Variety Road, a California grade I winner who battled such stars as Broad Brush, Snow Chief, and Ferdinand, was euthanized Jan. 14 at age 30 because of the infirmities of old age, according to the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
Roger and Shirley Hansen had taken care of California-bred Variety Road for the horse's owner/breeder, Kjell Qvale, at their farm in Idaho.
Variety Road's greatest achievement came as a 4-year-old in the 1987 San Fernando Stakes (gr. I) when he nipped Broad Brush at the wire, with Snow Chief and Ferdinand finishing in the next two spots. A year earlier while on the Triple Crown trail, Variety Road beat Ferdinand in the San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) and captured the San Felipe Stakes (gr. I). Variety Road didn't contest the Triple Crown and was off until the summer. In his absence, Ferdinand won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and Snow Chief took the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Variety Road's racing career was interrupted several times so he could stand at stud. Variety Road's first experience came at 5 in 1988 when he stood at E.W. Johnston's Old English Rancho near Ontario, Calif. Variety Road was returned to racing that summer. He also did double duty in 1990-91.
He was retired from racing after the 1991 season with a record of 17-11-5 from 59 starts and earnings of $964,540. He won 12 stakes and was second in 10 others. He first was trained by Bruce Headley and later by Jerry Hollendorfer.
Variety Road, who stood at several farms as a stallion, sired eight stakes winners and the earners of $2.8 million.