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A few years ago, Seth Hancock told me the following story about retaining the Forli mare Special for the Claiborne-Gamely Corp. partnership.

Special was the first foal of the stakes-placed mare Thong, a full sister to Ridan, Moccasin, and Lt. Stevens, all out of the Gold Bridge mare Rough Shod. Special raced once, finished unplaced because she bled badly, was retired and bred.

In similar circumstances, many breeders would have said, “cull,” and she would have been sold.

Hancock said, “I’d probably have done the same thing, but the fellows at the track had told me the filly could really run. Not just nice, but could really run.”

Special began producing when Claiborne moved back into the commercial market following Bull Hancock’s death, and the mare’s second foal was Fairy Bridge (sold the Coolmore gang), and her third was Nureyev (sold to Stavros Niarchos). Her fifth and seventh foals were major racehorses and producers Number and Bound, both retained by Claiborne-Gamely.

The latter is the second dam of Whitney winner Blame, who is co-owned and co-bred by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne.