Edited press release
Three Chimneys Farm owner Robert Clay announced Dec. 5 that inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner and prolific stallion Wild Again was euthanized earlier in the day due to the infirmities of old age. He will be buried in the stallion cemetery located next to the main stallion barn at the farm near Midway, Ky.
“We all knew this day would come, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept,” said Robert Clay. “At 28-years-old, he lived a long and fruitful life. Wild Again was integral to the success of Three Chimneys and proved to be a highly significant sire and broodmare sire both in the United States and abroad.”
A foal of 1980 by Icecapade, out of Bushel-n-Peck, Wild Again arrived at Three Chimneys in December of 1991 as part of the dissolution of Calumet Farm. At that point, he had three crops of racing age. Throughout his career he commanded billing as a leading general sire, juvenile sire, and broodmare sire. According to Equineline, he has sired eight millionaires, four champions, 84 stakes winners, and 184 2-year-old winners. His offspring earnings consistently ranked above $4 million year after year and his runners won at the highest levels over all distances.
Due to declining fertility, he was pensioned in October of 2004, but remained in good health until his death.
“This year, the 25th anniversary of his inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic victory, he rose to prominence once again,” continued Clay. ”Even after being pensioned for four years, he still had an enormous fan following and was always willing to greet each visitor as they came to his stall.”
Wild Again is also known for the diversity of bloodlines with which he had success, as his 84 stakes winners have more than 80 different broodmare sires. His leading earners are Milwaukee Brew ($2,879,612, Santa Anita Derby, gr. I, twice), Narita King O (in Japan, $2,405,922), Wild Bluster (in Japan, $2,228,833), Wilderness Song ($1,482,033, champion older mare in Canada, Spinster Stakes, gr. I), Wild Rush ($1,386,302, Metropolitan Handicap, gr. I, sire), Shine Again, ($1,386,302, Ballerina Handicap, gr. I twice), Abe Again (in Japan, $1,164,130), and Elmhurst ($1,100,587, Breeders' Cup Sprint). He has sired champions in four countries and has 32 sons currently at stud worldwide.
His 84 stakes winners include 11 grade I winners from 19 crops of racing age and his offspring have earned more than $80 million. He was among the top 10 sires in North America five times, including number two in 1997 and number three in 2002, and is in the top half of 1% of all sires by average earnings pre starter (over $100,000). He has 9% stakes winners from foals.
“The combination of his athleticism, bloodlines, and personality made him a one-in-a-million kind of horse,” said Three Chimneys stallion manager Sandy Hatfield. “He was my favorite. Until the very end he was happy, healthy and energetic, but above all else, he was a gentleman.”
Wild Again earned $2,204,829 on the track, but will always be remembered for his longshot win in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Classic. In that race, Wild Again, supplemented at a cost of $360,000, prevailed in a ferocious stretch drive that involved considerable bumping between Wild Again, Gate Dancer and Slew o' Gold and -- finally -- survived a nine-minute-long stewards' examination of the finish to become the first winner of Thoroughbred racing's richest event.
Wild Again was bred in Kentucky by W. Paul Little and sold for $35,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Sale of 1981 to William Allen, one of the partners in Black Chip Stable, for whom Wild Again raced. He was trained by Vincent Timpony.
Wild Again will be buried next to Capote, his barn-mate at both Calumet and at Three Chimneys.