Perennial leading sire Pulpit died in his paddock at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., Dec. 6, according to an announcement made by farm manager Bradley Purcell.
The 18-year-old stallion had shown no signs of ill health in the weeks and days prior to his death, according to the statement.
"We are all shocked and very sad," said Purcell. "Pulpit has meant so much to Claiborne Farm, first as a race horse and later as a stallion. Thankfully, we know his legacy will continue on through his sons and daughters."
Seth Hancock is president of Claiborne, which bred and raced Pulpit,
Pulpit (A.P. Indy—Preach, by Mr. Prospector) did not race at 2 due to a couple of small setbacks. However, early in his 3-year-old season, the long-striding colt jumped onto the national stage with two strong wins at Gulfstream Park.
Off those performances, he went off as the favorite for the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and came from off the pace to win. Second in the Florida Derby (gr. I), Pulpit then rolled to an impressive victory in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Injured while finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Pulpit entered stud at his birthplace.
Pulpit has sired 63 stakes winners including 11 North American grade I winners. The list includes Power Broker , who won the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I), previously known as the Norfolk for 2-year-olds this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pulpit's other grade I winners include Corinthian , Ice Box , Pyro, Sky Mesa , Stroll , and Purge, plus prominent young stallion Tapit .
Pulpit is off to a fast start as a sire of sires. Tapit has already sired 10 grade/group I winners including champions and Breeders' Cup winners Hansen and Stardom Bound.
Pulpit's stakes winners this year include Sign, winner of the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Pulpit will be buried at Claiborne Farm.