In an article in The Horse
Review from 1926 you'll find a description of a horse that immediately makes you want to
know his story. This is what it says: "Moko was a rich seal brown, with a large
diamond-shape star in his forehead and the off hind ankle white nearly half-way to the
hock. Great bodily substance and well-balanced proportions. His head was not small nor
particularly refined in type, but its expression was so noble that it at once won the true
Moko was foaled at Walnut Hall Farm in the spring of 1893. He
was sired by Baron Wilkes and out of Queen Ethel, she by Strathmore out of Princess Ethel,
sired by Volunteer 55. Moko was the property of Lamon V. Harkness, however, he was bred by
Col. R. G. Stoner of Paris, Kentucky. But Mr. Stoner sold Queen Ethel to Mike Bowerman,
who in turn passed her on to Mr. Harkness while she was carrying Moko.
Mr. Harkness had tried different stallions at Walnut Hall like Allie Wilkes 2:15, son
of Red Wilkes. Then
he had leased Robert McGregor 2:17 1/2 and also tried The King Red 2:20 1/4, another son
of Red Wilkes. However, it was not until Mr. Harkness got Moko as a sire on the farm that
the success was to begin. But the story might have been a different one since Mr. Harkness
tried to sell Moko as a yearling. Luckily for him, Moko wasn't sold and he stayed at
Walnut Hall. As a two-year-old he was sent away to Cleveland to be broken and trained but
Moko had problems with a foot and could not be trained properly. However, Moko was a very
talented trotter, in fact, he was so good that Mr. Harkness almost immediately brought him
back to the farm so that he could be used in the stud. In his first crop there were only
four foals but from this crop came both Mobel 2:10 1/, a fast pacer and a good sire, and
the great race mare Fereno 2:05 1/2. Fereno race absolutely brilliant as a two and
three-year-old and then at maturity. One of few mares that could be compared to her is the
fabulously Rose Scott.
In 1899 another daughter of Moko appeared and she was also going to honor her sire. Her
name was Notelet and she was a highly-bred filly with good gait and speed. But since she
was reserved for a broodmare she was never broken. When bred to Walnut Hall in 1904, she
produced The Harvester, a stallion that got the record 2:01.
At the age of seven, Moko was an established sire and he sired early-speed. He continued
the success of being a great sire until the age of twenty-eight, when he was retired.
Moko never covered more than 65 mares on one season but still when talking about the
four great sires, (Peter the Great, Axworthy, Bingen) Moko is one of them. However, his
gets was not uniform and he got many foals from good mares that showed no talent at all.
Moko was a full brother to Bumps 2:03 1/4 and Baron D. 2:10, two very fast pacers. But
only a small percentage of Moko's gets were pacers.
Efforts were made trying to establish a male-line from Moko but with no luck. Instead,
it was his daughters that was to shine most brightly. And the best one was probably The
Real Lady. She lowered the records for both two and three-year-old trotters and was
compared with stars like Peter Volo, Mr. McElwyn and Rose Scott.
According to the Year Book by the Trotting Register Association Moko got at least 182
standard performers, 167 trotters and 15 pacers. The Year Book vol. 38 showed Moko with 59
sons, sires of 561 performers and 114 daughters, dams of 194. But this was in 1923 an in
the next two years these lists were largely augmented.
In 1926 Moko suddenly died at the age of thirty-three at Walnut Hall Farm. A remarkable
age although it was not surprising since his sire, Baron Wilkes, lived to be thirty-one.
His dam Queen Ethel was by Strathmore 408, who lived to be twenty-nine and second dam,
Princess Ethel, was by Volunteer 55, who lived to the age of thirty-four.