Turf Hallmarks


 Genetic Markers




 Search our site

 E-mail us


Portraits Index

Other Images

  English Foundation Mares

  Half-Bred Foundation Mares

  Foundation Sires

  Horses That Jump

  Or Use our Search Engine



Chestnut colt, 1865 - 1891
By Compiegne - Comtesse by The Baron or Nuncio

Byerley Turk Sire Line.
Highflyer Sire Line Quick Chart.

Family #1 - b


Mortemer was a much-admired, durable, weight-carrying racehorse that could win at any distance in both his native France and in England. In the late 1870s his French-bred offspring were so successful in England that certain members of the Jockey Club started a movement -- that went nowhere -- to ban French horses from running in premier races, confirmation that French breeding could no longer be dismissed as second rate. He got three sons that were leading sires -- in Germany, Hungary and New Zealand. At age fifteen he was purchased to America, where his contribution to the breed came primarily through his daughters. His branch of the Gladiator sire line effectively ended with his German grandson, SAPHIR, a champion stallion that was unable to get a successful sire son.

Mortemer's sire, the chestnut Compiegne (1858, out of imported Maid of Hart by The Provost), was a son of Fitz-Gladiator, the latter an influential French-bred stallion that continued the Gladiator branch of the Byerley Turk sire line in France. At age three Compeigne won four races in succession -- the Prix de la Ville de Spa, the St. Leger de Moulins, the St. Leger at Baden-Baden, and Baden-Baden's Prix Lichtenthal -- and at age four took the Prix du Cadran. He barely got a start at stud before he died at age seven, but he left Mortemer, who continued the sire line.

Mortemer's dam, Comtesse, by The Baron, or Nuncio, won the Derby Continental at Gand -- then an important race -- for Comte Frédéric de Lagrange. She also produced a three-quarters sister to Mortemer, Nemea (1864, by Fitz-Gladiator), a winner of the Prix Biennal (Prix Jean Prat), the Prix de la Foret, and the Newmarket October Handicap. Mortemer, born the year after Nemea, was a big, growthy, good-tempered chestnut colt that grew to 16.2 hands (some reports give him as 17 hands), with a great deal of "bone and substance."

An American who saw him when he was imported to the U.S. said his neck was "...strong, deep, and broad, running into well placed oblique shoulders, with ample muscle to work the same; great depth of chest, good strong, short muscular back, with broad and strong, hips, and great length from the point of hip to whirlbone, thence to stifle and hocks, which are clean cut and well shaped. His legs and feet are good and sound, except the foot which was injured during his turf career."

While at stud in France, Mortemer and Flageolet, the latter also a stallion at Claude-Joachim Lefèvre's Haras du Chamant, "...knew their master, fawning on him like dogs and playing with him until one day Mortemer bit deeply into M. Lefèvre's arm and so injured him that he was compelled to seek surgical advice."

Mortemer on the Turf

Mortemer won 23 of his forty-nine starts, but took a couple of years to come to hand, being "heavy-topped." He showed early speed, and kept that as he extended in distance, becoming a stayer "of the first water." As a member of the de Lagrange stables, he was part of the French "invasion" of horses into England that began in the 1860s, where wealthy French owners -- de Lagrange foremost amongst them -- brought their horses to prove themselves in the gold standard of racing, and incidentally pick up much more lucrative winnings. Mortemer, especially notable for being a third generation French-bred horse on his sire's side -- rather than a more immediate descendant of English horses -- was widely admired on both sides of the channel as he aged; Admiral Henry Rous, the premier handicapper and "first man of the turf" in England for many years said Mortemer "was the best horse in the world from six furlongs up to two miles and a half." In France, he was trained by Edouard Fould at Royallieu, and in England by Tom Jennings at Phantom Cottage, Newmarket.

As a juvenile he started nine times, winning the Prix Jacques Coeur at Bourges and the Omnium (a mile, carrying 123 lbs.), and was second three times, beaten by Nuage in the Prix de Morny (3/4 mile), by Météor in the Grand Prix de la Société des Courses (one mile), and by Cesar in the Bordeaux Criterium. He failed to place in the first year of the Biennial at Stockbridge in England, his only start there that season.

At age three he ran on the Continent and in England in twelve races, winning four of them and placing second four times and third twice. This season marked him as a good horse that could stay, but probably not a top class runner. He won the Prix de la Seine (1-1/2 miles), Longchamp's Prix Biennal (1-1/4 miles for 3 year olds), and the Prix de Acacias (1-1/2 miles), and the Prix Principal (1 mile-7 furlongs) at Moulins. He was second to Le Petit Caporal in the Prix de Lutére (1 mile-3 furlongs), to Sedan in the Grand St. Leger de France (1 mile-7 furlongs), and to stablemate Ouragan in the Saint-Leger de Bade (at Baden-Baden, 1 mile-7 furlongs), and was third at Baden-Baden in the Prix du Volga (one mile). In England, in four starts, the best he could do was second to Athena in Newmarket's Grand Duke Michael Stakes (with See-Saw third, 1-1/4 miles), third in the Stockbridge Biennial (second year, won by See-Saw, 1-1/2 miles), and was unplaced in Ascot's Prince of Wales's Stakes, won by King Alfred, and the Free Handicap Sweepstakes at Newmarket, won by Blue Gown.

The next season, 1869, he only ran in France and Germany, winning nine of his eighteen races, placing second seven times, and third once, with one unplaced start, carrying heavy weights and showing himself a good stayer that could also win at shorter distances. His wins included the Prix de la Seine (again, 134 pounds), the Prix Biennal (2 miles for four year olds), the Prix du Printemps (1-3/4 miles, 132 pounds), the Prix de Satory (2-1/2 miles, 142 pounds), the Prix de la Porte-Maillot (one mile); the Prix de L'Empereur (1 mile-1 furlong, 153 pounds), la Coupe de Deauville (1-1/2 miles, 121 pounds), the Prix de Bois Roussel (2-1/2 miles, 121 pounds), and the Grand Prix de la Ville (2 miles, 134 pounds). In the Grand Prix at Baden-Baden he was third to Cerdagne (by Newminster) and La Maladetta, with six runners in the field, two lengths behind the winner.

In 1870, on the threshold of the Franco-Prussian War, he won five of his six races on the Continent, and then went to England where he won his only race there, proving a genuine weight-carrying stayer. He took the Prix de la Seine for the third time (145 pounds), la Coupe at Longchamp (144 pounds), the Prix de la Moskowa (2-1/2 miles, 139 pounds), the Grand Prix de L'Empereur (Prix Gladiateur, 2 miles, 133 pounds), and the Prix des Pavillons (2 miles, 151 pounds, beating Dutch Skater,128 pounds). The story goes that as the Prussians occupied France, they began impounding French racehorses, but de Lagrange was able to smuggle Mortemer across the channel, "to frustrate the design the Prussians entertained of making him a part of the spoils of war." In England in the fall he easily won the Stockbridge Cup, his only race there.

In the fall of 1870, with the Franco-Prussian war severely restricting racing and ravaging studs (including Dangu) in the occupied territory in France, de Lagrange sold off most of his racing stable at Tattersall's in England, including Mortemer, who was purchased for 86,625 francs by de Lagrange's sometime partner, Claude-Joachim Lefèvre (the sales topper was the great Gladiateur, purchased by William Blenkiron).

