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The third in a series of articles reviewing the top ten of North American maternal families. Family numbers are as shown on the Classic Families (CF) database. Due to the extensive size of these families, only brief mention can be made of some of the more prominent family members and/or items likely to be of interest to Australasian readers.


U5 Sally Sovereign (Maggie H)


A thoroughbred mare who only produced two fillies to standardbred sires, Sally Sovereign’s granddaughter Maggie H was responsible for two branches still active. Maggie H’s family contains predominantly trotting lines with fewer significant pacers included, many of which possess trotting bloodlines. This is one of the oldest and strongest trotting families of the breed.


The major tributaries of the Maggie H family come through her daughters :

1) The Widow and Maggie H’s granddaughter, 1909 Peter the Great mare Sienna in particular and her half-sisters Maggie Onward and Widow Lola. The Widow’s branch has become one of the greatest producer of Classic Winners in America. Maggie Onward is grand dam of world champion Mr McElwyn (Kentucky Futurity 2T/3T, leading BM sire including Stars Pride), also family of Spencer McElwyn (Kentucky Futurity 2T). Sienna’s daughter Sumatra is dam of Calumet Chuck, Kentucky Futurity 2T, sire of Titan Hanover (Hambletonian, first 2:00 2yo either gait, sire).


Other prominent trotters tracing to Sienna include – Conch/Lifetime Pursuit/Worldly Women (Hambletonian Oaks), Self Possessed (Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity – 3T, sire of Cantab Hall, Great Success), Deweycheatumnhowe (Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity – 3T, World Trotting Derby, first trotter to earn $3m by age three, T1:50.3US, sire), Nearly Perfect (Nat Ray, sire of Sierra Kosmos), Mystical Sunshine (two Breeders Crown – OMT, T1:50.3US), Archangel (Yonkers Trot, T1:50.0US, WR aged gelding half and mile tracks), Royal Prestige (World Trotting Derby, successful sire including Pride Of Petite), Credit Winner (Kentucky Futurity – 3T, sire including Crazed), Broad Bahn (Hambletonian), Armbro Keepsake (Kentucky Futurity – 3T), Donerail (successful sire/BM sire of Donato Hanover – Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity – 3T), Shake It Cerry (T1:51.2US, $2.786m, Breeders Crown 2/3, Kentucky Futurity – 3), Pinkman (T1:51.0US, $2.537m, Hambletonian, Breeders Crown -2, Kentucky Futurity – 3), while numerous Sally Sovereign progeny raced in Europe.


Sires that stood in NZ tracing to Sienna included pacing stallions Midshipman and Nua Rival. Successful pacers in NZ tracing to Widow Lola have included Jean McElwyn/Grace McElwyn (dam of Gay Knight, Hannon Memorial) while trotters tracing to her include Ida Ray – dam of Rannach Boy/Rannach Lad/Rannach Lass/Rannach Pride.

2) The Gaiety Girl, who produced world champion trotting stallion Lee Axworthy (T1:58¼) who stood at Castleton Farm but was found dead at age seven after only two years at stud. He was bred by William Bradley, purchased at the sales for $150 by Walter Cox who sold him to Pastime Stable, Cleveland, Ohio. Initially W.J. Andrews trained him but his illness saw Ben White take over. In 1916 Lee Axworthy raced against time at Lexington trotting his T1:58¼. Lee Axworthy left Lee Worthy (Kentucky Futurity – 3T) sire of world champion mare Rosalind. The Gaiety Girl’s great granddaughter Princess Gay’s daughters founded successful families of their own – Fionne leads to world champion mare Beat The Wheel (T1:51.4US, fastest trotting mile when established standing for 8 years, successful broodmare including Beatgoeson Hanover, WR T1:51.4US on 5/8 track), Nuclear Kosmos (Hambletonian), Crowning Point (Nat Ray) while Gay Sonata leads to Sierra Kosmos (leading sire juvenile trotters in USA, BM sire of Master Lavros) and 2016 Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder (T1:51.2, $2.139m).

Beat The Wheel


Many of The Gaiety Girl’s most successful progeny have been from mares exported to Europe. Sires that stood in NZ tracing to her included pacing stallions Mark Lobell (sire of Markovina), Cosmic King; trotting stallions Rodney Day, Gerry Mir and dual gaited sire Crockett (sire of Thriller Dee).


In the past few years, Sally Sovereign has moved ahead of Medio and Jessie Pepper as the leading family of 1:51 trotters (8) with Archangel (T1:50.0) being families quickest. With filly Lifetime Pursuit (T2, 1:52.3) leading the way, Sally Sovereign is equal leading family with greatest number of 1:53 2yo trotters (2). As for millionaire trotters, the family leads Medio with the wealthiest being $3m earner Deweycheatumnhowe followed by 2/3yo filly trotter of year Shake it Cherry ($2.7m) and Pinkman, just under $2.5m in stakes. In Triple Crown events, Sally Sovereign’s trotters have registered twenty five successes (11 Kentucky Futurities, 7 Hambletonians, 7 Yonkers Trots) with Marion Marauder winning all three while Deweycheatumnhowe, Self Possessed and Pinkman each won two legs. Trotter Dayan with eighteen is her leading Classic Race winner (pacer Sweet Lou has 17).

Sweet Lou


On the pacing side, Sweet Lou ($3m, 1:47.0; p2 1:49.0, currently equal fastest two year old pacer with Huntsville and Downbytheseaside) and Bettor Sweet ($2.78m, 1:47.2) lead the way with Freaky Feet Pete ($1.5m) and  French Chef stallion Amity Chief ($1.372m, sire of Miss Easy $1.7m, p2 1:51.2US WR) next.


Successful family sires include ill-fated Lee Axworthy, Mr McElwyn, Sierra Kosmos and Calumet Chuck (son Nibble Hanover only sire to leave Hambletonian – Miss Tilly and Little Brown Jug winners – Knight Dream). Moderately successful sires feature in Donerail, Harlan, Horton Hanover, King Conch and Tamerlane. In Australia, Meadow Vance was leading sire/BM of trotters and pacers for a decade (late 1960’s – mid 1980’s).


U6 Mamie


Breeding trotters.com – also See Medio article under remarkable dams


As a leading North American maternal family, the family of Mamie continues to produce both top class pacers and trotters.


Mamie was from a thoroughbred maternal line, producing six foals with five of them classic progeny/winners. All were trotters except for Rose Leyburn with three of them being exported to Europe. The minor branches of Mamie’s family included :

3) Catherine Leyburn, exported to France (T2:14.0US)

4) Helen Leyburn, T2:14.0US, left three successful siring offspring in France

5) Scourine, T2:18.0,


Two significant branches of Mamie’s family originated from half-sisters :


Henry T Adios

Criterion (T2:29¾US) was dam of seven standard performers and began an extensive branch of Mamie’s family which is still very active today. Criterion is responsible for descendants such as trotters Will Leyburn, an early winner of Kentucky Futurity – 2T; Sebastian K ($3m, multiple Group 1 winner Europe/USA, world’s fastest ever trotter in USA 1:49.0f); Explosive Matter (sire of Pinkman 2015 Hambletonian) and pacers including phenomenal Albatross (sire of  Niatross, superior broodmare sire) and family, Henry T Adios (Little Brown Jug; sire of Silent Majority/Messenger in turn sire of Abercrombie leading to Artsplace and sons; dam sire of Hazel Hanover, sire of Holmes Hanover), Dudley Hanover (Little Brown Jug), Apaches Fame (NA Cup), Escape The Wind (1:48.3, $1.9m, 8 wins in 1:50). Recent descendants in Australasia include Our Chain of Command (Tasmania Cup) Sudden Change (Tas Oaks) while sires to have stood in NZ/Australia include Thurber Frost (sire of Bonnie Frost, Garcon Roux, Stella Frost; dam sire of Preux Chevalier), Van Hanover (dam sire of Trevira), Meadow Al (sire of Mister Karamea world records as 2/3yo, dam sire of Luxury Liner), Docs Tuck (dam sire Lunar Lass VIC Trotters Derby/Oaks), CR Commando (Yonkers Trot), Pernod Eden (sire of So Long Eden – Rowe Cup) and Guy Day, dam sire of Aerial Scott (Rowe Cup, ID Trot G/F), Highland Air (Auckland Cup) and leading trotter Slipstream in NZ.


