This is a series of articles concerning the identification of a “genetic marker” who is in the proper pedigree position to have possibly been the originator of a greyhound X-Factor phenomenon. The X-Factor could be the result of some sort of anomalous genetic mutation that had involved the genetics that determine heart size, which from all indications, are carried on the X chromosome. Or maybe it doesn’t exist at all.
Intrigued and inspired by the ground breaking work that has been done in this field for the Thoroughbred, first detailed in the books of Marianna Haun, years ago I got the idea that this might be worthwhile to investigate in greyhound pedigrees. To synopsize, by using the pedigree record, Haun noticed that a disproportionate number of great and breed-shaping Thoroughbreds carried 1 of 4 stallions in the X chromosome passing position. Since there were records of the heart size of many deceased Thoroughbreds, she was able to verify her pedigree research to some extent, which sustained her original proposition, that some horses were the receptors of a “super-motor”, carried via genetic mutations found on the X chromosome of a small group of sires. These sires were not themselves the authors of dominant sire lines, but were outstanding broodmare sires. Haun hypothesized that the reason they had failed to produce male line heirs who carried on, was because their genetic “edge” was carried on the X chromosome they received from their dams, which could only be passed onto their daughters. Of course, her books were met with significant skepticism, as well as outright hostility.
Nevertheless, the recent mapping of the equine genome seems to support her work, inasmuch as the genetic material for heart size/structure is found on the equine X chromosome. Today, there are a number of biomechanical research companies who charge hefty fees for their services, which in addition to locomotion analysis, also report on cardio-pulmonary function and output for breeders and prospective buyers of young Thoroughbreds.
To a great extent Haun’s research and conclusions seem to have been vindicated. There is a Thoroughbred X-factor.
So what we will demonstrate here is not a “blueprint” for breeders, or a way to breed stayers or anything else. It is an accounting of breedings that have already been done and adjudicated, and the placement of certain breed-shaping individuals within those pedigrees, along the X chromosome-passing corridors, which are a matter of history, as best we can account for it.
We will show, by using the pedigree record, that there is a very strong anecdotal case to be made for one greyhound—–the ever-present Misterton (b/w dog by Contango x Lima by Cock Robin), winner of the 1879 Waterloo Cup and a sire of enormous importance—-as a POSSIBLE carrier of a POSSIBLE greyhound X-factor.
If there is indeed a greyhound X Factor, this would be the preliminary work necessary to establish a history of transference and a “genetic marker”. Any X Factor phenomenon, such as the “super motor” of Thoroughbreds, should it prove to be the case in greyhounds as well, would not exist in a genetic vacuum. Expressed through a phenotype, it would work, for better or worse, in conjunction with all the other “moving parts”
The intent is to provoke thought and discussion, not to advise or consent on potential matings.
THE X TRAIL TO MISTERTON AND THE PERFECT GREYHOUND
For those of you who have seen the videos or who saw him in person, no explanation is necessary. For those who haven’t, no explanation is possible. It was as if God had decided to make the perfect greyhound, and then decided that we simply weren’t worthy. When I first heard of him, it was on a horse racing discussion board. Someone who knew I had been a greyhound trainer and who had seen him break the track record at Mile High, gave me the heads up. A week or so later, he was never to race again.
That didn’t stop him. After all, he was more an artist’s conception of a greyhound in motion than anything else. So fluid and powerful, even watching him in those grainy, shaky old videos, it almost puts you in a state of denial—or a state of shock. He would go on to be the sire board leader for 5 years, but that would not be his greatest achievement. His daughters, and now his maternal grand-daughters would see to that. Molotov could be in the Hall Of Fame on his grace, power, form and style alone. I like to say to those who use the old cliche “he was a freak” when trying to explain him, that he wasn’t a freak at all, he was an alien.
But alas, he didn’t race long enough to accumulate the resume that other Hall of Famers usually compile. He will be remembered and revered as a sire of great dams. Like Handy Andy, Rural Rube, Lucky Bannon, Kunta Kinte and Dutch Bahama, mostly dogs of significant abilities on the racetrack, and they mostly superseded their worthy racing accomplishments with their production of breed shaping dams. So Molotov is in some pretty good company.
When I mutated from a reasonably normal, rational human being, into a quasi-hermit/pedigree nerd, it didn’t take me too long to figure out that sire lines were boring to study, and that the real action in most great pedigrees was on the damside—-and that the heavy hitters were the damsires, the second damsires and so on. These were the dogs who shaped the breed, who enhanced and improved the damlines, and steered them into the future—or not.
The sires who produce male heirs to carry on their bloodline from sire to son to grandson always seem to enjoy the limelight and the notoriety. But any breeder will tell you that a good dam will produce good offspring from any number and type of sire. What was it that made these “good dams” so fertile and prepotent? I had to find out.
There are, to borrow the phrase, “patterns of greatness” present in the pedigrees of many great greyhounds—-racers as well as producers. We used to have some wonderful and fascinating discussions about such things as we could observe them on the old Global message board, with an international cast of contributors. These discussions only drove us all to study harder and observe more closely, as well as to infer more and more that certain repetitious patterns of transference indeed do exist in the pedigree record. They’re not always easy to find, but they are there in nearly all of our immortal racers and breeders. The most curious and fascinating of them are to be found on the damside of the great damsires, along the pathways of the X chromosome.
Now Meadows was our first great and prolific sire of dams. There is probably not an American pedigree of any classicity, in which he does not appear. Often, in pedigrees, he is overlaying a bottom damline. Meadows was descended from quality greyhounds—-Waterloo Cup winners. His grandsire, Heavy Weapon was one. Heavy Weapon’s damsire was Gallant, also a Waterloo Cup winner. Gallant’s damsire was Misterton—-yup—- another Waterloo Cup winner. Meadows’ 2nd damsire is Blue Rock. His damsire is also Gallant, whose damsire was Misterton.
Meadows, despite his exploits as a damsire, is probably best known for being the sire of the great Traffic Officer, who Gary Guccione astutely called the “Grandfather of the American Greyhound”. Traffic Officer’s damsire is Fine Harmony, whose 2nd dam is Pensa, by Gallant…..damsire?…….Misterton.
Meadows is also the 3rd damsire to Traffic Officer’s paternal grandson, Rural Rube. Rural Rube was a very prolific racer and sire, particularly of classic dams. On his damside we see not only Meadows, but Rube’s own damsire, Gangster, an Australian import. His damsire is the immortal Australian damsire, Andrew Micawber— whose own damsire is White Hope, out of the bitch Game Un, whose damsire is—–Gallant—whose damsire is Misterton.
Rural Rube is probably best known for being the damsire to the great and hugely influential sire, Mixed Harmony.
Mixed Harmony is the sire of Great Valor, littermate of American Derby winner Clydesdale, and a sire of enormous importance. Great Valor’s damsire is Pageant, whose own damsire is another immortal Australian, Handy Andy—maybe the greatest damsire in our history.
Handy Andy is out of Minda Lass, whose damsire is Wilkie Collins. Wilkie’s damsire is White Hope—the same White Hope we see behind Rural Rube. White Hope, to Gallant, to Misterton…….. patterns of greatness.
Great Valor is the damsire to Lucky Bannon, who is the damsire to Kunta Kinte, who is the damsire to Blendway—–who is the damsire to Molotov.
The patterns are very similar for them all. Through the damside, and via the trail of the infamous X chromosome, they all end up at the champion of the 1879 Waterloo Cup, Misterton.
Chief Havoc, to speak of sires who generated enormous and breed shaping impact, is the damsire to Tell You Why, all his siblings, and the great Australian dam Elsie Moss. Chief Havoc’s 2nd damsire is Sterling, whose damsire is Taleeban, whose damsire is Senator, whose 2nd damsire is Hedley, whose damsire is……….you guessed it…….. Misterton.
Patterns of greatness. There they are.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The pathways X chromosome transference can be a little confusing as you look back through pedigrees. It takes some time and practice to get a handle on it.
Each greyhound receives a sex linked chromosome from each of its parents. All greyhounds have 2 sex-linked chromosomes. Males are all X-Y, females are all X-X.
So the male contributes either an X or a Y chromosome to the offspring.
The female contributes one of her two X chromosomes to the offspring.
If the male passes on his X chromosome to an offspring, that pup will be a female. If he passes on his Y chromosome, it will be a male. So the X chromosome of a sire can never pass onto one of his sons. It can only be passed on to his daughters. Those daughters can pass it on to their daughters and sons (the sire’s maternal grandsons).
The X chromosome contains a lot more genetic information than the Y chromosome. This genetic edge could be the reason why so many great sires fail to produce a strong male line heir, but turn out to be splendid and amazingly influential damsires.
So, for example, Craigie Whistler cannot inherit the X chromosome of his sire, Molotov, so he can’t pass it on. Now if Molotov’s “edge” was cause and effect related to the genetics carried on his X chromosome, Craigie Whistler can’t inherit them or pass them on.
Whistler inherited a Y chromosome from Molotov.
But contemporary sires Ben Awhile or Extruding Dream can conceivably carry and pass along Molotov’s X chromosome to their daughters, because they are out of daughters of Molotov—-and both Bistro Queen (Ben Awhile’s dam) and Iwanthatrophy (Extruding Dream’s dam) carry their sire Molotov’s X chromosome (as well as one other X that they each inherited from their dams). Ben Awhile and Extruding Dream each inherited one of their dam’s X chromosomes and their sire’s Y chromosome. There is a 50/50 chance that either of them carries Molotov’s X chromosome. But Craigie Whistler doesn’t……or does he?
Now Whistler, you see, is becoming a fair damsire in his own right. Whistler’s damsire is Oshkosh Tease. Tease’s damsire is Pecos Cannon, a speedball of the first water, and a top sire in his day. Now Cannon’s damsire is Spec Harmony, the lesser known brother of the legendary Cactus Lonesome (is that a great name or what?).
Now Spec Harmony’s damsire is Bill the Boozer, a well thought of son of Chief Havoc—-but old Bill couldn’t be carrying the Chief’s X chromosome—-he got Chief’s Y chromosome—remember?….it can’t be passed on from sire to son. Anyhow, Bill the Boozer’s damsire is the Australian, Ribbie—-whose damsire is Expert—-whose damsire is White Hope…..who is out of the female Game Un, whose damsire is Gallant—–whose damsire is Misterton.