Lefèvre kept his horses in England during the war, and in 1871 Mortemer easily won a sweepstakes at Newmarket First Spring (3/4 mile), beating two known speedsters, Normanby and Typheus. He ran second to Glenlivet in the huge Chester Cup field held on a boggy course (conceding 43 pounds to the winner). At Ascot, he won the Ascot Gold Cup (2-1/2 miles, 131 pounds, beating another French horse, Verdure)..."When Mortemer appeared coming out of the paddock, with Tom Jennings at his head, all eyes were turned on the handsome son of Compiegne as he walked down the course, as grand a specimen of the racehorse as ever came out on the Royal Health." At Goodwood he was third to Shannon and Favonius in the Goodwood Cup, giving the field gobs of weight, and injuring his foot in the running. It was his last race.

Mortemer in the Stud

Mortemer retired first to Haras Dangu, which had been leased by Lefèvre, and in 1873 was moved to Lefèvre's newly established stud, Haras de Chamant, near Senlis, where he laid out "excellent turf and gallops...and from the windows of the dining-room M. Lefèvre and his guests could watch the horses cantering round the racecourse, which had been made up to resemble Newmarket..."

When the first Mortemers hit the turf in 1875, Lefèvre and de Lagrange entered into a racing partnership, sometimes called a "fusion," the dimensions of which aren't entirely clear, but apparently Lefèvre had a contract with de Langrange to sell him all his yearling for 200 sovereigns each, with de Langrange leaving some of the "more moderate ones" with Lefèvre. Englishman George Cunnington was installed at Chamant as trainer. At any rate, the horses they ran in England occasionally raced in each other's name and colors, and the winnings were apparently pooled. This included Mortemer's best youngsters, among them CHAMANT, VERNEUIL, and the rest of his offspring through 1878, when the partership ended. That year Lefèvre presented some of his horses from Haras de Chamant at the Exposition Universelle Chevaline in Paris and won the grand prize, an "object d'art:" Flageolet, who had joined the Chamant line-up in 1875 and would be leading sire in France in 1880, took first prize for thoroughbred stallions, and Mortemer took third. Regalia, the dam of CLÉMENTINE and VERNEUIL, and Reine, the dam of REGAIN and ROYAUMONT, took first prizes as broodmares, contributing to Haras de Chamant's grand prize.

Mortemer's French offspring won 99 races worth 1,379,078 francs (including their wins in England). Although no official statistics seem to exist for French leading sires of the 1870s, it is almost certain Mortemer topped the list (which included foreign progeny earnings) in 1877, and 1878, when he was superceded by Lefèvre's other good stallion, Flageolet. After this early success, Mortemer tailed off, and in 1880, when he was age fifteen, Lefèvre, who was suffering severely from gout and reducing his stable, sold him for a very tidy sum to U.S.-based Pierre Lorillard, owner of the Rancocas Stud in New Jersey. When Lorillard dispersed his bloodstock for the first time, Mortemer, age 21 moved down the road to David Wither's Brookdale Stud, where he died in 1891.

Mortemer got three good sire sons when at stud in France: CHAMANT, top of the leading sires list in Germany six times, and sire of SAPHIR, a three-time leading sire in Germany; VERNEUIL, who was a leading sire in Hungary, and APREMONT, a leading sire in New Zealand. His sons that remained in France were not successful stallions. His only useful sire son in America, EXILE, was more significant as a broodmare sire.

Mortemer's French daughters produced three classic winners in France, and other useful horses, but very few are seen in pedigrees of horses today. His American daughters were more successful in the long term, notably his champion filly WANDA, whose grandaughter, Armenia, returned to France, where she produced Epsom Derby winner Durbar, whose French-bred daughters Durzetta and Durban had a significant influence on modern pedigrees. Mortemer's American daughter SALUDA produced Sibola, winner of the 1899 One Thousand Guineas at Newmarket, and was third dam in tail-female of the great racehorse and progenitor Nearco.

Mortemer in France

Mortemer got two reasonably good fillies in his first crop, born in 1873, AUGUSTA and LINA (properly by Monarque or Mortemer). LINA, the better of the two, won at age two in England, and also in England at age three won the Newmarket Oaks and Newmarket's Ancaster Welter Handicap Plate, at age five the Newmarket October Handicap, and at age six was third to the American horse Parole and Isonomy in the same race. She later produced two classic winners in France. AUGUSTA was second to LINA in the Newmarket Oaks, and in 1877 took Newmarket's Triennial.

In 1874, however, with a full season of breeding to Lefèvre's best mares behind him, Mortemer got CHAMANT and VERNEUIL, and SAINT CHRISTOPHE, all exceptionally good runners in both France and England. He also got DOUCEREUSE (1874, from the Baden-Baden winner Cerdagne, by Newminster), a juvenile winner that was second to the future Derby and St. Leger winner Silvio in Goodwood's Ham Stakes. HALLATE (from Feu de Joie, by Longbow), and PAGNOTTE, both minor winners in France, were also in this crop.

CHAMANT (1874) was out of Araucaria (by Ambrose and out of Pocahontas), a brother to APREMONT (1878) and half-brother to Claude-Joachim Lefèvre's One Thousand Guineas winner Camélia by Macaroni, to Rayon d'Or, and to the English-bred Wellingtonia (by Chatanooga). He was taken to England, and placed under the supervision of trainer Tom Jennings, and never saw a French racecourse; he stood 16.1 hands, a typical Mortemer (other than his bay color) and was known for his speed -- his staying abilities were never tested. He injured his back and developed into a roarer, almost certainly inherited from Pocahontas, and was retired from the turf after the Epsom Derby in June of his second season.
In 1878 CHAMANT was retired to the Frédéric de Lagrange's stud at Dangu, where he was purchased by Georg von Lehndorff for the German Imperial Stud at Graditz for £4,000, and became a significant stallion, leading the sire's list in Germany three years in succession in the 1880s -- 1885-87 -- and three years in the '90s -- 1890-92. His son, Saphir, led the sires list in Germany three times.

In eight starts as a juvenile CHAMANT won Lewes' Priory Stakes, Newmarket's Middle Park Plate (beating eighteen), and the Dewhurst Stakes, placed second in Goodwood's Lavant Stakes, and third in a sweepstakes at Doncaster. CHAMANT, VERNEUIL, and the Comte de Juigné's Jongleur (by Mars), all French-bred and owned, were the best juveniles in England that year (1876). CHAMANT entered his next season as a classic contender, and began by taking a walk-over in Newmarket's Bennington Stakes. He won the Two Thousand Guineas by a length, beating American John Sanford's Brown Prince, Lord Falmouth's Silvio, and eight others, but sprained his back in the running. In the Epsom Derby, won by Silvio (who also took the Doncaster St. Leger later in the year and numerous other races), he was unplaced, blamed on the back issues. He was retired from racing, full of unmet promise and considered by some to be the best of his year, based on his Guineas win and the dearth of any other truly impressive horses that season.

It was the wins of CHAMANT, VERNEUIL, Jongleur, and other French-bred horses that prompted a months-long debate in 1876-77 in the English Jockey Club regarding excluding French-bred horses from racing in England, which, after debate both privately and in the press, ultimately subsided, but it was a measure of how good the French breeding programs had become.

