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Bay filly, 1853.
By Sovereign - Reel by Glencoe
Darley Arabian Sire line:
King Fergus Branch.
King Fergus Sire Line Quick Chart.

Family #23 - b.

Sovereign Her sire, Sovereign

Prioress was the first American-bred and American-owned horse to win a race in England.

Her sire, the bay Sovereign, had been bred at the Royal Stud at Hampton Court, and purchased as a yearling by American Wade Hampton II, and imported into South Carolina. He was injured and never raced, but he became an influential sire whose name is seen in American pedigrees. His best crosses were on Leviathan and Glencoe mares, and his most famous daughter, Prioress, was from the Glencoe daughter, Reel, although he also got a number of good runners, mostly fillies, in the U.S.; he is seen in in the pedigrees of Chris Evert and Two Lea, among others.

Her dam, Reel, out of the imported mare Galopade, was a great race mare, winner of heat races at 2 and 4 miles, and seven of her eight starts. In the stud she produced 13 foals, ten of which were high-class race horses. Her most notable youngsters, in addition to Prioress, were Lecomte (1850, by Boston), the only horse to ever defeat the mighty Lexington; Starke (1855, by Wagner), who was also owned by Richard Ten Broeck, and was shipped to England where he won the Goodwood Stakes, the Bentinck Memorial, the Goodwood Cup and the Brighton Stakes; and War Dance (1859, by Lexington), who became an important sire and broodmare sire. Prioress was Reel's eighth foal, a bay filly with a star and ring on her near hind pastern, who grew to 16 hands.

In 1855, as a two year old racing under the name Poison, Prioress ran record successive 1-mile heats in 1:46 1/4, 1:45 at Metairie.

She was taken to England in August of 1856 as a part of Richard Ten Broeck's string. "Mr. Ten Broeck's enterprise in thus boldly pitting his stable against the whole of England had been widely noticed by the American press, and their first races on English soil excited great interest on both sides of the Atlantic."

In her first outing, the Goodwood Cup of 1856, Prioress, ridden by Gilpatrick (who rode Lexington in his match against time), and Pryor, her stablemate, faced fourteen others over two and a half miles to place 5th and 6th respectively to the good French horse Monarque, with Fisherman being third.

In 1857 with a new trainer, and a new jockey (Charlton, won the Derby and Oaks with Blink Bonny), Prioress ran in the two mile Sussex County Cup. She managed only a 4th placing to Tournament, Polestar, and Chevalier d'Industrie out of five starters, and went unplaced as well in that year's Goodwood Cup and Shorts Handicap. Prioress was described as "sick and leg weary" since her arrival in England. However, in October, she was sent off in the two mile, two furlong Cesarewitch at 100-to-1 against 34 other horses, including Fisherman, Warlock, Saunterer, Black Tommy, Gunboat and El Hakim. Robertson notes "Prioress salvaged something for the stable by finishing among the first three in the famous triple dead heat for the 1857 Cesarewitch Handicap, and then - her American background of heat racing obviously standing her in good stead - winning the run-off." She went unplaced in her final start of the year.

In 1858 she had to pay a forfeit to Poodle, but the following week won the Great Yorkshire Handicap in an easy 4-length victory over 11 horses. She was next paid a forfeit by Beadsman; and the following day started again in the Cesarewitch. Against 35 other horses she ran dead heat for second (beaten by Rocket carrying 88 lbs); Prioress carried 126 lbs in this race, the highest except for Leamington who carried 130 lbs. She was unplaced in the Cambridgeshire, followed by a 2nd to Poodle in her final outing of the year.

In 1859 she beat Olympus by twenty lengths in a match for 100 sovereigns over the Ditch Mile, followed by a fourth place finish in the Tradesman's Plate behind the winner Leamington; but beating Fisherman, Lifeboat and Underhand. Two days later, along with Fisherman and Underhand, she was unplaced in the Steward's Cup. In May she won a Queen's Plate at Newmarket for mares carrying 140 lbs, beating Polestar and Target, but in the Goodwood Cup following, she was third behind Promised Land and Newcastle. She was third in Starke's Memorial Plate and Fisherman was in the beaten field. Following a defeat in the Cesarewitch, she won over Toxophilite in a mile race to be unplaced the next day in the Cambridgeshire, but two days later she won a Queen's Plate for mares at Epsom, carrying 131 lbs, defeating Archduchess and Julie.

Her only start at seven years came in the Newmarket Spring Meeting of 1860, where "she challenged for The Whip, but the weight carried (140 lbs.), and the condition of her off fore leg, was too much for her, and though she ran with wonderful gameness for three miles, she was forced to succumb to Mr. Merry's Special License.

After this race she was purchased by Sir Lydston Newman and entered the stud. She produced six foals in England, and, although she was bred to good sires -- the good distance horse Gemma di Vergy three times, and Voltigeur once, none of her offspring did much on the turf or at stud. She died while foaling in 1868.

--Updated by Patricia Erigero

PRIORESS, bay filly, 1853 - Family # 23 - b
b. 1836
b. 1820
Orville Beningbrough
Emily Stamford
mare by Whiskey
Fleur De Lis
b. 1822
Bourbon Sorcerer
mare by Precipitate
Lady Rachel Stamford
Young Rachel
gr. 1838
ch. 1831
Sultan Selim
Trampoline Tramp
gr. 1828
Catton Golumpus
Lucy Grey
Camillina Camillus
mare by Smolensko

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