Rose Leyburn (2:15¼US), by a leading son of George Wilkes in Onward was a great broodmare, the dam of 10 in standard performers in 2:30 and matron of Walnut Hall Farm. Great granddaughter Margaret Parrish (1908) was inbred 3×2 to Arion, 4×5 to George Wilkes among other closely inbred ancestors. Hall of Fame Immortal Margaret Parish was one of the first hundred three year olds to trot in 2:10 producing eight Classic Progeny. Her leading progeny included Arion Guy (T4, T1:59¼TT), winner of the Kentucky Futurity – 3T, second colt to trot in under two minutes and sire of 207 standard performers of both gaits, 91 in 2:10 list and 14 in 2:05 list). Descendants tracing to Margaret Parrish include Mystic Park (Yonkers Trot; sire of sensational Mack Lobell the dam sire of Commander Crowe/Elitloppet), Dartmouth (dam sire of Florida Pro the sire of Sugarcane Hanover/Kentucky Futurity – 3T, Breeders Crowns, Nat Ray, dam sire of Revenue). Sires tracing to Margaret Parrish to have stood in NZ include Power Bunny (dam sire of Manifold Bay) and Sergio Hanover (sire of Buster Hanover, Mairo Sultan). Margaret Parrish’s two daughters responsible for enduring branches of the family are :

Mack Lobell


1) Margaret Arion, produced fifteen classic progeny with six being classic winners. Their exploits include – three Kentucky Futurity 3T winners (Princess Peg, Protector [dam sire of Rodney], The Marchioness), two Hambletonian victors (The Ambassador, The Marchioness), a two time Canadian Derby winner (The Diplomat) and a Transylvania victor (His Excellency). In addition, she became just second mare to leave three two minute trotters (His Excellency, Protector, The Marchioness). Daughter Princess Peg founded a branch that led to Valley Victory (Breeders Crown – 2cT, Yonkers Trot, leading sire of trotters – Bullville Victory, Continentialvictory, Donerail, Lindy Lane, Lookout Victory, Muscles Yankee, Yankee Glide; dam sire of Chocolatier). Half-sister Princess Meg’s great granddaughter is notable trotting mare Killbuck Mary

Others of note descending from Margaret Arion include Ken Warkentin (sire of My High Expectations, Aust Trotting C/S) and Fresh Yankee (Elitloppet, winner of 89 of 191 races) and in Australia recent Dullard Cup winner Kyvalley Blur (T1:55.6 in Cambridge Trotters Flying Mile, Bill Collins Mile).


2) Margaret Castleton, fastest trotter of her year at three when driven by Mrs H. Willis Nichols (T1:59¼US, Red Mile, Lexington, 1937). She left several classic progeny with many of her family finding success in Europe. In North America, her greatest success came through Nihilator ($3.225m, world record 1:49.3, seven group ones including Woodrow Wilson, Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug, Breeders Crown – 3c, dam sire of Art Major, Eternal Cammation, McArdle, Perfect Art, Worldly Beauty). Other particularly successful descendants of Margaret Castleton include The Intruder (Hambletonian), Looking Hanover (millionaire, winner of 32 of 196 starts), Broadway Hall (sire of Broad Bahn – Hambletonian), Jolene Jolene (equalled WR 2F trotter on mile track – T1:52.1US), Banker Hall (millionaire, Yonkers Trot), Runnymede Lobell (millionaire, Cane Pace, North America Cup), Allamerican Ingot (millionaire, Messenger, dam sire of Colors A Virgin – Jugette), Pure Country (two Breeders Crowns)


Whilst Mamie’s family has nineteen on the 1:50 (first 1,000) pacers list, only Shamballa (1:48.0US) appears on the 1.48 pacers list. The family has twenty six on the 1:53 trotters list led by the world’s quickest ever trotter in Sebastian K (T1:49.0US, on Pocano Downs 5/8m track in 2014). Of these, just Sebastian K makes the 1:51 list.



Nihilator is the families wealthiest pacer ($3.225m), Pure Country ($2.148m) followed by Escape the Wind, Galleria, Apaches Fame all just under $2m of fifteen pacing millionaires while the wealthiest trotter is Sebastian K ($2.973m), one of fifteen trotters with earnings of more than one million.


A very successful family for producing Triple Crown race winners, it has produced five Hambletonian winners but none in the past sixty years. In addition, Mamie has five winners of Yonkers Trot, nine of Kentucky Futurity – 3T and in the pacing stakes, Mamie has descendants that have won four Little Brown Jugs, three Cane Paces and two Messengers.


Without doubt her greatest performers have been Albatross, Nihilator, Henry T Adios and Valley Victory, Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder while Galleria earned female Pacer of the Year awards for three consecutive years aged three, four and five.



Next Edition : Miss Duvall and Lizzie Weatherspoon



Peter Craig


13 February 2018



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