CHAMANT'S most significant son was Saphir (1894, out of Saphho, by Wisdom), bred at Gestüt Schlenderhan, near Cologne, by Eduard von Oppenheim. Saphir had a truncated, but brilliant turf career, winning the the Rennard-Rennen at Hoppegarten and the Austria Preis at two, and the Jubiläums-Preis at Hoppegarten and Österreichisches Derby, the first German horse to take the Austrian classic twenty years. Saphir led the German sires lists three times, in 1904, 1905 and 1907. He got three Deutsches Derby winners, and two winners of the Henckel-Rennen, but none of his sons established a successsful sire line. His daughters, like CHAMANT'S, were good broodmares, and some were successful on the turf, such as Blaustrumpf (1905), a winner of fifteen races that later established a successful family in Germany. Mon Désir (1902), who took the Preis der Diana becames a foundation mare at Schlenderhan where she established a highly successful family of champions, as did Danubia (1902), a winner of the Saphir Rennen, the dam of Danilo, dual classic winner Csardas, and the champion racehorse Dolomit.

CHAMANT'S other good sons included Dorn (1883, out of Miss Gorse, by Constanz), the champion German horse of 1892, a useful sire that got Semiramis (1898, a half-sister to Saphir), a superior broodmare that produced numerous winners, including Deutches Derby winner Sieger (1905). Dorn's sister, Schottland (1891) was the dam of Real Scotch, the champion German runner of 1904.

CHAMANT'S three sons out of tiny Pulcherrima (by Beadsman), included Deutsches St. Leger winner Picollos (1882), Pumpernickel (1884), whose wins included the Deutsches St. Leger and Magyar St. Leger and was later sire of some good winners, and Potrimpos (1883), champion horse in Germany in 1886. CHAMANT also got champion runner Peter (1888), Deutsches Derby winner Habenichts (1895), and the classic winners Andernach (1882), Regenwolke (1898), and Geranium (1894). His daughter Sol Ich (1884) won the Magyar Kanca-dij (Hungarian Oaks). His broodmare daughters, in addition to those noted previously, included Geheimnis (1883), Minnehaha (1887), Warnung (1884), and many others. CHAMANT also had an influence on various warmblood breeds, particularly the modern Trakehner, through half-bred sons and daughters born at the state stud at Beberbeck.

VERNEUIL (1874), was out of Stockwell's classic winning daughter and successful stayer, Regalia, a beautiful flashy chestnut mare that had been purchased by Frédéric de Lagrange as a broodmare; he was closely related to CHAMANT, since Stockwell, like CHAMANT'S dam, Araucaria, were both out of Pocahontas. Like Mortemer, a big chestnut, standing 16.3 hands, with a huge 6'-6" girth, he was another French-bred horse that crossed the channel in successive years to run for de Lagrange in both France and England. Mortemer's best racing son, he won eleven of his thirty-one races -- including the Ascot Gold Vase, the Ascot Gold Cup and the Alexandra Stakes all within one week's time, the only horse to ever have accomplished that feat.

VERNEUIL started five times as a juvenile, running only in England. He failed to place in his first start, Newmarket's Prince of Wales's Stakes. He won Doncaster's Glasgow Stakes (beating four) and Newmarket's Buckenham Produce Stakes (beating Silvio (Epsom Derby and Doncaster St. Leger winner in 1877) and two others), placed second to Lady Golightly in the Wentworth Stakes and second to his career nemesis, the French-bred and owned Jongleur, in Newmarket's Criterion Stakes.

At age three, 1877, he had a busy season in England and France, racing fourteen times, winning five races, placing second four times, and third three times. He was third in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains to Fontainebleau and Bataille, and second to Jongleur in the Prix du Jockey Club. After that he won the Prix du Cédre (beating Stracchino and two others) and the Prix Seymour. He was fourth to SAINT CHRISTOPHE, Jongleur and Stracchino in the Grand Prix de Paris. Then he went with de Lagrange's stable to England, where he took a walk-over in Goodwood's Drawing Room Stakes. After that, he was back in France, where he was third to Stracchino in the Grand St. Leger de France at Caen, first in Deauville's Prix Spécial, and second in three successive races -- to Vinaigrette in the Grand Prix de Deauville, to Jongleur in the Prix Royal Oak, and to Valérian in the Prix de Villebon. In England in the fall, he ran third to Jongleur and Placida in Newmarket's Select Stakes, was unplaced in the Cambridgeshire (won by Jongleur, with Belphoebe second), and then won Newmarket's Jockey Club Cup, beating Belphoebe and SAINT CHRISTOPHE.

At age four he started in France, placing second to SAINT CHRISTOPHE in the Prix du Cadran. In England, he was second to Thunderstone in the Claret Stakes (three runners), went unplaced in Epsom's City and Suburban Handicap, won by Sefton (28 runners), and second in the Epsom Gold Cup, won by Hampton. Then came Ascot: he won the Ascot Gold Vase beating his only opponent, Lady Golightly in a canter, and a few days later took the Ascot Gold Cup beating Silvio, with SAINT CHRISTOPHE third, and then the Queen Alexandra Stakes (2 miles) in a canter, with SAINT CHRISTOPHE second and two others in the field. He went back to France to contest the Prix Gladiateur, which he won, and then was in England again, where he failed to place in Newmarket's Champion Stakes, won by the good filly Jannette. He was second by two lengths in the Royal Plate at Newmarket Second October to Hampton, and went unplaced Newmarket's Jockey Club Cup, won by Silvio. The next season, 1879, he came out for the Ascot Gold Cup, his only race, but ran unplaced to Isonomy, Insulaire and Stuart.

In 1879 de Lagrange let it be known VERNEUIL was for sale. He received a handsome offer -- about £11,500 -- from American Pierre Lorillard via telegram, which was sent to him at the French Jockey Club offices in Paris. But de Lagrange was seriously ill, and did not visit the Club's rooms for several months, and the Jockey Club did not forward the offer to his home. In the meantime, de Lagrange had sold VERNEUIL to trainer Tom Jennings, who re-sold the horse to the Hungarian Imperial Stud for £9,000, which was a good deal more than the £5,000 the Hungarians would pay for Doncaster five years later, but significantly less than the offer from Lorillard.

VERNEUIL was a moderately successful sire at the Kisbér stud in Hungary, and was at the top of the sire's list in 1886, thanks to Metallist and Goliath, but most of his youngsters, like those of Mortemer, and Mortemer himself, were backwards at age two, and many did not race until age three. This was less significant for his half-blood offspring and a number of his big, sturdy half-blood daughters were retained by Imperial stud to improve their cavalry and light riding horses. VERNEUIL made ten seasons in Hungary before he was shot, after suffering from a series of severe colics, in August of 1890.

VERNEUIL got one really good racehorse, Metallist (1881, out of Metallique by Monarque), a winner of 25 races over five seasons, including the Nemzeti-Dij (Hungarian Two Thousand Guineas) and the Austria Trial Stakes. He was later a stallion for Count Emerich Hunyady. VERNEUIL'S son Goliath, a winner of the Vienna Handicap in 1886, took nine races in three seasons, and Pajzán won seventeen races in his three seasons on the turf. Another VERNEUIL, Zsamok (1885, out of Lady Patroness by Buccaneer), won the Austria Trial Stakes and was later a stallion for the Imperial Stud at Mezöhegyes. VENEUIL'S other winners included Trick Track (1889, out of Tittle Tattle by Buccaneer) won the Szent Laszlo dij and the Graf Hugo-Henckel in Austria; Aba (1886, from Altona by Cambuscan) winner of the Union-Rennen and Silberner Schild in Germany; Cintra (14 wins), and St. Wolfgang, in addition to about 25 others that won at least once.

VERNEUIL got few daughters that bred on: one, Artemis (1887, from Themis), bred at Kisbér, became the dam of Maurice Ephrussi's Alecón, a winner of the Zukunfts-Rennen at Baden-Baden as a juvenile. Another, Landturn (1886), was second dam of Hadd-Lassuk (1911), a winner of Austria's Trial Stakes and other races, and her descendants were winners of classic races in Hungary through the 1920s.