Spec Harmony also carries Mixed Harmony as his 2nd damsire. Mixed Harmony’s damsire, as we have previously seen, is Rural Rube…whose damsire is Gangster….whose damsire is Andrew Micawber…. whose damsire is White Hope, out of Game Un…whose damsire is Gallant….whose damsire is Misterton.
Oshkosh Tease, the damsire to Craigie Whistler, also carries Oshkosh Viget as his 2nd dam. She is by Oshkosh Champ, a real crack damsire. Champ’s damsire is Great Valor….whose damsire is Pageant….whose damsire is Handy Andy, a son of Minda Lass, whose damsire is Wilkie Collins….whose damsire is White Hope, out of Game Un…. whose damsire is Gallant….whose damsire is Misterton.
Oshkosh Viget’s damsire is Sky Jet, a sibling to Tell You Why……Sky Jet’s damsire is Chief Havoc, (out of Thelma’s Mate) whose damsire is Sterling, whose damsire is Taleeban, whose damsire is Senator, out of Federation…….whose damsire is Hedley, whose damsire is Misterton.
Whistler’s 2nd damsire is Unruly, one of the great stayers from a long line of stayers. Both his dam, Basic Black and his 2nd dam, Monotony were as long winded as this article. Monotony’s damsire is Gun, a fine sire in his day, and still quite prevalent in modern pedigrees. Gun’s 2nd damsire is the incomparable Traffic Officer, whose damsire is Fine Harmony, whose own 2nd dam, Pensa, is a daughter of Gallant, whose damsire is Misterton.
Unruly’s 3rd damsire is the Australian Sunmarker. His damsire is Chief Havoc, out of Thelma’s Mate, whose damsire is Sterling, whose damsire is Taleeban, whose damsire is Senator, out of Federation…….whose damsire is Hedley, whose damsire is Misterton.
Interestingly enough, we can see that not only could Craigie Whistler be carrying the SAME X chromosome as his sire Molotov (though not inherited from Molotov), he does carry the DNA of one of his most illustrious predecessors—-that being Traffic Officer. They each trace their direct female line ancestry to the common female ancestor, one Maggie’s Pet, circa 1900…..by the way, Maggies Pet is out of a dam named Lady Walks….whose damsire is St Clair, out of White Lips….whose damsire is …..that’s right……..Misterton!
THE HOMECOMING____HIS X CHROMOSOME RETURNS TO THE LAND OF MISTERTON
Any of us who have been around greyhounds for a while and who have shared ideas with international discussion groups, are well aware of how proud Australian greyhound men and women are of their dogs. With pretty good reason, I think we’d all agree. Their sires have revolutionized breeding in the US more than once, and today, are revolutionizing breeding in IRE and the UK.
For some reason, likely because many of the primary early exponents were exported, there seems to be less concentration of X Factor pathways through Irish greyhounds, back to Misterton. Those bloodlines are sometimes there, along the X-trails to Misterton, but not in the reinforcing multiple doses we see with American and some Australian greyhounds.
Could this be one reason why Australian sires have had such a stunning recent impact upon the modern Irish greyhound? I don’t know. I suspect it might be so. The modern Australian greyhound is often more closely inbred than many, and probably most in the US or IRE. Some of this inbreeding and linebreeding is focused on the legendary Temlee, a sire of enormous and unflagging impact. Temlee was profoundly important to Australia’s greyhound breed.
Temlee’s damsire is Mister Moss, out of the “blue hen” dam Elsie Moss. She is by Magic Babe, a full sibling to Tell You Why—which means that through Mister Moss> Elsie Moss, Temlee traces back to Chief Havoc, (Elsie’s damsire AND her sire’s damsire, making her a possible “double copy” carrier of Misterton’s X chromosome). By now you know the route to Misterton on this particular pathway.
Temlee’s 3rd damsire is Dream’s Image (the sire of Cleveland Lad, who had an especially prolific sire career here in the US). Dream’s Image carries Roccabright as his damsire (as did Rocker Mac, 7 time US sire champion).
Roccabright’s 2nd damsire is Wilkie Collins. In case you’ve forgotten the directions, the road to Misterton goes Wilkie Collins>White Hope>Game Un>Gallant>Misterton…..or it might go Wilkie Collins>Senator (Wilkie’s 2nd damsire)>Hedley>Misterton.
Dream’s Image is especially interesting because, additionally, he carries Australian Magner as his 2nd damsire. Magner’s dam, So Long Letty, carries a dog named Fluke as her 2nd damsire. Flukes 4th dam is Lady Wyndham. She is fascinating and tantalizing here—-because she is 3×2 to Hedley>Misterton, and they are in the X passing position through both her sire and dam—-Hedley is not only Lady Wyndham’s damsire, but he is the damsire to her sire (as is Chief Havoc to Elsie Moss) . So she could be a carrying a “double copy” of Misterton’s X chromosome, via her inbreeding to Hedley—-which would mean that ALL of her immediate offspring received that X chromosome. At any rate, remember the names Australian Magner and Lady Wyndham. We will meet them again along the X trails.
