Q-Racing Blog: The Best?
Who is the greatest mare of all time?
By Ty Wyant | August 31, 2017
Quarter Racing Journal
What mare has made the greatest impact on American Quarter Horse racing? Who is the bluest of hens?
Those questions and this answer arose after researching the finalists for this year’s $1.3-million All American Derby (G1). Two of the All American Derby finalists – The Marfa Lights and Magestic Eagle – trace directly to Do Good on their bottom (female) lines.
I discussed this with racing historians Rich Chamberlain and Walt Wiggins. We couldn’t even come up with a mare to compare with Do Good. “Decade, after decade, after decade, she is the mare who keeps on giving. There is no doubt,” said Wiggins.
The Vessels-bred The Marfa Lights’ dam is champion Your First Moon. Her female line is Moon Arisen-Goin For Cash-Ought To Go-Do Good Bam-Do Good.
Magestic Eagle is out of Catalina Fantasy. That female line is Fishers Fantasy-Fishers Favorite-Ought To Go-Do Good Bam-Do Good.
Both horses hail from the Ought To Go branch of the Do Good family tree.
Do Good was bred by Jim Harkey and foaled in 1938 in Carlsbad, New Mexico. In 1945, Frank Vessels Sr. and Huntley Gordon were on one of their mare-shopping trips (they must have been fun). They stopped by Harkey’s place and bought Do Good out of a scrub pasture. She was one of two truckloads of mares they bought and took back to Southern California. If you had to pick a date that the Vessels breeding program started to roll, it may well be the day Do Good walked off that truck.
Do Good had produced the stakes-placed Senor Bill before Vessels bought her. Senor Bill became a leading ranch and working horse sire.
Do Good is in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and one of her daughters, champion Chicado V, is also in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Chicado V, a 1950 daughter of Chicaro Bill, produced champion and champion producer Table Tennis; stakes winner, AQHA champion and sire Three Chicks; champion, track-record-setter and sire War Chic, and stakes winner and sire The Ole Man.
At one time, Do Good was the all-time leading producer of Register of Merit qualifiers with eight. Now, a mare can produce eight ROMs in two years.
Do Good’s daughter Do Good Bam was the dam of sire Alamitos Bar (the sire of world champion Kaweah Bar) and American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Ought To Go – the fourth dam of The Marfa Lights and Magestic Eagle.
Ought To Go, a 1967 daughter of Go Man Go, was a useful race mare who blossomed into a hall of fame producer for Vessels. She produced multiple stakes winner Fishers Favorite, the third dam of Magestic Eagle, and Goin For Cash, the third dam of The Marfa Lights.
Michael and Beth Harper’s The Marfa Lights, a $145,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, was second in the 2016 $3-million All American Futurity behind champion Imperial Eagle.
The Marfa Lights is out of 2001 champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly Your First Moon. The First Down Dash-sired Your First Moon is also the dam of two-time champion Moonist along with stakes winners Moonin The Eagle, Jess My Moon and Stray Cat.
The second dam of The Marfa Lights is Grade 1 futurity qualifier Moon A Risen, a daughter of Beduino (TB). In addition to Your First Moon, Moon Arisen produced two stakes winners and two stakes-place competitors.
Victor Diaz’s Magestic Eagle, a $51,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale purchase, raced in the $1.15-million Rainbow Derby and won the shake with Imperial Eagle to get into the All American Derby.
Magestic Eagle’s dam, Catalina Fantasy, a daughter of First Down Dash, was a stakes winner and is a sister to Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) winner First Down Illusion.
The Beduino daughter Fishers Favorite, Magestic Eagle’s third dam, was a fast stakes winner and has produced four stakes winners, including First Femme. The First Down Dash-sired First Femme is the dam of champion Old Habits and is the second dam of champion Hateful Hanna.
This is just one branch of the Do Good family tree. The Chicado V line through champion Table Tennis and her champion daughter Rapid Volley led to champion Cash Perks and important barrel racing sire Dash For Perks.
Do Good was called “just an ol’ plain-looking brown mare,” by Vessels Sr. He must have seen something in her. We have been fortunate to see the results for decades.