SAINT CHRISTOPHE, from Isoline, by Ethelbert, born in 1874, the same generation as VERNEUIL and CHAMANT, was also bred and raced by the Comte de Lagrange, and like VERNEUIL and his sister, CLÉMENTINE, successfully ran on both sides of the channel, and like them, could stay. At two he came out at the Epsom summer meeting, placing third in the Two-year-old Plate, and then was second to Rob Roy in Ascot's New Stakes. At age three he easily won the Prix de Guiche at Chantilly (1-1/4 miles), then ran third behind Stracchino and Montaine in la Coupe and third behind Jongleur and Fontainebleau in the Grande Poule de Produits. The Comte elected not to run him in the Prix du Jockey Club. He then took the Prix du Printemps (1-3/4 miles), and the Prix de Deauville where he beat some of the best four-year-olds in France -- Braconnier, Kilt, Mondaine and Enguerrande. The next week he won the Grand Prix de Paris; de Lagrange had declared for VERNEUIL, but SAINT CHRISTOPHE took the race, with Jongleur second and VERNEUIL fourth. After the Grand Prix de Paris, Lefèvre held a huge fëte at Chamant, to which all the neighboring "sportsmen" were invited. His next race was the Grand Prix de Lyon, where he failed to place, fatigued from his previous efforts. He went with the stable to England, where he took the Triennial at Newmarket, and was third to VERNEUIL and Belphoebe in the Jockey Club Cup. Back in France, he ran a double dead-heat for first with Mondaine in the Prix de Chantilly (2 miles); after this, the stakes were divided.

At age four, in France, SAINT CHRISTOPHE won the Prix du Cadran, beating VERNEUIL, and the Prix Rainbow (3-1/4 miles), beating Mondaine. In England, he was third to VERNEUIL and Silvio in the Ascot Gold Cup, and a few days later was second to VERNEUIL in the Queen Alexandra Stakes (2 miles). He was first a stallion at Dangu, where he got Diplomate (from Dotation, 1881); Diplomate was the highest priced horse sold at the dispersal of the Dangu stud in 1882, purchased for £1200 by Count A. de Montgomery (he ran at ages two and three, winning a selling race in France and was later sold for 181 sovereigns). SAINT CHRISTOPHE was sold to the French Government and stood at stud there until his death in 1883, age 9, leaving very little behind in the way of racing progeny.

CLÉMENTINE, sister to VERNEUIL, was the best of Mortemer's 1875 crop. Like her brother, she had both speed and staying power, and was unbreakable, running through age five and crossing the channel numerous times. Another filly from the 1875 crop, MISS ROVEL (from Resistance, by Monarque), won the Weston Stakes at Bath (England) as a juvenile, and the next year took a Welter Handicap at Newmarket.

CLÉMENTINE (1875), was bred and raced by de Lagrange. She was a high-class race mare and classic winner, and later successful stayer and good weight-carrier, that, like her brother VERNEUIL, ran in England and the Continent. She was purchased for 40,000 francs by Armand Donan when de Lagrange's stud was dispersed and went to his Haras de Lonray, near Aleçon. In the stud she got numerous foals, and at age 14 won the first prize for mares at the International Horse Exposition in Paris. However, she was not able to reproduce her racing class, her best offspring, Cazabat (1895, by Rueil), a winner of the Grand Criterium, did not figure in races in later years.
CLÉMENTINE raced only in England as a juvenile, and in ten efforts won Doncaster's Champagne Stakes (beating five), placed second in a sweepstakes at Doncaster, and second by a neck in Newmarket's Criterion Stakes to Jannette, with Lord Clive third. Her five third placings included Goodwood's Ham Stakes and Molecomb Stakes, giving the first and second placers weight in both races, and Newmarket's Exeter Stakes and a post sweepstakes.

At age three CLÉMENTINE ran in both England and France. She won the first running of the Prix du Nabob (for 3 year-olds), beating eight and giving weight away, the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches by four lengths, and the Grande Poule de Produits (10.5 furlongs) by two lengths, beating nine. She hurt her leg in the running, and was withdrawn from running in the Prix de Diane. Sent to England, she could only run third to Pilgrimage and Jannette in the One Thousand Guineas, and was third again, this time to Jannette and then Pilgrimage in the Epsom Oaks. At Goodwood she was second to Eau de Vie in the Nassau Stakes (giving her 7 pounds), and second to Lord Clive in the Goodwood Derby by a half-length. At Ascot she failed to place in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, won by Glengarry. In Newmarket's Grand Duke Michael Stakes she was third, and was second to Jannette in the Newmarket Oaks (only the two ran). She went unplaced in the Cambridgeshire Handicap (won by Isonomy), and ran last in a handicap sweepstakes at Newmarket. Back in France, she was second by a half-length to her stablemate, Inval, in the Prix Royal-Oak.

At age four, 1879, CLÉMENTINE won the big distance race, the Prix Gladiateur, at Longchamp, easily beating Clocher and Insulaire. In England, however, she was unplaced five times, her best a third in Ascot's Prince of Wales's Stakes. At age five she raced only in France, where she won the Prix de Nanterre (beating five, giving away weight), the Prix de Deauville (beating four), the Prix du Conseil Municipal at Rouen, beating four, Fontainebleau's Prix Principal, beating three and giving away weight, and the Prix de Bois Roussel, carrying top weight. She was second in Longchamp's Prix de Courbevoie (beating four), and was unplaced in the Prix de Dangu, the Prix de Longchamp, and the Prix Jouvence, in all carrying top weight. In 1880 she was third in Newmarket's International Handicap, and in an exciting, but horrifying Prix Gladiateur in France, where the front-runner, Milan, broke his leg during the race, she exhausted herself avoiding the wreck and was beaten by a neck by the smooth-sailing Pourquoi, who came in fast in the last strides under the whip.

CLÉMENTINE and VERNEUIL had several full sisters that bred on. REGARDEZ (1877) was the dam of winners, and through daughter Capucine (1891), bred on through the 1920s. RISETTE (1880) established a female line that continued in Italy through the turn of the century. RALLYE CHAMANT (1881) had a daughter, Regina (1889) that went to Argentina where a daughter, Pomona, sent the family forward with Argentinian classic winners through the 1940s.

After these first few crops Mortemer's success in the stud tailed off significantly. First, despite the successes of CHAMANT et.al., most of his youngsters were big and unfurnished at age two, and if they did run as juveniles, could not win in later years. Second, Flageolet joined the Haras de Chamant stallion line-up in 1875; while he, too, was a good stayer -- although nothing like Mortemer -- he had also been a very successful juvenile (unlike Mortemer) in both France and England, and did not throw the giant, fast-growing foals that were typical of the Mortemers. Many of Lefèvre good mares, such as Araucaria (dam of Flageolet's son Rayon d'Or) and Regalia (dam of Flageolet's son Zut), were shifted to Flageolet. Of the rest of Mortemer's crops in France, very few foals won anything of note, with the exception of REGAIN, born in 1880. Some others that did win minor races included AMBASSADRE (1879), a winner of the All-Aged Plate at Great Yarmouth (England), ROYAUMONT (1878), and ISAURE (1878), and several others, but all-in-all a serious disappointment after the first several glory years.

