile Tidal Stakes and placed second in the Brooklyn Derby and Swift Stakes at age three.
The Bard died at Chesterbrook in February, 1908, a little over a year after Cassatt himself died. The much-reduced racing stud was inherited and overseen by Cassatt's son, Edward, an amateur sportsman and professional soldier who had served in both the Spanish-American and Phillippine wars, and later was a military attache to the U.S. embassy in England and then in Washington D.C. Edward resumed racing on a small scale, with his father's red, white and blue silks, one of his early successes the CHOIRMASTER OF CHESTERBROOK, who would have been sold as a yearling, had his father's breeding program of selling all yearlings persisted. Edward also won the Preakness Stakes of 1910 with the homebred Layminster (1907 by Matchless). Layminster's sire Matchless was a Chesterbrook product, out of Equality (by Bend Or), a daughter of Equipoise, a mare that A.J. Cassatt had bought in 1882 and raced successfully. Early in 1918 Edward dispersed the racing stables and stud to devote his time "to the war effort," and he himself died unexpectedly four years later.
It should be noted that another good horse, also named The Bard, was born in the same year as Longfellow's son, The Bard. This horse, a son of Petrarch, was born and raced in England, and was the champion juvenile of his year; he was, like the American The Bard, speedy, a good stayer, and an excellent weight-carrier. The small, beautiful chestnut Petrarch son became a two-time leading sire, in France, with eight classic winners to his credit.