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Black Toney

Black Toney
Sire Peter Pan
Dam Belgravia
Grandsire Commando
Damsire Ben Brush
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1911
Country United States
Color Brown
Breeder James R. Keene
Owner Colonel Edward R. Bradley
Trainer Henry J. "Derby Dick" Thompson
Record 40 Starts: 13-11-7
Earnings $13,565
Black Toney is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Belgravia by Peter Pan. He was born around 1911 in the United States, and was bred by James R. Keene.
Major wins
Valuation Stakes (1913)
Latonia Independence Handicap (1914)
Leading Juvenile Sire in 1939
Among the top 20 American sires by earnings ten times.
The Black Toney Purse once run at Latonia Race Track
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on December 6, 2007

Black Toney (foaled 1911 – died 1938) was bred by James R. Keene's Castleton Farm. Keene, whose health was failing (he died in 1913), sold all his holdings in 1912 to Colonel Edward R. Bradley's Idle Hour Stock Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Some confusion occurred over this sale, and Bradley resold most of the lot, but one of those he kept was a very dark brown yearling he named Black Toney. The price tag for the son of Hall of Famer Peter Pan, whose own sire was another Hall of Famer, Commando, by the great Domino, was $1,600. Black Toney's dam was Belgravia, the best daughter of Hall of Famer Ben Brush. This meant that the almost black yearling with no white markings and a fine head and body was a member of the last crop bred by Keene from his famous Domino/Ben Brush cross.

Black Toney was a good racehorse but far from a great one. He raced for four years, coming in the money in 31 of his 40 starts. But it was not Black Toney’s ability on the track that made his name; it was his success as a stallion. Black Toney became the most important stallion Bradley ever owned and one of the most important sires in American Thoroughbred history. Black Toney who sired many of the horses the Idle Hour Stock Farm became famous for. The names of Bradley’s horses all began with a “B,” a quirk of Bradley's (perhaps because his own name began with a B, or perhaps because of Black Toney.)

Briefly retired from the races due to injury, Black Toney sired one crop of horses. Of the resulting handful, one was Miss Jemima, an immediate stakes winner.

Once Black Toney was truly retired, Bradley bred him sparingly and yet, even from twenty one small crops and a total of 221 foals, the quality of his get was very high. From his first crop came Miss Jemima, a champion at two. Overall, he sired 40 stakes winners, which amounts to 18 percent of his foals.

Black Toney was among the top twenty American sires by earnings ten times. He was second on the general sire list in 1933 and fifth in 1939.

Black Toney's progeny

Sire of:

  • Miss Jemima (American Champion Two-Year Filly, 1919; born in the same year as Man o' War, won eight races, seven in succession)
  • Balladier (Champion Two-Year-Colt of 1934)
  • Black Maria (Champion Female of 1926, winner of the 1926 Kentucky Oaks)
  • Broadway Jones (stakes winner in the mid-'20s)
  • Beanie M (stakes winner in the mid-'30s)
  • Bridal Colors (dam of Relic, the leading French Broodmare Sire of 1965, sire of 32 stakes winners and 6 champions)
  • Crotala (dam of the leading broodmare Boat; Boat's sire was Man o' War)

Grandsire of:

  • Barn Swallow (Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 1933, winner of the 1933 Kentucky Oaks)
  • Baba Kenny (Champion Two-Year-Old Filly of 1930)
  • Spy Song (major stakes winner or runner-up in the mid-1940s]
  • Bridal Flower (Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 1946)
  • Dark Ruler (major stakes winner or runner-up in the mid-1950s)

End of the line

Black Toney spent his whole stud career at Idle Hour, producing many fine broodmares as well as winners. He died there on September 19, 1938, at the age of 27 of an apparent heart attack. Colonel Bradley commissioned a bronze statue that he placed over his greatest stallion’s grave. It is still there today, on a part of the Darby Dan Farm.

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