REGAIN (1880, from the good racemare Reine, by Monarque) was bred and raced by Lefèvre. As a juvenile he ran in England, unplaced. At age three his wins included the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, and he was third in the Prix du Jockey Club, but could not win in his two races in England. At age four he won the Prix du Cadran, Prix de Dangu, and the Prix Triennal at Fontainebleau (now Prix Rochette for juveniles). The last Mortemer son in France of any class, he was sold to Italy as a stallion.

In addition to CHAMANT and VERNEUIL, Mortemer got APREMONT (1878), another significant sire son out of Araucaria (dam of CHAMANT), that terrific broodmare daughter of Pocahontas. He was purchased at the Dangu liquidation sale by George Stead, the dominant owner and breeder in New Zealand for decades, who as secretary and chairman of the Canterbury Jockey Club for over thirty years helped set the rules of racing in New Zealand. Installed at Stead's Middle Park Stud in Canterbury in 1882, he was a notable stallion, and led the sires list in New Zealand in 1891-92, but successful as he was as a sire of racehorses and broodmare daughters, he was unable to get a son that was of any use as a stallion.

APREMONT tended to get precocious juveniles and horses -- both colts and fillies in equal measure -- that could later win up to 12 furlongs; a few won distance races. They had, said a contemporary turf writer, "the soundest of legs and high courage." His best was probably the stout Cynisca (1886, out of Nautilus, by Traducer), a good juvenile winner of seven of her eight races, including the premier Wellington Welcome Stakes. Her later wins included the New Zealand Oaks, the Wellington Cup (12 furlongs) three times, Wellington's WRC Handicap, Auckland's Easter Handicap (12 furlongs), Canterbury's Metropolitan Handicap (12 furlongs), the DJC St. Andrews Handicap, and the Hawke's Bay Cup (14 furlongs). Her brother, Pygmalion was also a winner of the Welcome Stakes. APREMONT also got "the iron horse" Wakawatea (1889, out of Becky Sharp, by Traducer), a bay gelding that ran through age 12 in both New Zealand and Australia, winning 26 races in 162 starts. Another son, Prime Warden (1887, from imp. Miss Kate by Adventurer) won a number of races, including Canterbury's Great Autumn Handicap (12 furlongs), Metropolitan Handicap (12 furlongs), and Canterbury Cup (18 furlongs). In all, APREMONT got five winners of Canterbury's Welcome Stakes for juveniles, two winners of the New Zealand Oaks, and four winners of the Wellington Cup, and there wasn't a principal race in New Zealand won at least once by an Apremont colt or filly.

APREMONT was also a successful broodmare sire. His daughter Golden Crest (1884, from Aurifera by Diophantus), was an exceptional mare that produced Golden Fleece (CJC Stewards' Cup), Golden Vale (dam of Husbandman, winner of the 1908 New Zealand Derby), Goldleaf (CJC Oaks and Great Autumn Handicap), dam of Autumnus, a high-class sprinter. His daughter Antelope (sister to Prime Warden) was the dam of Blue Jacket (1895), a winner of the Great Northern Guineas and the Wellington Cup. Another daughter, Fair Nell (from imp. Idalia, by Cambuscan) became the dam of Loyalty (1890), winner in New Zealand of the Great Northern Derby and Auckland Plate, and in Australia of the AJC Derby, AJC Craven Plate and VRC Melbourne Stakes. There were many more good daughters, and some of their family lines are still active.

Some of Mortemer's French-bred broodmare daughters were successful broodmares; two bred three classic winners when crossed with The Bard, the game little English-bred chestnut that was an unbeaten juvenile and twice leading sire in France. Although Mortemer had daughters that bred on, few of their family lines lasted beyond the 1920s. It's rare to see any of his French-bred daughters in tail-female of horses today. LINA (1873, from Regalia), arguably his second-best racing filly, became the dam of two classic winners. Her daughter Annita (1889, by The Bard), was third in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, and winner of the Prix de Diane. Annita's brother, Launay, won the the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. The family did not continue with flat winners beyond this generation. REGINE (1878, out of Regalade by Trumpeter), who had raced with little success, became the dam of Tilly (1890, by The Bard), another winner of the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches; Tilly's brother, Royal (1897) won the Prix du Nabob in 1900. LADY MANTON (1878, out of Coronation Stakes winner Highland Lassie, by Stockwell), produced Netheravon (1885, by Avontes), a winner of Ascot's Queen Alexandra Stakes in 1890, among other races, however she had no daughter that successfully continued the female line.

Mortemer's winning French daughter DOUCEREUSE (1874, out of the good race mare Cerdagne, by Newminster) was the dam of Diapress (1882, by Rayon d'Or) for de Lagrange; she was later second dam of Prix Morny winner Mijauree (1894), but again, the line ultimately failed. DOUCEREUSE, sold at Dangu sale of 1882 was purchased for 9,000 francs by Mr. Kronenberg and taken to Poland, where she dropped Kordelja (1887, by Kaiser), a winner of the Nagroda Prezydenta Rzeczypospolite (1-7/8 miles), later second dam of the 1912 Nagroda (Polish) Derby winner Gadja. IMAGE (1879, out of Inquietude (a sister to Oaks winner Tormentor), by King Tom) also went to Poland, where she produced Tormentor (by Zutzen), a winner of the Nagroda Derby and Gosudaryni Imperatricy, and Mortimer, who won the Bolszoj Wsiesojuznyj Priz and Gosundaryni Imperatricy.

Mortemer in America

In 1880 Lefèvre "let it be known" that Mortemer was for sale. Col. S.D. Bruce, an agent for American Pierre Lorillard (Lorillard's American-bred colt, Iroquois, would win the Epsom Derby and Doncaster St. Leger in 1881), who had unsuccessfully attempted to secure VERNEUIL the year before, was on a thoroughbred buying trip in England at just the right time. He got wind of the Mortemer's availability, and, managed to get ahead of a Mr. Moon, an agent for England's Royal Stud who was two days too late in making an offer. Bruce secured Mortemer for $25,000. On November 25, 1880 Mortemer arrived in New York after fifteen stormy days crossing the Atlantic on the steamer, Italy, and was taken to Lorillard's Rancocas Stud at Jobstown, New Jersey.

Mortemer got some good runners for Lorillard, but was not as successful as expected, although the Americans were fully cogniscent of his less than stellar record in France in his latter years there. His first crop in America, born in 1882, included most of his best runners; as two-year-olds they won 21 races worth $49,500. This included WANDA, the champion juvenile in the U.S., who was responsible for almost $30,000 of it. After this smashing start, which led to his placing third on the leading sires list in 1885, when his first crop were three-year-olds, it was all downhill. Lorillard was especially fond of juvenile racing, but the Mortemers in America, as in France, were mostly slow-maturing horses. That didn't stop Lorillard from racing them when still very backwards, and he was like some other owners on both sides of the Atlantic, a big believer in subjecting long yearlings to stiff trials "...as thorough competitive examinations for racing as the civil service is supposed to require." Lorillard's later biographer, W. S. Vosburg, said "It spoiled many of them, which, had they not been rushed, would probably have shown to greater advantage with age." If they did survive their juvenile seasons, many went on to have long, if undistinguished, turf careers running more than two dozen times each season.

Still, right up until he dispersed his bloodstock in 1886, Lorillard professed a belief in Mortemer's offspring, offering, in 1885, to match a Mortemer yearling he would name against any other yearling in the country, although that idle offer was never acted upon. Mortemer was fifteen when he arrived in America, and Lorillard, who spared no expense in any of his projects, had a specially built "Turkish bath" for the horse, who had become arthritic.

