WinStar Farm's Harlan's Holiday, currently North America's leading juvenile sire, had to be euthanized late Nov. 1 at Haras Firmamento Farm in Mar de Plata, Argentina, where he was standing for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. He was 14.
After a normal day and an uneventful cover in the afternoon, Harlan's Holiday suddenly collapsed when returning to his stall and lost all use of his hind end. He prolapsed intestine from his rectum and was in shock as veterinarians rushed to his care. Multiple efforts to repair the prolapse were unsuccessful, and Harlan's Holiday had to be euthanized.
"This is a horrible tragedy," said Chris Baker, WinStar general manager, in a news release from the farm. "There is some comfort in knowing that I was at Firmamento just two weeks ago and found Harlan's Holiday to be the picture of health receiving the highest standard of care. In the end, we are greatly saddened by this loss, not only for the shareholders but also for the breed."
A multiple grade I-winning millionaire on the racetrack, Harlan's Holiday was entering the prime of his career as one of the emerging top sires in North America. He enjoyed a record-setting year in 2012, breaking the all-time juvenile earnings mark for a sire in North America at $2,954,556.
Harlan's Holiday was led by his first Eclipse Award champion and Breeders' Cup winner, Shanghai Bobby , who completed the season as an undefeated grade I winner.
In 2013 Harlan's Holiday had another sensational year to date, including again being the leading sire on the Juvenile Sires list with earnings of $1,345,854. His top 2-year-olds this year include graded-stakes winners Hakeem (gr. I), Ami's Holiday (gr. III), and Poker Player (gr. III) among his four juvenile stakes winners and eight juvenile stakes horses.
Harlan's Holiday also ranks sixth currently on the general sires list in North America for 2013, and has sired 17 total stakes winners so far this year.
"It was an honor and a privilege to own Harlan's Holiday throughout his racing career," said Starlight Racing's Jack Wolf, who campaigned Harlan's Holiday and many of his top progeny on the racetrack, including Shanghai Bobby. "He gave my family and our partners many thrills, and helped deepen our appreciation of the equine industry. It is a sad day for all involved."
Bred in Ohio by Double D Farm Corp, Harlan's Holiday is out of the Affirmed mare Christmas in Aiken.