It is hard to believe that as a racehorse La Troienne did not win a race, managing just a second and a third in her three year old season in 1929.
But as a "cull" from Marcel Boussac's breeding programme it was more than reasonable to expect better in her career as a prospective broodmare.
And so it turned out. So much so that today she is widely regarded as the most important broodmare imported to the United States during the 20th Century and becoming the foundation mare of her own branch ( 1x ) of the Bruce Lowe No 1 Family.
All this from a mare that was no picture to look at and described as a plain, light-framed, lengthy bay mare with long cannons, characteristics which featured in a number of her descendants.
Inbred to both Bend Or at 4x5 and Galopin at 5x5, this illustrious daughter of Teddy was the dam of 14 foals, of which 12 raced with 10 being winners. It is also interesting to note here that 7 of La Troienne's 9 daughters became Stakes producers.
So why this interest in La Troienne?
Windsor Park Stud have recently announced that they will be standing champion miler Circus Maximus for the forthcoming 2021 breeding season.
As we do with all newly announced stallions a quick check of his pedigree tells us he is a direct maternal descendant of La Troienne carrying the great mare as his 8th dam via her daughter Big Hurry, a Reines De Course mare in her own right.
So what implications does this carry?
At this position in Circus Maximus's pedigree the opportunity is presented to return as many lines of La Troienne ( via her many descendants ) as possible from a mare to the stallion's "bottom line" in the quest for enhanced speed.
This breeding practice may just provide the stallion's best runner.
And the more lines of La Troienne in a mare the merrier for Circus Maximus.
We will now go through each of the progeny of La Troienne ( both male and female ) to identify key descendants that may exist in the bloodlines of today's broodmare genepool to assist breeders contemplating Circus Maximus.
Daughter Black Helen was champion USA 3YO Filly of 1935 and granddam of 8 Stakes winners. In New Zealand, she is ancestress of She Might Hula, dam of the 1992 Two Thousand Guineas ( Gr 1 ) winner Hula Strike.
Baby League won only once from 11 starts but has a far more profound presence in New Zealand through her descendants. She produced 1945 USA Horse Of The Year Busher as well as her high class full siblings Striking and Mr Busher, all three being by War Admiral.
We occasionally see Striking's grandson Poker in downunder pedigrees ( he is the damsire of Seattle Slew ) but more so through her daughter Glamour through her dynasty of Intriguing, Numbered Account, Private Account, Rhythm and Mutakddim as well as Woodman and Boucher.
Smarty Jones, Hitting Away, Sparkling and Effervescing are other prominent members of this branch of La Troienne's family.
Another daughter Big Hurry ( 1936 ) was a full-sister to Black Helen and is the direct ancestress of Circus Maximus ( his 7th dam ). Big Hurry won the Selima Stakes as a juvenile and produced 5 Stakes winners from 14 foals.
More importantly for New Zealand breeders she is also the direct ancestress of 4 times NZ Champion Sire Noble Bijou.
She is also ancestress to 1983 French Champion 3YO Male and twice English/Irish Champion Sire Caerleon as well as 1993 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute.
Bridal Flower, Searching, Affectionately, Straight Deal, Personality, the outstanding racehorse Allez France, Regal Gleam, Relaxing and Easy Goer are other well-performed members of the Big Hurry branch descending from La Troienne.
Of this lot, Searching became a Hall Of Fame member and subsequent Reines De Course member with her daughter Affectionately ( by Swaps ) becoming a two time American Champion.
Searching is the 6th dam of Circus Maximus via her daughter Priceless Gem ( Hail To Reason ), the latter a half-sister to Affectionately.
Priceless Gem ( 5th dam of Circus Maximus ) is also the dam of former top New Zealand stallion Noble Bijou ( by Vaguely Noble ) meaning any mares holding his presence may well be leading contenders to work well genetically with Circus Maximus.
Bimelech ( 1937, also by Black Toney ) was another of La Troienne's sons and still found in pedigrees today. He was Champion USA 2 and 3 Year Old winning both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1940 and subsequently a useful sire.
Big Event ( 1938, by Blue Larkspur ) ran second in the Selima Stakes and is best remembered as the dam of 1951 American Derby and Arlington Classic winner Hall Of Fame but will be more familiar to New Zealand breeders as the granddam of top racehorse and good sire The Axe II who still abounds in downunder pedigrees.
