The males get all the glory, racing for huge purses and then being syndicated for millions as potential sires. But one of the soundest and oldest maxims in the sport is that the quality of the mares determines the success of the stud. No breeder of thoroughbreds slights this truism in his quest for the ideal mating, which accounts for the value of the 13 mares shown here and on the following pages: more than $3 million, without their offspring. Jerry Cooke has photographed these representatives of the ultimate class in U.S. breeding on the farms where they regularly produce the top-rated runners of the day.
Photographed on infrared film with her Bold Ruler filly at Claiborne Farm is Misty Morn, dam of Bold Lad and Successor.
Grey Flight, by Mahmoud, here with another Bold Ruler filly, is the dam of nine stakes winners.
Royal Charger's daughter Gay Hostess never raced but won fame as the dam of Majestic Prince.
Libra, a daughter of Hyperion, is in foal to Ribot, a mating that has produced Ribocco and Ribero.
Winner of half her 20 starts, Leallah, dam of the grass stakes winner Go Marching, is shown here with her Ribot colt.
Drinking with her daughter, by Mongo, at Mrs. Richard duPont's farm, Maid of Flight is secure in racing annals as the dam of Kelso.
One of the fine Phipps mares, Irish Jay (below), the dam of Queen Empress, grazes with another daughter by Bold Ruler.
Moments after birth a Round Table filly is cared for by Searching (above right), dam of Affectionately and Priceless Gem.
Attica stands protectively over her colt by Sir Gaylord, a full brother to Sir Ivor, winner of the Epsom Derby.
Framed by the hanging Spanish moss of Ocala's Tartan Farm, Dr. Fager's dam, Aspidistra, romps with her Buckpasser filly.
Lalun, once owned by Cain Hoy, for which she produced Never Bend, nurses her filly by Graustartk.
Dam of Queen of the Stage, Broadway lopes across a paddock with her son by Bold Ruler.