Oil on panel, 10” x 12”
$9,000. – 12,000.
Richard Stone Reeves, Royal Blood; Fifty Years of Classic Thoroughbreds, The Blood-Horse, Inc., 1994, page 45
Princequillo was a French-bred, Irish-born colt who raced predominantly in the United States. Bred by Laudy L. Lawrence, he was out of Cosquilla, a great-granddaughter of Rock Sand (lot 33). She was mated to Prince Rose, who stood at the Haras de Cheffreville stud farm in France. Because of the German occupation of France during World War II, the pregnant mare was shipped to Ireland, where she gave birth to Princequillo in 1940. Shortly thereafter, her owners, factoring in the threat of German bombs and the unlikelihood of racing for some time, shipped Cosquilla and her unweaned foal to the United States, despite the danger posed by German submarines during the passage.
Princequillo made his racing debut in the United States in 1942. He was claimed after a few races by Prince Dmitri Djordjadze of Georgia and his American wife, Aubrey Emery, who put him into training with future Hall of Fame trainer Horatio Luro. As a 3-year-old, he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Saratoga Cup (where he broke the track record for 1 3⁄4 miles), and the Saratoga Handicap. He ran second in the Whitney in 1943 and 1944. He is known as one of the best distance horses of the 20th century, second only to Kelso.
Princequillo was retired from racing after his 4-year-old season and was purchased by Arthur B. Hancock and sent to his Ellerslie Stud in Albemarle County, Virginia. He was later moved to Hancock’s Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He was the leading sire in North America in 1957 and 1958 and the leading broodmare sire from 1966 through 1970 and again in 1972, 1973, and 1976. He was the leading broodmare sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 1971. He died of a heart attack in 1964 and is buried at Claiborne.
Richard Stone Reeves remembers painting Princequillo and writes in Royal Blood; Fifty Years of Classic Thoroughbreds, “He had what an artist likes to see — an attractive head, a big, intelligent eye, and a long, heavy, full tail. He fit together so well that I painted him strictly to show his fine conformation, which he passed on.” Indeed he did pass it on. His sons Hill Prince (1950) and Round Table (1958) were both named North American Horse of the Year. His daughters produced horses such as Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Mill Reef, and Sham, Secretariat’s rival. Other progeny include Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and, through him, horses such as A.P. Indy and Cigar. More recent progeny include Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify.