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19th February 2007

The February 2007 USA publication The Best and Worst of Thoroughbred Racing by author Steve Davidowitz includes this very interesting author’s impression of the great mare La Troienne. The book is available from Daily Racing Form drf.com or amazon.com.

Here is what the chapter on this mare says.

La Troienne
(1926, Teddy – Helene de Troie, by Helicon)

Although the intended scope of this book is to cover the best (and worst) of the modern era of Thoroughbred racing, La Troienne breaks the mold. La Troienne’s profound potency has carried her genes from the late 1920s through the 21st century. She above all other blue-hen mares remains the greatest broodmare of all time. Her imprint on modern bloodlines is so powerful that her descendants continue to win the most important races in the world.

La Troienne herself was the dam of five stakes winners, including Black Helen, Biologist, Big Hurry, Bee Ann Mac, and Bimelech.

Bimelech was champion 2 year old in 1939 and champion 3 year old in 1940. Black Helen was the best 3 year old filly of 1935 before formal 3 year old filly champions were named beginning in 1939. Her genes were passed on through several generations to include 1992 champion older horse Pleasant Tap and 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin.

Big Hurry was the dam of five stakes winners and prominent in the pedigrees of Straight Deal and Regal Gleam. Big Hurry’s daughter Marking Time produced the blue-hen mare Relaxing. Both Relaxing’s sire, Buckpasser, and her dam, Marking Time, descended from daughters of La Troienne, making her intensely inbred. A terrific multiple Grade 1 winning racehorse, Relaxing was the dam of Easy Goer, his full sister Cadillacing, and their half sister Easy Now.

Another prominent daughter of the blue- hen mare Big Hurry was Searching who might have been the very best producing mare to stem from the La
Troienne line. Bred to Swaps, Searching produced 1965 champion sprinter Affectionately. Bred to Hail to Reason, Searching produced Priceless Gem, who defeated Buckpasser in the 1965 Futurity and was second best juvenile filly in 1965 behind undefeated Moccasin. Carrying on this line with considerable power, Priceless Gem also produced one of Europe’s all time great fillies Allez France, and through a mating with Secretariat, Allez France produced Lady Winborne, the dam of five stakes winners.

Big Hurry’s daughter Searching had another foal by Hail to Reason named Admiring, who foaled the blue-hen Glowing Tribute, dam of several stakes winners including 1993 Kentucky Derby-Travers winner Sea Hero.

La Troienne’s other potent daughters included Big Event, the grand-dam of several stakes winners including The Axe II, Malicious, Francis S., and Nasomo. Businesslike, the dam of Busanda, who produced Buckpasser, along with stakes winning Bupers, Bureaucracy, Comic, and Navsup, who produced Polish Navy; Belle of Troy, who produced Cohoes, the sire of Quadrangle; and Baby League, whose descendants include Busher, Harmonizing, and the prolific blue-hen mare Striking.

The list goes on and on. There is no escaping the fact that La Troienne was the best broodmare in American racing history, if not world racing history. Her influence was so powerful through numerous producing blue-hen daughters and granddaughters and great-granddaughters that she began the best broodmare line of the modern era several times over.

You can read more about this in Logan’s Book Corner.