When the Rancocas Stud was disbanded in October of 1886, Mortemer, age 21, was purchased at auction by David Withers, owner of the Brookdale Stud, near Red Bank, New Jersey for $2,500, a tenth of the price Lorillard had paid. At the same sale, Mortemer's daughters WANDA and KATRINE made $3,000 and $3,500 respectively; the stallion Iroquois brought $20,000, and six years later was leading sire for his purchaser, Belle Meade Stud in Tennessee. In 1889, after Lorillard completed his development of Tuxedo, an expensive luxury resort in Florida, he resumed racing in America, purchasing some yearlings at sales and also "taking over" some horses bred by his friend, Mr. Fearing, among them several Mortemer daughters. Mortemer, suffering from "ailments, resulting from old age" was shot at Brookdale at age twenty-six in May of 1891.

In the fall of 1895 Lorillard sent his entire racing stable to race in England, and he continued with a strong presence there until 1900, from 1898 onwards racing in partnership with Lord William Beresford. Beresford, who had spent some years in India as a sporting and military personage, was a brother of Lord Marcus Beresford who managed the Royal racing stables for a number of years. A number of Mortemer grandchildren were sent to England to race in Lorillard's colors, and some did very well, including Sibola (out of SALUDA), who won the One Thousand Guineas.

In 1899, Mortemer, a deceased U.S.-based stallion, was ninth on the list of leading broodmare sires in England -- six winners of fourteen good races (Galopin, the leading broodmare sire that year had 25 winners of 48 races) -- due entirely to Lorillard's colts and fillies -- from Mortemer daughters -- that were racing in England. Although tabulated records for early twentieth century broodmare sires in the U.S. could not be found, Mortemer was certainly among the top three in 1904 and '05, when his grandchildren Delhi, Stalwart, and Perverse were big winners.

Mortemer's best American runner was WANDA (1882, out of Minnie Minor, by Lexington), a tall, lengthy, high-on-the leg, bright dappled chestnut with a crooked blaze and a high hind white stocking. Ranked as one of the all-time great fillies in the U.S., she "galloped high, flitting over the groundlike a sylph, and was very hardy...with a great burst of speed." She acted, said her trainer Matt Byrnes, "as if the ground wasn't good enough for her." Not as big as most of the foals born at Rancocas in Mortemer's first crop, although she eventually topped out at 16 hands, she came to hand early, and liked to run off the pace, using her speed to surge ahead toward the end of her race. She was aided by Lorillard's secret use of specially made aluminum shoes, believed to be the first use of such plates on a racehorse; Lorillard had tried them on his horse Drake Carter, who "tore them to pieces," but, he said, "on a light-moving, perfectly actioned horse you could use them. Wanda, you know was one of the smoothest, lightest movers in the world."

WANDA'S juvenile wins included the Sheepshead Bay's Surf Stakes (five furlongs), Monmouth's Tyro Stakes (with crop-mate CHOLULA, acting as pacemaker, second) and Seabright Stakes (CHOLULA second again), Monmouth's Champion Stallion Stakes by three lengths (beating an excellent field that included Lucky Baldwin's west coast cracks Mission Belle, Volante (winner of the American Derby the next year) and Verano), Pimlico's Central Stakes and three days later the Electric Stakes (one mile), the Homebred Produce Stakes, Sheepshead Bay's Flatbush Stakes, and the Clipsetta Stakes. She was indisputably the champion juvenile in earnings, and in class.

The next year WANDA won four races worth $29,640, which was enough to make her the champion three-year-old filly -- the Mermaid Stakes (9 furlongs), the Lorillard Stakes (12 furlongs, worth $18,530, beating the colts, including James Ben Ali Haggin's crack Belmont Stakes Tyrant and the excellent Travers Stakes winner Bersan), the Monmouth Oaks (10 furlongs) and Monmouth's twelve furlong West End Stakes (a dead-heat with East Lynne, won by a head in the run-off). After this, she never won again. She had begun to develop ringbone, noticeable in the West End Stakes, and it ultimately ended her career on the turf. Her career total was twelve wins in twenty-four starts, second eight times.

WANDA cemented her place in American racing lore by producing three good daughters -- Urania (1892, by Hanover), Maxine Elliott (1894, by American Derby winner Strathmore), and Countess Wanda (1902, by Loyalist). Maxine Elliott's distant tail-female descendants included the excellent filly Jameela (1976) and the redoubtable Gulch (1984), later a good stallion. Countess Wanda's female line continued through daughter Planutess (1908), whose descendants included the Pimlico Futurity winner Flying Heels. Plauntess' daughter Uncle's Lassie (1916), dam of Kentucky Derby winner Clyde Van Dusen, continued the family, which included the sprinter and stallion Green Desert (1983, by Danzig), and the good Nasrullah daughter Judy Rullah (dam of Creme dela Creme) -- the great Swaps (1952, Kentucky Derby, American Derby, etc., important broodmare sire) and Kentucky Derby winner Iron Liege (1954) were also descended from Uncle's Lassie. Countess Wanda was also the dam of Fairy Wand (1914, by Star Shoot), a winner of the Gazelle Stakes, and later dam of Genie (1925, by Man o' War), who won the Dwyer Stakes and Bowie Handicap, and of Epithet (1928, by Epinard), who took the Hopeful Stakes at age two.

But Urania's female line, even if not active today, was the most interesting. Urania, a good stakes winner, produced Sandria (1902, by Sandringham), a winner of the Matron Stakes, and Armenia (1901, by Meddler), both bred at H.P. Headley's La Belle Farm near Lexington. Armenia, also a winner of the Matron Stakes, was a broodmare for C.V. Whitney until purchased by H.B. Duryea and taken to France during the exodus of rich Americans when racing went dark in the U.S. In Duryea's Haras du Gazon she produced Blarney (1910, by Irish Lad), a winner of the Prix de la Foret, Prix Eugene Adam, and Prix Jean Prat, and Durbar (1911, by Rabelais), who won the Epsom Derby in 1914. Durbar was ineligible for the General Stud Book thrice over -- WANDA could not be traced back in tail-female to a known thoroughbred mare, her dam was by Lexington, who had the same problem, and her grandsire Hanover was similarly "cursed." Durbar's daughter Durban (dam of Tourbillon), is seen in the pedigrees of many significant French and American horses. Urania's daughter Rezia (1903, by Meddler), who stayed in the U.S., was fourth dam of Kauai King (1963), winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

EXILE (1882, out of imp. Second Hand, by Stockwell) was one of Mortemer's few bays, but was marked almost identically like his sire, with a star and stripe and a hind white sock. "Strongly made with great power in his hind quarters and an exhuberance of animal spirits," he "could clear the [racecourse] paddock when he lashed out with his heels." These high spirits would later take a darker turn. A true Mortemer, at least in terms of longevity and durability, he ran from ages two through seven, could go a distance, although in the U.S. at that time and later, the most lucrative handicap purses were limited to 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 miles.

As a juvenile EXILE won some races and placed second to Richmond in Monmouth Park's Hopeful Stakes. In the following seasons he won various races, including the Raritan Stakes at age three, getting better as he aged. In 1888, age six he won the Sheepshead Bay Twin City Handicap (1-1/4 miles), beating Eurus (to whom he had run second in Gravesend's Oriental Handicap in 1887) and eight others, and was third in the Brooklyn Handicap to The Bard and Hanover, two really high-class runners. In 1889 he won the Twin City Handicap again, beating Defaulter and eleven others, and took the Brooklyn Handicap (1-1/4 miles, Aqueduct) for William Lakeland, beating a high-class field that included Prince Royal and Terra Cotta.