One phenomenon that I feel especially close to, was the Maythorn Pride miracle. Maythorn was the authoress of a modern, international breeding dynasty that has few, if any equals. She was a very competent track dog, but as a dam, she would become a greyhound Matriarch—with a capital M.
She was bred to be a champion, being by the redoubtable Own Pride, an Irish Derby and St Leger winner. Own Pride would go on to become only slightly less highly regarded than his paternal grandsire, Clonalvy Pride, who is held in high esteem as a breeder, maybe only just below the likes of legends like Monalee Champion, Champion Prince, etc.
To digress a bit, Clonalvy Pride’s damsire is the obscure Australian import, Westbury Sammy. Sammy’s damsire is a dog named Australian Matador—-who just so happens to be the full sibling to Australian Magner.
Now Own Pride couldn’t have received any benefit from this coincidence, because Australian Matador is on his sire’s side of the pedigree highway. However, if we look a bit more closely, we will see that Own Pride’s 3rd dam, Clohenberg Dancer carries as her damsire, one Westbury Sammy. Which means that Own Pride was in line to receive an X chromosome—-perhaps the X chromosome of Misterton, from our could-be “double copy” dam, Lady Wyndham.
At any rate, Maythorn Pride was bred to a slew of fashionable sires, including Americans like Ks Flak, Rooster Cogburn and his sibling, Sand Man. Some of those pups passed through our hands here in the US, either running at Revere, and mostly running without distinction there, and mainly going on to less demanding venues. The best of them, apparently, stayed in IRE. Most of them were by the unlikeliest of superstar sires, a dog who lived and toiled in the shadow of the shadow of the shadow of his far more talented and accomplished siblings, Rooster Cogburn and Highway Robber, among others.
No one had ever even heard of Sand Man when it became known that Father Dan Greene would be bringing him to Ireland. Maybe that was why it seemed so funny to some of the greatest breeders in history, who were on hand at Revere, and who found wonderful amusement in speculating just how far back he might set the Irish breed. Father Greene and Sand Man, as we now know, would have the last, very long laugh.
Sand Man and Maythorn Pride simply electrified and changed forever the racing and breeding WORLD, not just Ireland and the UK, through their daughters and their offspring.
This humble dog, the butt of the jokes of all and sundry who knew anything of breeding, played the biggest joke of all on everyone. Sand Man, as we shall see, might have been packing a bit more than his 65 or so pounds.
Sired by the very American Friend Westy, his dam was Hall Of Famer Miss Gorgeous, an All American quality greyhound herself. She was a daughter of none other than Tell You Why.
By mating her to Friend Westy, the bloodlines of Kinto Nebo, (the dam of the immortal Westy Whizzer and Friend Westy’s 2nd dam) those same bloodlines that had produced the Whizzer, whose sire was Tell You Why, were again fused, but in reverse.
Tell You Why on the damside was not the fashion in those days, but it worked spectacularly with Miss Gorgeous. We are familiar with the X trail of Chief Havoc to Misterton that Tell You Why passed onto Miss Gorgeous. But beneath him we see that Mar Dilly is the damsire to Miss Gorgeous.
Mar Dilly’s 2nd damsire is the imported Bill’s Secretary, a highly thought-of sire of dams in his day. Bill’s Secretary’s damsire is the Australian, Goodo, whose damsire is Andrew Micawber. The X road to Misterton, to review, is Andrew Micawber>White Hope>Game Un>Gallant>Misterton.
Andrew Micawber himself is Bill’s Secretary’s 2nd damsire.
Miss Gorgeous, to frost the X-cake, carries Rural Rube as her 3rd damsire. Rural Rube, we may recall, also takes the Gangster>Andrew Micawber>White Hope>Game Un>Gallant X trail to Misterton.
So perhaps it is that Sand Man and Maythorn Pride, together, returned to the mainstream in Ireland, the “edge” that dear old Misterton, so long ago, had brought into the greyhound world, by whatever genetic serendipity he conjured up. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Oops….I almost forgot….Bills Secretary?….remember him?……among other things, he’s the 3rd damsire to a female named Elsie Jones….but that, dear reader, is another dynasty best left for another day.
DOWNING, HBs COMMANDER, and TALENTEDMRRIPLEY…..FROM THE BEST TO THE BEST TO THE BEST
Whenever there is a detailed discussion among aficionados concerning the American Greyhound, invariably, the name of Downing comes up.
As a racer, he was an enigma. No dog had ever entered the prestigious and grueling Hollywood World Classic with its 9 elimination races prior to the final, after having won only a maiden and Grade D race. Something like that was simply unheard of. It was madness. No dog could possibly be that good, no matter how much they had schooled, no matter with how much hyperbole the insiders and the racing press had touted them.
But Downing wasn’t “no dog”. He was THE dog. All he did was win 8 of his 9 elimination races and the final, against many of the best sprinters in the country, and a few from outside the country.
The sky was the limit, as he proceeded to win the Biscayne Irish American, and after he had been placed in the skilled hands of Irish and American Greyhound Hall Of Fame trainer, Don Cuddy, a couple of legendary match races against the dauntless, tenacious, fire-breathing Rooster Cogburn.
