Eye Yin You won the April 24  Remington Park Futurity (G1), the
colt by Mr Eye Opener put Bully Bullion once
again among the leading broodmare sires. And that again brings to the front
the blood and heart of the horse, a Thoroughbred, that put the bull in
Bully. Foaled in 1946, his name was Spotted Bull.
"Spotted Bull was brought o Arizona by Dink
Parker and Ed Echols," recalls 82-year-old Art Pollard, who half a century
ago was master of one of racing's top breeding programs. "Dink and Ed went
back East to buy Spotted Bull when he was the national Thoroughbred spring
champion about '49. He was by Bull Dog—I don't have to tell you anything
about what a breeding dude he was—and out of a Man O'War mare named Spotted
Beauty....He wasn't the Three Bars type of Thoroughbred, he wasn't the
Quarter Horse type at all. Spotted Bull was a big horse, well-balanced and
all that, but he was kind of a slab-sided horse. He wasn't as narrow as the
Top Deck type, but he wasn't Quarter Horse, there wasn't much Quarter
Horse conformation to him. He had a decent head, he was a classy-looking
Thoroughbred, and he could run."
So could his offspring. Owned by a
syndicate, Spotted Bull first stood at Melville Haskell's Rincon Stock Farm
at Tucson. In a career cut way too short, Spotted Bull from nine crops sired
only 44 starters, but 30 of them came back winners, including eight stakes
winners led by champions Arizonan, Table Tennis and Panama Ace.
Spotted Bull wins at Rillito Park in 1950
There was a problem, a little bit of
attitude. Well, a lot of 'tude. Spotted Bull, in Pollard's words,
could be flat-out dangerous and had hurt several handlers. Walk into the
stallion's paddock or stall, warned those who knew him best, and you'd be
greeted by pinned ears, bared teeth and pawing front legs, or a quick
whirl and both back hooves. But one of the worst incidents wasn't the
"Spotted Bull had a terrible reputation,
some of it deservedly so," recalls Pollard. "Some articles came out with
Spotted Bull savaging the owner. I was in the hospital with my back at the
same time. and Mel and I were just two rooms apart. I hobbled in there and
talked to him, and he was just furious because it came out in the Tucson
papers that Spotted Bull had savaged Melville Haskell. the owner. The horse
had nothing to do with it. Mel and a couple of other guys were out in the
infield of the training track at Rincon Stock Farm, where Spotted Bull was
turned out to exercise. Mel flood irrigated it—it was dry at the time—and
there was a dike every 30-33 feet. Haskell's little dog was with them, and
Spotted Bull playfully made a gallop at the little dog. The dog ran to Mel,
and Mel didn't want Spotted Bull to brush him so he jumped out of the way,
stumbled over a clod, fell against a hard dike and broke his hip. Spotted
Bull didn't touch him, but nobody asked Mel or the two guys with him."
But that kind of word always gets around. A
few years later, in 1956, the syndicate members decided to sell the horse.
They thought they had a $20,000 deal with a stable in California, but the
West Coast group backed out after hearing stories.
So Pollard offered $15,000 and took the
stallion. After a rough start, and a physical discussion about who was in
charge, the two got along fine.
"All Spotted Bull wanted—and most any
stallion ever wants—is to be treated right, firmly but fairly and kindly,"
Pollard says. "And if they misbehave, they catch hell. Horses are smart,
they catch on in a hurry."
Pollard stood Spotted Bull on his Lightning
A Ranch at Tucson, along with his up-and-coming stallion Lightning Bar. Both
were under the care of foreman Frankie Figueroa.
"My whole plan, for the long haul, was to
cross Spotted Bull mares with Lightning Bar and Lighting Bar mares with
Spotted Bull. I wouldn't have had to go anywhere, and I don't think many
people would have outrun me as long as they lived."
It wasn't to be. Spotted Bull's attitude
got him in trouble one last time.
"People were always coming by and taking
movies of Spotted Bull," Pollard says, resigned to fate. "He'd run and play
and put on quite a show. That's what they were doing while I was in town
getting feed. He came down wrong and snapped his cannon bone, clean break,
and before Frankie could get him stopped, he'd beat off two or three inches
of bone. We put him down."
Spotted Bull was gone. Eye Yin You brings
him back Again.