For a number of years EXILE was a second tier stallion at Charles Reed's Fairview Stud at Gallatin, Tennessee. He started out well, with three juvenile winners of 13 races worth almost $45,000, but he was so difficult to handle -- and was competing with the good stallions Mr. Pickwick and St. Blaise -- that his opportunities were limited. He did get Agitator (1892), a winner of the Matron Stakes, Le Grande, and a few other winners.

Some of EXILE'S daughters were excellent. His tough daughter Forget (1893, out of Forever, by Forester), a well-used runner for the Lauretta Stable won thirty-three of her ninety-three starts, seventeen of them hurdle races and one a steeplechase. She was purchased for $400 by Harry Payne Whitney, who was happy to have hard-raced mares, and installed at his stud (and later that of his son's, C.V. Whitney), where she was a terrific broodmare, producing to various stallions the gelded colts Hylas (winner of over $24,000), Dreamer (winner of over $6,000), Dinna Ken (winner of over $25,000), Oversight (a good winner), Delerium (Manhattan Handicap and other races) and her best, the gelded Borrow (by Hamburg), whose wins in England included the Middle Park Plate at age two and back in the U.S. champion runner in 1914 (including winning the Brooklyn Handicap). Forget's sole daughter, Remembrance (1913, by Broomstick) was, through her daughter Wendy (1917, by Peter Pan), the tail-female ancestress of numerous classic winners in France and the U.S., among them the famously sterile Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby winner Twenty Grand. The family is still active today -- the stallion Run the Gantlet (1968) was a descendant in tail-female of Forget. Another EXILE daughter, Winter, became the dam of the hard-raced Wintergreen (1906), whose sixteen wins in sixty-one starts through age seven included the Kentucky Derby.

In the fall of 1902 Charles Reed's stud was dispersed, and EXILE was picked up for $100.00 by Henry Whitney; he had not gotten anything notable in a number of years, and his manageability was questionable. At stud at Mr. Cowdin's at Mount Kisco, Westchester Co., New York, he became increasingly savage: "...he tried to kill his groom, who only saved his life by climbing a tree upon which Exile tried to follow him, standing on his hind legs and biting the bark. Eventually he became so bad it was found necessary to shoot him."

Chimera and her blaze-faced colt Salvation, by Salvator
Others from Mortemer's first American crop included CHIMERA (1882, from Lizzie Lucas, by Australian), a "magnificent dappled chestnut" that stood 16.1-1/2 hands at age two. She won Monmouth's Red Bank Stakes (3/4 mile) and Saratoga's Moet & Chandon Stakes (5/8 mile) as a juvenile, but was permanetly retired after that since it was "feared she was too big." In James Ben Ali Haggin's Rancho del Paso stud in California, was later dam of Salvation (1892, by Salvator), a winner of Belmont Park's Champagne Stakes as a juvenile, but her tail-female line did not continue.
CHIMERA'S sister, VEVA (1887), however, became the dam of the excellent race colt Delhi (1901, by Ben Brush), who tied with Ort Wells for champion status as a three-year-old and at age four in the "older male" division, whose wins included Saratoga's Hopeful Stakes as a juvenile, and the Belmont Stakes, Belmont's Withers Stakes (1 mile), the Brooklyn Handicap, and Saratoga's Great Republic Stakes (1-1/4 miles) at ages three and four. Delhi got some useful broodmare daughters and a son, Dominant (1913), a winner at Saratoga, seen, through a daughter, in the pedigree of the good handicapper Devil Diver (1939).

KATRINE (1882, out of Lou Lanier, by Lever) was another large overgrown filly, but she showed great promise, giving WANDA weight and a beating in home trials and also beating Lorillard's Suburban Handicap winner Pontiac at even weights in a trial. But KATRINE, who did not officially race until age three, was unlucky; in the Emporium she was bracketed on the rail and went unplaced, and was again squeezed on the rail in Coney Island's Stockton Stakes (1-1/4 miles). Trainer Matt Byrnes had her jockey take her to the front in her next race, Monmouth's Barnegat Stakes (3 year olds, 1-1/8 miles), but she could not maintain the pace and could only place third, and was also third in Monmouth's Stevens Stakes (3 year olds, 1-1/2 miles). She was second to EXILE in Monmouth's Raritan Stakes (3 year olds, 1-1/4 miles). Finally, she won Monmouth's Newark Stakes (3 year olds, 1 mile), but she was down in weight after so many races in so short a time, and was given a rest until the fall. In the Twin City Handicap at Sheepshead (1-1/4 miles) she was third to Bersan and Bob Cook with 17 in the field, but she cut her leg in the running, and that was the end of her career. Her tail-female line bred on through Relentless (1921), a winner of the Ladies Handicap.

CHOLULA (1882, from Fanny Ludlow, by American Eclipse) was one of the few smaller, compact Mortemers, and he won the Atlantic Stakes, but as a speedy colt he was frequently sacrificed to WANDA and CHIMERA as a pacemaker, and with his "rather straight pasterns" trained off. UNREST (1882, out of Letola, by Lexington) was another chestnut filly; she won $10,408 at age three for Lorillard. Other useful winners in that first crop included DIONE (from Explosion, by Hampton Court), BAHAMA (from Notre Dame, by Lexington), and HEVA (out of Ontario, by Bonnie Scotland).

After the first year's crop, the number of Mortemers that won important stakes and handicaps fell off dramatically. Only the 1883 crop (to age two) ran in Lorillard colors; the entire racing stable was dispersed in February of 1886, before the 1884 crop started racing, and deprived of trainer Matt Byrnes' skills and Lorillard's deep pockets, many went on with other owners to become low-level, hard-knocking racers for allowance purses.

The best of his 1883 foals were Lorillard's SAVANAC (1883, out of Sly Boots by Rivoli), CYCLOPS (1883, out of Lizzie Lucas, by Australian and so brother to CHIMERA), and NAIAD (1883, out of Highland Lassie by Blair Athol). SAVANAC was "...much of the Mortemer type, but rather short in the neck and a heavy forehand." He won the Sapling Stakes as a juvenile, and was third to Trouabdour in Belmont Park's Suburban Handicap (1-1/4 miles) at age three for his new owner, Mr. McCoy, who had picked him up at the Rancocas sale for $3,750.

Mortemer's son CYCLOPS, was "highly tried" as a long yearling, beating WANDA over a half-mile, although, "...like Mortemer he had great size and was hardly one of the kind to make the best two-year-old." He won the August Stakes at Coney Island as a juvenile. Sold for $10,500 to Mr. Walcott at the Rancocas dispersal, he went on to win a number of purses and was later a modest stallion.

NAIAD placed third to Mollie McCarty's Last in Jerome Park's Hunter Stakes (1-3/4 miles for three-year-old fillies), and won some lesser races; in the stud she became second dam of Travers Stakes winner Ada Nay (1900, by Maxio).

Other winners in the 1883 crop included WINFRED (a brother to WANDA), picked up for $13,000 by the Dwyer brothers at the Rancocas sale, a winner, but nothing like his sister, PONTICO (1883, out Agenoria, by Adventurer), another Dwyer brothers purchase that won some races in his long career, and SALUDA .

