Back in the day, the USSR bred and raced some rock stars

6 thoughts on “Back in the day, the USSR bred and raced some rock stars”

  1. Sunstar – in Zabeg’s male-line – won the Derby in addition to the 2,000 Guineas. He’d done a suspensory prior the race, broke down in the race, but won anyway.

    He may not have had much influence on the breed in the U.S. through Zabeg, but he did sire Sunbonnet, who won the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama, and was Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 1917. His son, North Star III sired Kentucky Derby winner, Bubbling Over, and is in a ton of U.S. pedigrees as broodmare sire of Blue Larkspur.

    1. Alan, thanks. Yes, Sunstar did win the Derby as well as the Guineas, and his son North Star III is the broodmare sire of Blue Larkspur. North Star, as you noted, sired KY Derby winner Bubbling Over for Idle Hour, and Bubbling Over in turn sired 1932 Derby (and Preakness) winner Burgoo King.

  2. Sid,

    Great piece!

    I was told that, in the heyday of the Cold War, the Russians were viewed with great suspicion. With Kruschev’s boast to spread Russian success into all spheres around the world (and into space), many thought the Russians were willing to try anything to pull off a big win.

    Does this underlying suspicion and fear lie at the back of SITA’s resistance to offering black type to most Eastern bloc countries, you think?


  3. Dear Sid,
    I am currently researching a paper on the WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL. I wanted to check something that I came across in a biography of Vincent O’Brien one time. Was there an issue about Aniline’s participation as he was born by Artificial Insemination?

    1. Michael:

      At the time, the Russian horses were not recognized by The Jockey Club/Stud Book for breeding purposes, but not for racing. Anilin, for example, had already raced in Europe, too, before coming to the US.

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