It was then decided that Downing could not break any new ground, other than to try to wrest the coveted American Derby trophy from the hands of Joseph M. Linsey, owner of Taunton Dog Track, who had pioneered big money stakes racing in the US, and overseen the evolution of his American Derby into the most prestigious and competitive of all American greyhound races.
There were plenty of nay-sayers and doubters among veteran greyhound men and women and savvy gamblers as to whether or not the 3/8ths, 6 turn course at Taunton would prove to be unflattering to Downing’s particular aptitudes, and a reach too far in distance. He didn’t scare anyone away. He had handled the extra distance of the Biscayne course, sure, but that was a 4 turn configuration.
Downing simply didn’t fit the mold of a dog who could come from even a step behind on that Taunton Derby course and at that distance, against world-class stayers, no less. He wouldn’t have the benefit of the extended run up to the turn that sprints presented, where he usually managed to either take the turn, or put himself into position to challenge the leaders, blasting off it, and overwhelming and demoralizing foes on the backstretch with his astonishing turn of pace. At 3/8ths, and breaking right into a turn, he’d have to break sharply and get right into stride, and use his speed and considerable cornering abilities to seize an instant and insurmountable advantage.
And that’s just what he did. He smashed the track record in the 3rd round, winning by what seemed like half the stretch to those of us who were lucky enough to have witnessed this stunning performance. He was racing in a world where no American greyhound had ever before set foot.
After stumbling at the break in the Derby final, he picked his nose off the dirt, and, miraculously, shot through a gap in a split second, to take the early command. He extended his lead as far as he could, in spite of what his disastrous start had cost him, enough so that the relentless All American stayer, Malka, who Cuddy was also handling for the Derby, was the only greyhound with a realistic chance of catching him. While he was clearly leg weary and shortening stride as they neared the finish wire, he had resisted the furious charge of the great Malka, and crowned his illustrious career with the biggest prize of all.
Despite a slow start to his sire career, Downing was to be become as important a sire as he was a track racer. Particularly so, through one of his daughter’s offspring named HBs Commander. HB’s Commander, in turn would sire Oneco Malee, the dam of Talentedmrripley.
Downing’s 2nd damsire is Johnny M, whose 2nd damsire is Rural Rube. The X-trail to Misterton through Rural Rube is Ganster>Andrew Micawber>White Verse>Senator>Misterton.
Rube’s 2nd damsire, Just Andrew, another Aussie import-turned-American icon, provides another X pathway to Misterton through Fluke>Lady Wyndham>Hedley>Misterton, and yet another through his 3rd damsire, White Hope, via >Game Un>Gallant>Misterton).
My Friend Lou, a great and highly influential sire, and Downing’s own damsire, provides still more X pathways to Misterton. My Friend Lou’s damsire, Suncheck, carries the aforementioned Just Andrew as his 3rd damsire, and Suncheck’s own damsire, Beaded Dick, carries Celerio as his 2nd damsire. Celerio’s damsire is Gallant, whose damsire is Misterton…. naturally.
So now we can see a number of direct possible X trails from perhaps our greatest modern greyhounds, back to the 1879 Waterloo Cup winner, Misterton, and then forward from, arguably, our greatest racer of the past century, Downing, to our most prolific contemporary sire, HBs Commander, (ex Princess Donna by Downing ) and our greatest contemporary racer, Talentedmrripley (ex Oneco Malee by HBs Commander)…..damsire, to damsire, to damsire.
THE GHOST OF REAL HUNTSMAN, and DUTCH BAHAMA, A CHIEF HAVOC DOPPELGANGER
There were only two greyhounds to ever win the prestigious American Derby twice. The first was the legendary and ill-fated Real Huntsman. He was the all-purpose dog of all time. He could race against and beat the best of his era at any distance, on any track. His resume is, shall we say, “complete”.
He never got much of a chance as a sire, because he would perish, tragically, prematurely, in a fire. He would never be forgotten by anyone who cherishes greyhounds and greyhound racing, and those greyhounds who leave it all on the track, every time they race…..who answer every call gladly, and with their best effort…..whose spirit and courage will live on as long as there are greyhounds who have the desire and the will to race as fast as they can for as far as they can.
While it is doubtful that very many of us reading this essay ever saw Real Huntsman, each year at Taunton when they would announce the roll call of all the past American Derby winners, prior to the post parade and introduction of the current contestants, Real Huntsman would live again in the hearts and minds of those who were privileged enough to have known him or to have seen him race…. and those of us who hadn’t, had only our imaginations to conjure up his misty image there on the golden rail, racing to his own immortality, down the grueling homestretch, up and over the curtain, into the apple-crisp autumn air, finally, a shadow across the Harvest moon.
The second two-time winner of the American Derby is more familiar to many of us, not only because a lot of us saw him race, but because of his near omnipresence in modern, classic pedigrees.
There has been a lot of scuttlebutt and second-guessing as to whether or not the unheralded Hairless Joe, a good grader at what was primarily then a second-stringer’s track in Lincoln, was actually the sire of the great Dutch Bahama. Fortunately, for our purposes here, trekking along the X chromosome trails in search of Misterton, we need not steal any honey from that little beehive. Dutch Bahama, as we know, received Hairless Joe’s—-or whoever’s—-Y chromosome.
