|Foaled||1813 or 1814|
|Owner||Colonel David Dancy|
|Record||15 Starts: 13 - 2 - 0 (?)|
|Timoleon is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Saltram Mare by Sir Archy. He was born on 1813 or 1814 in USA, and was bred by Benjamin Jones.|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on November 14, 2008|
A bright chestnut whose only marking was a small white star and standing 15.3 hands high, Timoleon was bred in Greensfield County, Virginia by a Benjamin Jones. His dam was called Saltram Mare because her sire was the British stallion, Saltram, out of the very great Eclipse. Saltram had been imported in 1800 to Virginia, then the heart of Thoroughbred breeding in the United States, by the rich Virginian "gentleman," William Lightfoot.
At three, Timoleon was purchased by a William Wynn of Petersburg, Virginia who seems to have regretted his purchase because Timoleon was rapidly sold on to Robert R. Johnson. Wynn then went through an immediate change of heart. Ten days after selling the horse, he offered to buy him back for a thousand dollars more than his selling price, saying he was, "...superior to any race horse that ever turned a gravel on any race course in the United States."
Timoleon was the "Pride of Virginia." But racing so long ago, the actual statistics on his career on the track are hard to trace. It seems he might have started 15 times and that he won 13 of those starts. It also seems he might have won all fifteen if he'd been entered in better form.  Four of his wins were "walk-overs." In his day if a horse like Timoleon was scheduled to compete but no horse could be found to challenge him, then he (or she) would be allowed to walk the course, winning the purse and the race. It is certain he defeated some of the best horses of his time. He beat his two best half-sisters, daughters of Sir Archy: Reality and Lady Lightfoot, both highly thought of.
His final race took place in February of 1818. He'd suffered with distemper (also called Strangles) a week before, was still entered, but had to be pulled up with respiratory problems, his second and last defeat.
Timoleon then stood briefly at stud at the farm of Johnson and Wynn's stables in North Carolina. In 1819 he was sold to Colonel David Dancy who took him first to Madison County Alabama and then, in 1829, to Nashville, Tennesee and one year later, to Charles City County, Virginia.
Timoleon proved a splendid stud, even if only by producing the legendary Boston who sired the foundation stallion Lexington. But he also sired Washington who defeated the great Henry, the unbeaten Hotspur, and his best filly, Sally Walker, considered the best in her day.
His date of death is as uncertain as his date of birth, but was probably 1836.
(*Pedigree Query says 1814. Online Thoroughbred Bios says 1813.)
- List of notable Thoroughbred racehorses
Notes and references
- “The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America,” by William H.P. Robertson, Bonanza Books, New York