Runnymede lost one of the best broodmares in the farm's long history when Chancey Squaw, who produced Japanese champion Agnes Digital and two other stakes winners, was euthanized on October 19.
The 21-year-old daughter of Chief’s Crown had developed complications associated with Cushing’s disease, and the sad decision was made to end her suffering.
“A big favorite on the farm, ‘Chancey’ was a highly intelligent, very independent and charming mare. She will be greatly missed by all who worked with her,” said Runnymede General Manager Martin O’Dowd. Runnymede owned the mare in partnership with Peter J. Callahan.
Bred in Kentucky by the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings Ltd., Chancey Squaw was sold as a yearling for $130,000 at Keeneland and subsequently raced for Janelle Grum and trainer Cecil Borel. Proving her quality and determination, she won her first start, a maiden special weight event over 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park, after a prolonged duel.
Runnymede acquired Chancey Squaw in 1996 following her sale for $145,000 at the Keeneland November sale while in foal to Crafty Prospector. Her pedigree indicated she could be a special producer as she was a half sister to three stakes winners, including English Group 2 winner and sire Royal Kingdom, and out of the stakes-placed Alleged mare Allicance, a half sister to the remarkable champion and sire Blushing Groom.
The following spring, Chancey Squaw produced her first foal, the chestnut colt eventually named Agnes Digital who became a versatile champion who competed on dirt and turf and won from six furlongs to 1 ¼ miles in Japan.
Sold privately, Agnes Digital was campaigned by Takao Watanabe and trained by Toshiaki Shirai through a 32-race career that was highlighted by 12 wins, including ten in stakes company topped by the $2.3-million Hong Kong Cup (G1) in 2001. Agnes Digital also won many of Japan’s best races—although ungraded by international standards at that time—while racing against that country’s leading runners.
The Hong Kong Cup, captured over international campaigners Tobougg and Terre a Terre, was part of a five-race win skein Agnes Digital compiled that also included the Tenno Sho in which he defeated the world’s all-time leading earner T.M.Opera O and international group winner and now leading sire Stay Gold.
Agnes Digital scored in the February Stakes in early 2002 as part of his win streak and was deemed good enough to travel to the United Arab Emirates for the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup (G1) on dirt, in which he finished sixth behind winner Street Cry.
When retired after the 2003 season, Agnes Digital had earned $8,095,160, more than any other of the many outstanding Grade/Group 1 winners bred by and raised at Runnymede. He has become a leading sire in Japan, with his progeny including multiple group stakes winner Yamanin Kingly, an earner to date of $3,382,926 while racing on dirt and turf, and Grand Prix Angel, who has banked $2,452,968.
Chancey Squaw also produced Japanese stakes winners Jalisco Light, a son of Fantastic Light, and Shell Game, by Swain. The former earned $861,316, with the latter amassing $717,906.
Her daughter Reach for the Moon, by Pulpit, was sold as a yearling for $1.65-million and went on to win in Ireland and finished third in the Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile (G1) in England.
Chancey Squaw’s other winners were Runnymede-raced Lady of Akita, a Fantastic Light filly; Phoenix Heart, a Pulpit colt raced in Japan, and Coupe Du Monde, a now four-year-old gelding by Bernardini who was her last foal.
Runnymede and Callahan have kept two of Chancey Squaw’s daughters—five-year-old Lady of Akita, who produced her first foal, a King’s Best filly, this year in France, and six-year-old Dame Ursula, a daughter of Elusive Quality who produced a Candy Ride filly in 2011 and a City Zip colt this year.
Chancey Squaw was buried at Runnymede next to Kazadancoa, the farm’s prolific foundation mare who passed away in 2011 at age 33.