I was happy to see that someone had posted the replay of one of Dutch Bahama’s American Derby victories, as he was a dominant stayer. He was also a world class sprinter, and he turned his Biscayne Irish American into a laugher, rocketing from the starting box and simply running away from the best and stoutest sprinters of his era. Just like he usually did to the middle distance and route grinders he faced.
He was a shoe-in for the Hall Of Fame after the Irish American and his first Derby win—-the second American Derby was just an exclamation point.
It almost seems ridiculous to say that his exploits as a sire and a breed-shaper might actually have superseded his amazing accomplishments on the racetrack, but it’s arguable. Aside from having played a key role in the shaping of the Greymeadows dynasty, he is virtually guaranteed a place in pedigrees as long as greyhounds are bred to race, having been the damsire to the hugely influential Greys Statesman, and the damsire, also, to that omnipotent, contemporary sire of sires, Gable Dodge.
There are few greyhounds anywhere who have more of a concentration of X corridors to Misterton, or through more potent individuals, than Dutch Bahama.
His own damsire is Woodward, a half sibling to LGs Ada, winner of the 1968 American Derby. Woodward’s damsire is Rocker Mac, whose own damsire is Roccabright, whose 2nd damsire is Wilkie Collins, who traces an X trail to Misterton through both his damsire, White Hope (>Game Un>Gallant>Misterton) and his 2nd damsire, Senator (>Hedley>Misterton).
Dutch Bahama’s 2nd dam is Dutch Discreet, by Thunderbolt Moss out of Charm Jet. Dutch Discreet is a veritable Autobahn of X trails to Misterton.
Thunderbolt Moss is a son of Elsie Moss, she who is inbred to Chief Havoc, 3×2, and in each case, Chief Havoc is in position to pass on his X chromosome to her (and so to Dutch Bahama).
Dutch Bahama’s 3rd dam, Charm Jet, being by Tell You Why sibling Sky Jet, again brings Chief Havoc (>Sterling>Taleeban>Senator>Hedley>Misterton) into X Factor play.
Looking at photos of both Chief Havoc and his descendent Dutch Bahama, they appear remarkably alike. They seem to share the same colors, markings, conformation and good looks. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they shared the same heart?
A SECOND HOMECOMING
I don’t know much about his racing career in Australia. The first I had ever heard of him was in a trans-Atlantic conversation with the great trainer Don Cuddy, who explained that he felt the dog might possibly have been every bit as effective a sire as either Sand Man or Monalee Champion. Huh?
At that point, the dog it seems, was in the process of re-introducing some of the very same old Australian bloodlines to the Irish greyhound that Sand Man, decades before, had “brought back”.
Looking at the record now, we can see that Don was not exaggerating. Top Honcho was not only a breed-shaping sire, but he was perhaps a breed-altering sire. His success paved the way to acceptance for other imports who would soon follow, perhaps most importantly, the indomitable and sensational Brett Lee.
Top Honcho was a son of the prodigious Australian sire, Head Honcho, and out of a female named Rainbow High, whose sire was a handy little track dog named Double Summit. Double Summit’s dam was a female named Zimbabwe, she being by Temlee x Zulu Moss by Clay Moss—-another son of the great Elsie Moss.
If you’ve been following along, you already know that Zimbabwe is a virtual mother lode of X Factor concentration. Zimbabwe should have been born with a warning label marked XXX.
Through his daughter Zimbabwe, Temlee is in position to deliver the X chromosome of Chief Havoc (you already know the X trail to Misterton) to Top Honcho, (as well as the X chromosome of Dream’s Image).
Zimbabwe’s damsire, Clay Moss, brings into play two more X trails to Chief Havoc through his dam, Elsie Moss. Zimbabwe’s 3rd damsire is Rocket Mac, whose damsire is none other than Chief Havoc—-putting him into X factor play once again.
As if that weren’t enough, Top Honcho’s 3rd damsire is …..uhhmm……it’s on the tip of my tongue…..oh yes….Temlee!
Top Honcho, aside from very nearly re-inventing the Irish greyhound, threw a whole passel of world class racers and productive daughters (one of his daughters is the dam of the mercurial US-based Farloe Black). I think his most successful son, at least at sire, was Droopys Vieri. But Vieri couldn’t receive any of the cornucopia of X Factor genetics that Top Honcho carried, because he got skunked—-and only received a menial Y chromosome from the great Top Honcho.
But fear not, dear reader. Once again, the hallowed American Derby will assert its powerful, breed-shaping force. Look to Vieri’s 2nd damsire, the American Ps Riptide. He is by Benjis Alibi out of BD Ruffian. Never heard of them, you say? Well then take a look at Riptide’s four grandparents. Three of them, Downing, Abella, and SS Jeno were American Derby winners. Ps Riptide has a very high class pedigree.
We’re going to concentrate on SS Jeno here, Ps Riptide’s damsire, and the runaway winner of our 1972 American Derby, because he is in the X passing position to Ps Riptide—-who is in X passing position to Droopys Vieri.
Jeno’s damsire is Metal Jet….another sibling to Tell You Why. Their damsire is Chief Havoc…another X trail to Misterton.
