Black Toney was the foundation stallion for the great Twentieth Century
American breeder Edward R. Bradley, owner of the famous Idle Hour
Stock Farm, Lexington, Kentucky.
Bred in Kentucky by James R.
Keene's Castleton Stud, Black Toney was from one of the last crops
bred by Keene, who died in 1913. The horse represented the famed Domino/Ben
Brush cross that had provided Castleton with so much success. As Keene's
health declined, he gradually dispersed his holdings, and in 1912,
he sold the entire Castleton crop of yearling colts to E. R. Bradley,
acting as agent for William A. Prime. Prime reneged on the deal and
although Bradley resold most of the lot, for $1,600 he retained the
Peter Pan - Belgravia colt.
Black Toney was a half-brother
to the stakes winners Franconi and Grosvenor (and later, to Bonnie
Mary). Their dam was a half-sister to the outstanding runner and sire,
Disguise and went back three generations to the remarkable broodmare
Queen Mary, who also appeared in the pedigree Ben Brush (as dam of
*Bonnie Scotland), making Belgravia inbred 4x3 to that great matron.
Black Toney started a total of
40 times over four season of racing, winning 13 races and earning
$13,565. At two, he raced 19 times and won seven including the Valuation
Stakes, and third in the important Futurity. At three, he started
eight times, winning five including the Independence Handicap (9.5f.).
At four he won two of 10 starts, none noteworthy, and covered mares
at five while recouperating from injuries.
He covered a few more mares,
then returned to racing at six, winning once in three starts over
a mile, and then was retired from racing completely. This was a good
decision, because as a racer, Black Toney was well below top class,
but as a sire, he proved to have few equals.
Black Toney in the Stud
He retired to Bradley's
Idle Hour Stock Farm alongside *North Star III and Helmet, but, like
many Bradley sires, was used sparingly, getting only 221 foals in
21 crops, but the quality was high, with 40 stakes winners (18 percent).
Black Toney was the Leading
Juvenile Sire in America in 1939, when his best runner Bimelech was
From his first small crop, sired
between his four and six-year-old racing seasons, there were four
foals, one of which was Miss Jemima, the champion two-year-old filly
of her year. His second small crop of three foals included Black Servant,
a brilliant colt who was an unlucky second in the Kentucky Derby.
Later crops included champion and Kentucky Derby legend Black Gold,
another Kentucky Derby winner in Brokers Tip, and the champions Bimelech,
Balladier, Black Helen, Black Maria, as well as the top stakes winners
Big Hurry, Broadway Jones, and others.
Bimelech was his best runner,
born when his sire was 24 years old and at end of his long stud career.
Black Toney was America's Leading Two-Year-Old Sire in 1939, when
Bimelech was two. At three, Bimelech won the Preakness and Belmont
Stakes. He was a younger full brother to the champion three-year-old
filly Black Helen, winner of the C.C.A. Oaks in in 1935. Balladier
was the champion two-year-old of 1934. Black Maria was the champion
female at three, when she won the 1926 Kentucky Oaks, and champion
He tended to sire speed and precociousness,
but his offspring showed a lot of durability and class as well.
Top left: Black Toney's champion son Bimelech; Bimelech and his full sisters, stakes winner Big Hurry and Black Helen (also a champion) were out of the great producer La Troienne.
Top right: Balladier was a champion juvenile and later a good sire
Second Row left: Broker's Tip sired champion Market Wise
Second Row right: Champion Black Gold later proved infertile
Bottom left: Dual champion Black Maria had only one foal before dying
sireline carried forward with strength through Black Servant (sire
of champions Blue Larkspur, Barn Swallow, Baba Kenny, Big Pebble),
Balladier (sire of Spy Song, Double Jay, Mr. Music, Ky. Colonel, Papa
Redbird), and Bimelech (sire of Better Self, Brookfield, Dark Ruler).
Broker's Tip sired champion
Market Wise (sire of To Market). Black Gold was infertile.
Black Toney's daughters were
good producers. Big Hurry produced champion Bridal Flower and the
top racemare and producer Searching, and other good producing daughters
No Fiddling, Allemande, Ambulance, and Dashing By. He also sired Bridal
Colors, dam of the important sire Relic, and Crotala, dam of the top
Black Toney was a very dark brown
color with no white markings. He was an attractive horse with a lot
of quality, an especially fine head with a dished profile, long-bodied
like Ben Brush, with low withers, and owned a tremendous hindquarter
with a nicely sloping hip angle.
Bradley honored his stallion
with a bronze statue (about one-third life size) sculpted by Josephine
Krstolich, which stands near the stallion barn to this day, on the
same property now known as Darby Dan Farm. His 1937 crop, which included
champion Bimelech, was Black Toney's last, and he spent the last two
seasons of his life in quiet retirement.On September 19, 1938, he
dropped dead in his paddock, apparently from heart failure at the
age of 27, and was buried near the stallion barn.