Commendable, winner of the 2000 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) for owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, has died from complications of colic in South Korea, where he stood at stud.
The 17-year-old son of Gone West died in April due to strangulation of the small intestine. He stood at the Korea Racing Authority's Jangsu Stud Farm in the Jeolla Province.
Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Commendable posted a 2-1-1 record from 12 career starts and earned $907,470. At 18-1 odds with Pat Day aboard, he won the Belmont by 1 1/2 lengths over 3-2 favorite Aptitude
, with Unshaded
finishing third. Later that season he finished third behind Unshaded in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Racecourse
and second to Tiznow
in Super Derby XXI (gr. I) at Louisiana Downs
to conclude his racing career.
Prior to the Belmont, Commendable was a disappointing 17th behind Fusaichi Pegasus
in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and skipped the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). He was fresh for the Belmont after a five-week break and turned in a career-defining performance.
He made two starts as a juvenile, breaking his maiden by four lengths at Del Mar
in his career debut. Early in his 3-year-old campaign he was fourth to War Chant
in the San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) and fourth again to Fusaichi Pegasus in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), both at Santa Anita Park
Commendable began his stallion career in 2001 at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington and was sold to stand at the Korean Racing Authority's Jeju Stud in 2005. He was relocated to Jangsu Stud Farm in 2011. From 10 crops racing, his top known offspring is Illybilly
, a filly from his third U.S. crop. A stakes winner in 2005 at Sunland Park
, she earned $116,997.
Bred in Kentucky by Edward, Gregory, and Michael Kelly, Commendable was out of the winning In Reality mare Bought Twice, a half sister to grade I winner and influential sire Fappiano. The Lewises bought him for $575,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, at the 1998 Keeneland July yearling sale.