Jeno’s 2nd damsire is Westy Colonel, a sibling of the invincible Westy Whizzer. Their dam, Kinto Nebo is by Johnny Leonard, whose 2nd damsire is Rural Rube….another X trail to Misteron.
Kinto Nebo’s damsire is Pre Flight, whose damsire is Traffic Court, whose damsire is Fine Harmony, whose 2nd dam is Pensa….whose damsire is Gallant, whose damsire is good old Misterton (in case you’ve forgotten).
The Colonel’s 3rd damsire is Hall of Fame damsire Handy Andy himself, who brings in yet another X trail to Misterton.
So Droopy’s Vieri, son of the iconic Top Honcho, finds himself in the enviable position of carrying on with his sire’s re-working of the modern Irish greyhound….on each side of the pedigree. Returning, once again, the mysterious X chromosome of Misterton to that part of the world from where it emerged, and apparently, re-invigorating the breed there.
THE QUEEN OF SILVER CITY
She was the Queen of the Silver City dog track. She won the hearts of all and sundry who frequented the quaint, country racetrack in Taunton, which had grown to “Saratoga-like” proportions in the hearts and minds of fandom, as a result of greyhounds like her, who forged their own legends on the swift quarter mile oval.
Feldcrest would go on to win the coveted American Derby in 1958, after smashing the track records for both the 5/16ths and 3/8ths courses. Amazingly, her 5/16ths track record would never be broken, despite the fact that each year many of the best greyhounds in the country, and sometimes in the world, would arrive at Taunton to race and/or lay claim to the precious American Derby trophy. In 1982, when the last American Derby was run there at old Taunton, Feldcrest still held the track record for 5/16ths of a mile.
Before she was crowned Queen of Taunton, she was the Princess of the Orville Moses dynasty, greyhounds who all but ruled the American Derby from 1957-1969, distinguished members of the clan winning an unprecedented four of them during that time. She was whelped in 1955, a daughter of No Refund, who was a full sibling to the future Hall Of Fame greyhound Beach Comber, a dog who was a legend in his own time. Her dam was Ornamental, a daughter of future Hall Of Fame brood matron, Butterflies, via her mating to future Hall Of Famer, Lucky Pilot, another legend in his own time.
Feldcrest had a license to speed.
Feldcrest’s damsire, Lucky Pilot, boasted Hall Of Famer Just Andrew as his 2nd damsire. Just Andrew’s 2nd damsire is Fluke, who traces his direct female line ancestry to the previously mentioned Lady Wyndham—-who carries 2 X trails to Hedley, whose damsire is Misterton.
Lucky Pilot traces his own direct female ancestry to the UK import Chocolate Candy, whose damsire was Hopsack, who won the Waterloo Cup in 1916. Hopsack’s 2nd damsire is Spyfontein, whose 3rd damsire is Misterton. Hopsack’s 3rd damsire is Seventy Six, whose damsire is Beaufort, whose damsire is Misterton.
Butterflies, the authoress of the Moses breeding and racing dynasty, and the 2nd dam to Feldcrest, is a daughter of the Hall Of Fame sire of great dams, Handy Andy, whose X trail to Misterton, to review, goes through his 2nd damsire, Wilkie Collins, and his dam White Verse, whose paternal side 2nd damsire is Gallant—whose damsire is Misterton……or via Wilkie Collins’ 2nd damsire, Senator, whose 2nd damsire is Hedley, whose damsire is Misterton.
Feldcrest never produced any offspring of her quality. Her daughter Durana, however, a result of Feldcrest’s mating to kennel mate and close relative Great Valor, who brought Butterflies again into X Factor play, produced Montague Ribbon, by Joe Moss—-yet another son of Elsie Moss, to whom we have referred many times, and who was possibly another “double copy” X Factor dam, via Chief Havoc, etc.—-you know the way back to Misterton from there.
Montague Ribbon was bred to Bill Moss, yet another son of Elsie Moss, and they produced the star-crossed Ks Clown—-a dog that his breeder, Jack Kahn, claimed was faster than Ks Flak.
Ks Clown burst onto the national scene by winning the main stakes in Abilene, defeating the likes of Rocket Charge, Fruit Float, Sunbows Best and Highway Robber. He continued that sort of dominance on the racetrack—unfortunately though, he became, should we say, “overly competitive” from time to time. He fought at Tampa and he fought at Plainfield, though when he kept to the task, he usually won with consummate ease—-and once in Plainfield, on their elongated 3/8ths, he won in track record time.
Sadly, the Clown proved to be an incorrigible roughneck, and was retired. He got quite a few breedings, despite his extra-curricular sorties as a racer, and was a very successful sire. He turned into quite a fine sire of dams, too, as his many X trails to old Misterton might suggest.
Today, he can be found, often in multiple doses and in the X passing position, in nearly every pedigree of every star of the DQ Williams breeding and racing empire—whose subjects are reknown for their stamina and desire….which, if we give any credit at all for it to Ks Clown and his great grandam Feldcrest, apparently has quite a foundation in the Misterton X Factor.