Businesslike ( 1939, Blue Larkspur ) is a full-sister to Big Event and most remembered for producing top staying mare Busanda ( War Admiral ) who became the dam of Buckpasser, a highly valued male presence in most modern day pedigrees.
La Troienne's final four daughters have not left much to influence downunder bloodlines although her last foal Belle Of Troy ( 1947, Blue Larkspur ) did leave the speedy Cohoes ( Mahmoud ) who can still be found in the odd pedigree even today.
You may want to carefully analyse the pedigree of your mare even as far out as the 12th generation to pick up on the number of lines of La Troienne that may be present in your mare, an exercise well worth doing especially if you are a Commercial breeder who is contemplating using Circus Maximus.
Before leaving Circus Maximus, we must add that whilst feeding back from your mare as many lines of La Troienne is highly desirable there are other opportunities presented by this stallion's bloodlines that do not involve La Troienne.
As a few examples, these involve highly effective delta pattern linebreeding to Sadler's Wells as well as reverse-sexing ( for "engine room" building ) to the likes of Secretariat and Hail To Reason in particular. And there may be numerous others that are mare specific such as mares holding the presence of Nureyev ( Zabeel and Zabeel-line coming into contention here ) to complete the "Special" pattern in full sex-balance.
The 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver was 4x5x5 inbred to Buckpasser ( a descendant of La Troienne ) and carried multiple lines of La Troienne through his dam Supercharger ( tail female to La Troienne ), a daughter of Get Lucky ( a full-sister to American champion juvenile Rhythm and a half-sister to Oscillate, the latter dam of 2006 Argentine champion sire, Mutakddim ) and from the Baby League branch of the La Troienne family.
It was the deeds of Super Saver that was to reiterate the long held views of American pedigree analyst Les Brindsfield; "If a pedigree lacks La Troienne, get some in there. If it has La Troienne, get more in there".
Short and succinct, but it certainly worked for Super Saver and his connections.
For those breeders who have La Troienne presences already in their mares and wish to add more but cannot afford the Commercial Stud Fees of a stallion such as Circus Maximus, we have listed below ( in alphbetical order ) some of the La Troienne family descendants that can be accessed today through current standing stallions as per the Register Of Thoroughbred Stallions Of New Zealand 2020. Please note that these only go up to and including 5 generations of the stallion's pedigree and there may be some stallion's not listed that have La Troienne descendants further removed i.e. at their 6th generation or even further back.
Adargatis - 1934 French Oaks winner and a half-sister to La Troienne.
She can be found in Unusual Suspect.
Buckpasser - Found in Almanzor, Ardrossan, Belardo, Coats Choice, Dalghar, Darci Brahma, El
Roca, Fabulous, Highly Recommended, Mongolian Falcon, Mongolian Khan,
Nadeem, Per Incanto, Pure Champion, Redwood, Reliable Man, Rip Van Winkle,
Rock 'n' Pop, Savile Row, Shamexpress, Shocking, Staphanos, Super Easy, Swiss
Ace, The Bold One, The King, Time Test, Turn Me Loose, Zacinto and Zed
Busanda - Found in Dalghar, Darci Brahma, Redwood, Super Easy and Swiss Ace
Glamour - Found in Redwood
Glowing Tribute - Found in Ghibellines, Vespa and Ten Sovereigns.
Her son Hero's Honor can also be found in both Elusive Quality and Elusive
Intriguing - Found in Redwood
Never Hula - Found in Gallant Guru
This mare is from the Black Helen branch of La Troienne and is the dam of Don't
Say Halo, damsire of Gallant Guru
Noble Bijou - Found in The Bold One and The King
Playmate - Found in Redwood
A grand-daugher of Glamour and the dam of Woodman
Priceless Gem - Found in The Bold One and The King
Searching - Found in The King
Woodman - Found in Redwood and War Decree
Whilst we acknowledge that the above list may not be fully comprehensive, our intention is for it to act as a prompt in either injecting or adding new lines of La Troienne into the pedigree of your mare/s foal's.
Premier Pedigrees was born out of Ken Mackay's passion for horse pedigrees to offer a very affordable pedigree matching service and valuable recommendations to new and existing Australian and New Zealand clients for both thoroughbred and standardbred mares.