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Bay colt, 1901.
By Ben Brush - *Elf by Galliard.

Darley Arabian Sire line:
Whalebone Branch.
Family 16 - a.

Ben Brush His sire, Ben Brush

A good, but not great runner, Broomstick became one of the cornerstones of the great H. P. Whitney breeding program, and as a son of Ben Brush, carried on one of the strongest American sirelines of the 20th Century.

Broomstick was officially bred by Col. Milton Young and foaled at Young's McGrathiana Farm, north of Lexington, Kentucky. The mating that produced Broomstick, however, was engineered by Foxhall Daingerfield, manager and brother-in-law to James R. Keene, owner of the great Castleton Stud. The mare *Elf (by Galliard) had been imported from England as a foal with her dam, *Sylvabelle in 1893. An unraced mare, in 1900, *Elf was bred to Castleton's top sire, Ben Brush, but, believed to be barren, was sold at a sale at Madison Square Garden for a measley $250 and purchased by commercial breeder Col. Milton Young.

Much to Young's good fortune, *Elf produced a foal the next spring and as a yearling was sold as part of a 10 yearling package for $17,000 to coal magnate Captain Samuel S. Brown of Pittsburgh. The colt, named Broomstick, was small and matured early. He made nine starts at two, winning his first three including the Juvenile, Expectation and Great American Stakes, but tailed off after this. At three, he won six of 15 races including the Brighton Handicap, setting a new American record time of 2:02 4/5 for the mile and a quarter, a time not bested until 1913, and then by Broomstick's own son, Whisk Broom II in a time many consider invalid.

That season, Broomstick also won the Travers Stakes and Flying Handicap. As a four-year-old, he won five of 15 starts, but no stakes, competing as he was against the great Sysonby, who dominated the division. He retired from racing with 39 starts, 14 wins, and $74,730 and had earned a reputation as a game competitor who could carry weights.

Broomstick in the Stud

Capt. Brown owned a grand spread north of Lexington, Kentucky, called Senorita Stud, named for his favorite mare, on land now occupied by the Kentucky Horse Park. Here he retired Broomstick to stand at stud to a harem of exceptional mares. Brown died in 1906, but it took his heirs two more years to decide to disperse the bloodstock, which was sold on November 23, 1908. On that day, Broomstick was purchased by Harry Payne Whitney for $7,250 on the advice of his trainer, Andrew Jackson Joyner, who had just broken a yearling colt from the first crop by Broomstick that he liked very much. The colt, bred by Capt. Brown (out of the Kentucky Oaks winner Audience, by Sir Dixon) and named WHISK BROOM II, became a high class handicapper and broke his father's American record in the Suburban Handicap of 1913, winning in 2:00 flat, as well as coming home victorious in the Brooklyn and Metropolitan Handicaps.

The filly Regret won against the colts

Whisk Broom II
Whisk Broom II, top handicapper and sire of champions
Sweeper II Sweeper II won England's 2,000 Guineas
Cudgel Cudgel was twice champion older horse
Following the Senorita Stud dispersal, Broomstick was sent to Whitney's farm, first in New Jersey (Brookdale Farm, near Red Bank) until 1914, and then moved to Whitney's newly purchased acreage on the east side of Paris Pike outside of Lexington, Kentucky, property once the part of the famous Elmendorf estate of James Haggin.

Broomstick was used sparingly but effectively up until his death at the age of 30 in 1931, and when WHISK BROOM II was retired to the same stud, father and son competed for the best mares. When H.P. Whitney died in 1930, Broomstick was part of the inheritance of Whitney's son, Cornelius Vanderbilt "Sonny" Whitney.

Broomstick sired 280 foals, 69 stakes winners, the vast majority of which were bred by Whitney. He was the Leading Sire in America in 1913, 1914 and 1915, and continued as a top ten sire through 1927. His first three crops sired while at Senorita Stud included, besides WHISK BROOM II, the Kentucky Derby winner MERIDIAN (1908 out of Sue Smith by Masetto) and SWEEPER II (1909 out of Ravello II by Sir Hugo), sent abroad to win the 2,000 Guineas in England.

His very best runner was the outstanding filly REGRET (1912 out of Jersey Lightning by Hamburg), also winner of the Kentucky Derby, besides becoming a tremendous handicapper against males. Broomstick also sired the outstanding runners CUDGEL, WILDAIR, BOSTONIAN, TIPPETY WITCHET, DR. CLARK, SPOT CASH, TRANSMUTE, and CANTANKEROUS.

Broomstick was truly a sire of sires. His successful stallion sons included WHISK BROOM II (sire of champions Whiskaway, Whiskery, Diavolo), SWEEPER II (sire of Golden Broom), THUNDERER, CUDGEL (sire of Fluvanna, Milkman), WILDAIR (sire of Canter, Draymont, Potheen), RUNANTELL, TRANSMUTE, BLONDIN (sire of Advising Anna), BOSTONIAN, BROOMS, and HALCYON.

Broomstick was America's Leading Broodmare Sire in 1932 and 1933 due in large part to the success of Whitney-bred Equipoise, out of a daughter of Broomstick. Other daughters produced Maud Muller, St. Brideaux, On Hand, Brazado, Erin, Gilded Knight, Traffic Court, King Saxon, Flag Pole, Bunting, Frilette, Elf, Rosebloom, and Valdina Orphan.

Like his sire, Ben Brush, Broomstick was small and built on the same long, low lines, producing speed and early maturity as well as durability and classicity. But Broomstick wasn't quite as long-bodied as his sire, and had more quality about him. He also had more of a sloping rump than his sire.

Broomstick, who died in 1931 at the age of 30, is buried in the equine cemetery at the former C.V. Whitney Farm, now owned by Gainesway Farm, Lexington, Kentucky. The cemetery also includes his son, WHISK BROOM II (who he outlived by three years), daughter REGRET, grandson Equipoise, and other descendants Boojum and Counterpoint.

-- Anne Peters

BROOMSTICK, Black colt, 1901 - Family # 16 - a
Ben Brush
b. 1893
b. 1875
*Bonnie Scotland
b. 1853
Queen Mary
Ivy Leaf
ch. 1867
Bay Flower
b. 1888
b. 1871
*Stolen Kisses
ch. 1881
br. 1880
b. 1872
Flying Duchess
ch 1874
ch. 1887
Bend Or
ch. 1877
Rouge Rose
St. Editha
b. 1873
Kingly Vale
Lady Alice

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