Fit to Fight, one of the original three stallions to enter stud at Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish’s Lane’s End near Versailles, Ky., was euthanized Friday, May 30, due to the infirmities of old age. He was 29.
A son of Chieftan bred in Kentucky by Robert E. Courtney and Robert B. Congleton out of the One Count mare Hasty Queen II, Fit to Fight had been pensioned since 2005 and resided at Blue Ridge Farm in Virginia.
Fit to Fight entered stud at Lane's End 1985 alongside Dixieland Band and Hero’s Honor and stood his entire career at the farm owned by William S. Farish. Racing under the colors of Paul Mellon’s Rokeby Stables, he swept the New York Handicap Triple Crown in 1984, winning the grade I Metropolitan, Suburban, and Brooklyn Handicaps. He won or placed in 10 stakes and earned $1,042,075.
"He really was a great horse, and it was a wonderful show of support from Mr. Mellon, who was a great friend and client of ours," said Farish. "He was a very hard-hitting, successful racehorse, and turned out to be that kind of stallion. He was very important to the history of our farm."
At stud, Fit to Fight sired 82 stakes horses, including 40 stakes winners, with total progeny earnings in excess of $39 million. He was consistently ranked among the leading sires of winners and was the sire of grade I winners Key Contender and Fit to Scout.
"He was an easy horse to be around and a good, solid stallion," said Lane's End farm manager Mike Cline. "We were trying to figure out today who the horse of the year was when he won the New York Handicap Triple, because we couldn't figure out why he wasn't. You could have made a pretty good case for him that year. I guess John Henry got that honor, but we'll always have a soft spot for him because he was one of our originals."
Fit to Fight will be buried in the Lane’s End cemetery alongside stallions Fappiano, Sovereign Dancer, Rubiano, and Saint Liam, and broodmares Weekend Surprise, Lassie Dear, Prospector's Delight, Bold Bikini, Battle Creek Girl, Up the Flagpole, Charming Lassie, and Flirtatious.