Wistful was the second of three major American stakes winners of that name in the 20th century and achieved the greatest distinctions of the three. A winner of the old Filly Triple Crown (Kentucky Oaks, Pimlico Oaks, and Coaching Club American Oaks), she shared championship honors as a 3-year-old with her stablemate Two Lea. She also achieved one great success as a broodmare in spite of very limited production.
51 starts, 13 wins, 6 seconds, 10 thirds, US$213,060
- Won Kentucky Oaks (USA, 8.5FD, Chuchill Downs)
- Won Pimlico Oaks (USA, 8.5FD, Pimlico)
- Won Coaching Club American Oaks (USA, 11FD, Belmont)
- 2nd Ashland Stakes (USA, 6FD, Keeneland)
- 3rd Cleopatra Handicap (USA, 8FD, Arlington Park)
- Won Clang Handicap (USA, 7FD, Washington Park)
- 2nd Arlington Matron Handicap (USA, 8FD, Arlington Park)
- 2nd Edgemere Handicap (USA, 9FD, Aqueduct)
- 2nd Beverly Handicap (USA, 9FD, Washington Park)
- 3rd Vanity Handicap (USA, 9FD, Hollywood)
- 3rd Beldame Handicap (USA, 9FD, Aqueduct)
- 3rd Ladies Handicap (USA, 12FD, Belmont)
- Won Clark Handicap (USA, 8.5FD, Churchill Downs)
- Won Whirlaway Stakes (USA, 9FD, Washington Park)
- Won Ben Ali Handicap (USA, 8.5FD, Keeneland)
- Won Beverly Handicap (USA, 8FD, Washington Park)
- 2nd Vanity Handicap (USA, 8.5FD, Hollywood)
- 3rd Sunset Handicap (USA, 13FD, Hollywood)
- 3rd San Mateo Handicap (USA, 8FD, Bay Meadows)
1949 American co-champion 3-year-old filly
As an individual
A good-natured filly with suspect ankles, Wistful stood about 16 hands and looked the part of a Classic runner with an attractive head, long, well-sloped shoulder and rangy build. She did not have a great deal of power behind and was rather coarse in the knees. She only made two starts at 2 thanks to developing a cough in July and being kicked in the right foreleg. She tended to do her best running from off the pace and had a strong closing drive after getting her long stride into gear. She was a good doer.
As a producer
Wistful produced three colts in a breeding career plagued by frequent barrenness. Two started and won. Her best foal, the brilliant Gen. Duke (by Bull Lea), won three stakes races including the Florida Derby in time that equaled the world record for 9 furlongs, but he was knocked out of the Kentucky Derby by a foot injury while in training and never raced again. He had to be euthanized as a 4-year-old due to a neurological disorder.
Wistful was bred and owned by Calumet Farm. She was trained by Jimmy Jones, who turned the training duties over to his father Ben Jones for the Ashland Stakes and the Kentucky Oaks. After the Kentucky Oaks, Wistful was officially transferred back to the younger Jones. She was ridden by 16 different jockeys during her career including Gordon Glisson, who won the Kentucky Oaks on her, and Steve Brooks, who was her most frequent partner and piloted her to her Coaching Club American Oaks score.
Wistful is inbred 5x4 to two-time American Horse of the Year Commando. She is a half sister to 1949 American Horse of the Year Coaltown (by Bull Lea), to 1951 Derby Trial winner Fanfare (by Pensive), and to 1959 Black Helen Handicap winner Rosewood (by Bull Lea), dam of 1964 Hutcheson Stakes winner Ky. Pioneer (by Nashua), 1965 Kent Stakes winner Tradewood (by Swaps), and 1971 Letellier Memorial Handicap winner Boldwood (by Bold Ruler) and second dam of 1978 Sapling Stakes (USA-G1) winner Tim the Tiger. Wistful is also a half sister to Rippling Rythm (by Bull Lea), second dam of 1968 English champion 2-year-old male Ribofilio and third dam of 1983/84 South African champion 3-year-old filly Up the Creek.
Wistful and her siblings are out of Easy Lass, the 1949 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. A winner of half her six starts, Easy Lass is a half sister to 1939 Jerome Handicap winner Easy Mon (by Pharamond II), 1939 San Pasqual Handicap winner Gosum (by Hotweed), and multiple stakes winner Crossbow II (by Crusader). Easy Lass is also a half sister to Always (by Sun Teddy), dam of 1956 Acorn Stakes winner Beyond (by Citation).
The next dam in Wistful's tail-female line, the Colin mare Slow and Easy, was hardy enough to make 45 starts in two seasons of racing but won only five. A full sister to 1924 Grainger Memorial Handicap winner Modest, she was produced from the His Majesty mare Shyness, whose dam Mrs. K was sired by the capable sprinter Americus.
Books and media
Wistful is profiled in Chapter 6 of Avalyn Hunter's American Classic Pedigrees 1914-2002 (2003, Eclipse Press).
- Wistful is the second of a record six Coaching Club American Oaks winners for Calumet Farm, which also bred and owned Twilight Tear (1944), Real Delight (1952), A Glitter (1958), Our Mims (1977), and Davona Dale (1979). All but A Glitter earned honors as American champion 3-year-old filly.
- Wistful was the second filly to complete the Kentucky Oaks/Coaching Club American Oaks double, a feat previously accomplished by Princess Doreen (1924). Following Wistful (1949), the feat was accomplished by How (1951), Real Delight (1952), Dark Mirage (1968), Davona Dale (1979), Bold 'n Determined (1980), Goodbye Halo (1988), Open Mind (1989), Lite Light (1991), Ashado (2004), Princess of Sylmar (2013), and Abel Tasman (2017).
- The victories of Wistful in the Kentucky Oaks and Ponder in the Kentucky Derby gave owner-breeder Calumet Farm and trainer Ben Jones a rare Derby/Oaks double in the same year.
Last updated: November 30, 2022