The Western Thoroughbred History – Anchor Watch

Anchor Watch was a successful racehorse and enduring sire. His royal bloodlines were essential in establishing an enduring empire of barrel horses. His descendants still dominate futurities and open barrel races today.

Anchor Watch was foaled on J. W. Dial’s ranch in Texas in 1953. He was by Degage, a stakes-winning son of Calumet Farm’s foundation sire Bull Lea. His dam, L’Admiralte, was a race-winning granddaughter of Triple Crown winner War Admiral. All the recorded foals out of L’Admiralte were race winners. Dee Mee Dee, a full brother to Anchor Watch, made 67 starts on the track. Anchor Watch’s half-siblings included Swift Admiral, Mystifier, L’Delight, L’Doll, Rank Happy and a Quarter Horse gelding named Dittowaditty.

Anchor Watch at stud

Anchor Watch began his racing career at age two. As a three-year-old, the plain brown colt won the Oceanside Handicap and placed third in the Albany Handicap. He failed to win a race as a four-year-old but won six races at age five and equaled the track record at Turf Paradise for six furlongs in 1:09.4. He made his final start in 1959 at age six. In total, Anchor Watch made 65 starts, won 12 races, and earned $43,550, the equivalent of about $400,000 today.

After he retired from racing, Anchor Watch began stud duties at the Vessels Stallion Farm. His first foal crop included ROM earners No Anchor and Anchor Star. Rhoda Watch, a filly by Anchor Watch and out of Rhoda Bar, won the 1963 Santa Clara Invitational Handicap at Bay Meadows. In 1964, Flow Anchor, a colt out of Clabber’s Flossie V, set a new track record at Sacramento for 400 yards in 20.08 seconds. Watch Eli, a gelding out of Patsissy, won the 1966 Juvenile Championship, 1966 Leo Handicap and 1967 Central Coast Counties Qha Stakes. Watch Eli also set a new track record at Bay Meadows for 400 yards in 19.95 seconds. Noisy Watch, a filly out of Noisella, won the 1966 Indiana State Fair Classic and set a new track record at Maplewood Downs for 330 yards in 17.43 seconds. His other race winners included Bar’s Anchor Man, Watch Clabber, Go Go Watch, Frigate and Shu Watch.

Tiny Watch at stud

His most successful starter was Tiny Watch. Tiny Watch was bred by Frank Vessels. He was out of Clabber Tiny, a race winning mare by Clabber II and out Tiny Iny. He was foaled in 1961 and began his racing career at age two. Tiny Watch won the Clabbertown G Handicap, Washoe County Fair Stakes, Miss Princess Invitational Handicap, Pomona Championship, Go Man Go Handicap, Hard Twist Stakes and Josie’s Bar Handicap. He set a new track record at Sacramento for 400 yards in 19.93 seconds and a new track record at Fairplex Park for 400 yards in 19.75 seconds. In 1965 and 1966, Tiny Watch was named AQHA Champion Aged Stallion. Altogether, Tiny Watch won 16 races and earned $106,990 on the track.

Tiny Watch would go on to sire a barrel racing dynasty. He sired Dutch Watch, an exceptional bay gelding out of Bar O Dutchess, by Hug Bars. Dutch Watch placed in stakes races at two, finished tenth at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity at three, and won the 1983 WPRA World Championship with Marlene McRae at age eight. Tiny Watch also sired Tiny Circus, a bay stallion out of Circus Bars, by Willow Bars. Tiny Circus won multiple stakes races and went on to have a successful career as a head horse. Tiny Circus was the dam sire of French Flash Hawk and PC Frenchmans Hayday. The most notable son of Tiny Watch was Tiny’s Gay. Tiny’s Gay was the 1974 Champion Two-Year-Old Colt and the dam sire of all-time leading sire and broodmare sire Dash Ta Fame. Tiny’s Delight, a full-sister to Tiny’s Gay, was the second dam of AQHA Champion Two-Year-Old Colt and leading sire Tres Seis. The list of prominent horses in this family is long.

Aside from Tiny Watch, Anchor Watch also sired Big Al, a bay stallion out of Do Good Bam who won six races and went on to earn money in the National Cutting Horse Association. Big Al would sire stakes winners as well as performance point earners. Other successful sires by Anchor Watch include Anchor Chic, Flow Anchor and Watch Clabber. His daughters Echol’s Watch, Hi Watch, Miss Tiny Watch, No Anchor and Rhoda Watch produced several race winners. In total, Anchor Watch sired 143 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse foals in 17 foal crops. His progeny included 61 race winners, 56 ROM earners, eight Superior Race Award earners and one World Champion with total earnings of $493,617 on the track.

Anchor Watch’s last foals hit the ground in 1977 but his impact is still felt today. Last year, nine of the horses that placed in rounds at the WNFR could trace their lineage back to Anchor Watch.

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