LEAPING THROUGH TIME IN A SINGLE BOUND
In the first installment of this informational series, we looked at some of the historically classic sires of track greyhounds, notably sires of great dams, who are in the US Hall Of Fame. While not all of them were born in the US, they all made huge contributions to the adaptation and shaping of the breed we know today. There is one whose contributions are a bit out of phase with all of the others.
Aside from the fact that Handy Andy and Kunta Kinte are two Hall Of Famers who are enshrined purely for their breeding contributions, Kunta Kinte is the only one whose contributions are still obvious in pedigrees today, by virtue of his having been one of the early sires whose semen was frozen and stored for future use.
It is a tribute to his impact as a sire that Kinte could never have gained his Hall Of Fame berth on his racing career alone. Which is not to denigrate it, as he was a powerful sprinter and middle distance runner, good enough to have run a distant second to the great Blazing Red in the prestigious Wonderland Derby. But it was his influence as a sire, particularly of fine dams, that sealed his Hall Of Fame deal.
Among his many breeding achievements, Kunta Kinte is the sire of Hall Of Fame dam Buzz Off, who whelped the Beckner wonder litter by Kinte’s close relative Perceive (ex Lucky Carmell, Kinte’s littermate), which included, most notably, Blendway—- who would go on to sire Mystic Rose, the dam of the incomparable Molotov.
Kunta Kinte was sired by the great SS Jeno, winner of the 1971 American Derby. Kinte’s damsire, Lucky Bannon won the American Derby in 1969. Lucky Bannon’s damsire, Great Valor, is the littermate to Clydesdale, the winner of the 1958 American Derby.
We have previously documented the X trail from Great Valor to Misterton, and then forward onto Kunta Kinte. Given the extremely high quality of his pedigree and track performance, in hindsight, and considering, if we like, the potential X Factor implications, it isn’t entirely a surprise that he became a sire of profound importance.
What is surprising—astonishing, actually— is that Kunta Kinte continues today, 35 years since the date of his own whelping in 1976, to be a sire of some significance. He is the damsire to Flying Hydrogen, a 2003 whelp, himself a well performed racer and a more than useful sire. One might have thought that given the passing of at least 7 generations since Kunta Kinte had begun his stud duties, perhaps the breed would have “out-evolved” him, and that infusing his decades-old genetics to the genepool would be a step or two backwards. Apparently not. The blurb on the Greyhound-Data pedigree database about Flying Hydrogen says that he was “the fastest dog” ever raised by Flying Eagles—-which covers a whole lot of ground. Well then, maybe Flying Hydrogen was a freak? It happens.
Tonight we bear witness to one of the latest sensations in greyhound racing, as she attempts to win her 11th race in a row, which includes an undefeated stretch of stakes level victories as well as the final of the Hecht Marathon. She is, by any reckoning, a contemporary superstar. Slatex Cadillac, in case you haven’t noticed, was sired by Flying Hydrogen—-who carries the irrepressible, generations-leaping Kunta Kinte in the X chromosome passing position to all his daughters.
The X trail to Misterton continues to reveal itself in phenomenal breeding and racing achievements.
MEANWHILE, ACROSS THE WAVES
While we’re on the subject of current sensations, in case you missed it, the greyhound world outside the US is abuzz and agog with the early racing performances of one Milldean Panther, who is based at Shelbourne, in Dublin, IRE. Milldean has yet to taste defeat in his brief career, which spans 10 official races. In his 9th start, he broke the track record for 525 yards, rocketing from the traps and running away from the competition. It was a flawless performance, to say the least. Apparently, he will now be spelled for the winter, perhaps having semen drawn, and then likely return to racing in time for the Easter Cup.
Milldean is a son of 2009 Irish Derby winner, the sensational College Causeway. That being the case, there is every reason for many to believe that 525 yards, despite Milldean’s track record breaking performance on that course, might not be his best distance. Causeway was capable of staying 750 yards in good company, and 600 yards in top company.
What is especially interesting about Milldean Panther is that his immediate damline is rather tepid and indistinguished, not the sort of fashionable line that one would expect the fastest greyhound in Ireland, and maybe the world, to have emerged from. His dam, Auld Nag, however, has thrown some nice pups from top sires. So at least for her branch of the family, it seems to be a family in the “flow” mode. Milldean Panther is, apparently, its Niagara Falls.
Auld Nag’s damsire is Pepes Dilemma, a GR2 winner, who developed a reputation as a sire who threw some fighters. While he had a decent career as a sire, he was never what you might call fashionable. He was useful. He was eventually banished to the US, where he never quite caught on, or produced much of note.
Now, looking at his background, we note that his 2nd damsire is none other than Gambling Fever—who just so happens to be a full sibling to Sand Man. Which places that wellspring of X Factor possibility right smack in line to Milldean Panther.
Interestingly enough, the dog whose track record Milldean Panther broke, was the mercurial Premier Fantasy, who was also a prodigious talent. There is no telling what he might have accomplished had he not been undone by injury. Prior to that, many greyhound men and women with the wisened eye of experience, thought that Premier Fantasy might have been the fastest greyhound they’d ever laid those wisened eyes upon.
Premier Fantasy carries Murlen’s Slippy as his own damsire. Murlen’s 2nd damsire is Sand Man.
A happy coincidence?….or the heart of Misterton?
Copyright 2011 by D. McKeon