SALUDA (1883) was out of Perfection, sister to Lorillard's great winner Parole, and a Rancocas foundation mare that was not sold in 1886. SALUDA produced several good daughters to the cover of Lorillard's imported stallion, 1886 Cambridgeshire Stakes winner The Sailor Prince. Her daughter Sandia (1894), sent to England in the fall of 1895, won four juvenile races there in 1896, and in 1897, age three, took five races, including the Fernhill Stakes and the Biennial at Ascot, and the following year ran third for the Cambridgeshire. Sandia's sister, Sibola (1896) followed her to England, and in 1899 won eight races, including the One Thousand Guineas, the Wood Ditton, the Champion Breeders Stakes and the Scarborough Stakes, and was second in the Epsom Oaks. Sibola was purchased by Maj. Eustace Loder and installed as a broodmare at his Eyrefield Lodge farm in Ireland (where Pretty Polly would shortly be born). Sibola's daughter, Catnip (1910, a winner of Newcastle's Gosforth Nursery Handicap in ten starts at ages two and three), became a foundation broodmare at Federico Tessio's Dormello Stud in Italy, producing Italian classic winners, including Nogara, the dam of Nearco. A third SALUDA-The Sailor Prince daughter, Sumida, stayed in the U.S., and has descendants winning in the U.S.

Another Perfection - Mortemer daughter, PERCEPTION (1882), became the dam of Pharisee (1899, by The Sailor Prince), also sent to England, where he won Epsom's City and Suburban Handicap and placed second to Andover in Ascot's Royal Hunt Cup in 1905. Lorillard's mare Parthenia (1880, by Alarm) was a half-sister to Perfection and Parole. In 1886 she produced the Mortemer daughter RIZPAH. RIZPAH was the first "new" Rancocas stud representative to run when Lorillard returned to racing in 1889, winning two races at Monmouth Park. She went back into the Rancocas stud as a broodmare, where she produced Diakka (1893, by The Sailor Prince). Diakka won the McGrathiana Stakes as a juvenile, and, shipped to England in that first batch of two-year-olds in the fall of 1895, the next year won Derby's 8 furlong Peveril of the Park Handicap, beating seventeen, including Marco (at age four carrying top weight of 131 pounds), and the following year took four races, including Kempton Park's Duke of York Stakes (1 mile), beating a good field that included Marco and Laveno, and was second to Amphora in Goodwood's Stewards' Cup.

The remaining Mortemer offspring bred at Rancocas through 1886 (including colts and fillies from mares sold in foal in February) raced for other owners. The more notable from these years included MONTAGUE (1885, from Evadne, by Lexington), who won the Preakness Stakes, PUZZLE (1884, out of Matchless, by Stockwell), a speedy filly, and PAGAN (1886, brother to PUZZLE), a good winner at lower levels, and SLEIPNER (1887, from Breeze, by Alarm), who won a number of races through age six, including the Cherry Diamond Handicap and Monmouth's Harvest Handicap (1-1/4 miles) and Midsummer Handicap (1 mile), and was often among the placings in higher class races, including second in the New York Jockey Club Handicap (1-1/4 miles, to Picknicker).

Castalia and her foal John Mc. by Uncas
Foals bred after Mortemer went to the Brookdale Stud included ST. HUBERT (1889, out of Sweet Home, by Knight of St. Patrick), a successful sprinter; ELVA (1890, out of Invermore, by Lexington), a hard-running mare that won races over a mile, NICK (1890, from Retribution, by Reform), a winner of the Flash Stakes as a juvenile and later a useful sprinter; MELBA (1889, out of Trill, by Uncas), a winner to age five of races at 3/4 of a mile and less; and CASTALIA (1888, out of Catagnette, by Marsyas), whose wins included Belmont's Ladies' Handicap (1-1/2 miles for fillies and mares) at age three.

Of these, CASTALIA was the only one with pretensions to class, and she was later a successful broodmare for W.C. Whitney, producing Perservence (1904, by Meddler), a winner of the Jerome Handicap, and other winners; Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star (1950), was one of her tail-female descendants. MELBA, also in the Whitney Stud and related to CASTALIA (MELBA'S second dam was half-sister to CASTALIA), became the dam of Stalwart (1901, by Meddler), winner of Belmont's Champage Stakes, the Champion Stakes and the Century Handicap among other races, and of Perverse (1903, by Meddler), the champion juvenile filly in the U.S. whose wins included Belmont's Champagne Stakes and Nursery Handicap, and later Belmont's Matron Stakes, and Aqueduct's Ladies Handicap. Perverse's tail-female line continues to the present, with numerous high-class winners, including the half-brothers Hasty Road (1951) and Traffic Judge (1952), and the noted Princequillo daughter Stepping Stone (1950), from which many good stakes winners descend in tail-female.

Additional successful American broodmare daughters by Mortemer, not already mentioned, included ILDICO (1885, out of Opponent, by Melbourne Jr.), who went to France after the Rancocas sale of 1886, became the dam of Illinois II (1899, by Fripon), a winner of the Prix Lagrange in 1902, and of Dido (1898, by Stuart), a winner of Longchamp's Prix d'Ispahan in 1901; DOLORES (1886, out of Explosion, by Hampton Court), the dam of Dominie (1896, by Sensation), winner of the 1-1/2 mile Newmarket Stakes and the Midsummer Stakes (in England for Lorillard) at age three; SONCY LASS (1886, from Bertha, by Glenelg), the dam of Souffle (1893, by Rayon d'Or), whose wins in the Kentucky Oaks, Latonia Oaks and Jerome Handicap made her the U.S. champion three-year-old filly; ZARA (1886, out of Zicka, by Australian) was the dam of the 1908 Maryland Hunt Cup winner, Judge Parker (1903, by Belvidere); SUNNYSIDE (1887, from Sly Dance, by War Dance), dam of Previous (1895, by Meddler), a winner of the Great American Stakes and of his sister Morningside (1898), winner of the Alabama Stakes and later dam of Cirrus (1918), a winner of the Brooklyn Handicap; and CROCHET (1889, out of Adage, by King Ernest), who produced Crocket (1895), a winner of the Kentucky Oaks. Several of these mares still have active tail-female lines.

Some of Mortemer's American-bred daughters whose grandchildren were runners of some note included: FLOSS (1884, from Florence, by Lexington), second dam of Ahumada (1900), a winner of the Carter Handicap and of Race King, who won Belmont's Nursery stakes and dead-heated with Sysonby in the Metropolitan Handicap; LASSIE (1885, from Wyandotte, by Leamington), second dam of Fitz Herbert (1906, by Ethelbert), American champion three-year-old colt of 1909 and tied champion in the older male division in 1910 whose wins included the Brooklyn Handicap, the Bowie Handicap, the Lawrence Realization, and the Suburban Handicap; and DAL (1886, out of Katie Pearce, by Leamington), second dam of 1917 Preakness Stakes winner Kalitan.

Even though he was widely admired in his time as a runner in France and England, Mortmer's accomplishments on the turf in France and England in the 1860s are largely forgotten, but he and his sons, especially CHAMANT, had a significant influence on thoroughbred bloodstock through their daughters, who often passed on his durability, staying powers and speed.

--Patricia Erigero

MORTEMER, chestnut colt, 1865 - Family # 1-b
ch. 1858
ch. 1850
ch. 1833
b. 1835
Mare by Rubens
Maid of Hart
br. 1846
The Provost
br. 1836
The Saddler
Martha Lynn
br. 1837
b. 1855
(The Baron or) Nuncio
br. 1839
br. 1831
b. 1818
ch. 1839
b. 1820
ch. 1823

Home   Historic Sires   Historic Dams   Portraits   Turf Hallmarks   Breeders   Genetics   Resources   Contributors   Search   Store   E-mail

©1997 - 2005-2010 Thoroughbred Heritage. All rights reserved.