Blazing Sword, a Florida-bred champion and millionaire for Gilbert G. Campbell, died of an apparent aneurysm the weekend of April 12-13 at Stonehedge Farm South near Williston, Fla. The 14-year-old gelding was pensioned at the farm, which is owned by Campbell and his wife, Marilyn.
A homebred son of Sword Dance, Blazing Sword earned $1,184,055 during a five-year career in which he won six stakes and placed in a dozen others. He was named 1996 Florida-bred champion 2-year-old male after winning the Afirmed and Dr. Fager divisions of the Florida Stallion Series.
Blazing Sword, who won 11 of 45 races, also captured the 2000 Washington Park (gr. II) and Widener (gr. III) Handicaps, plus the 1997 Calder Derby (gr. III). The Blazing Sword Stakes, a mile race for 3-year-olds and up at Calder Race Course, is named for him.
A foot injury prompted Blazing Sword’s retirement from racing in 2001 at age seven. He had been trained most of his career by Kathleen O'Connell.
“It was fun traveling with him while he was racing,” said farm manager Larry King. “He gave us a lot of thrills. He was well cared for his entire life.”
Sword Dance, an Irish-bred, and Blazing Sword’s stakes-winning dam, Demetroula (by Singular), are both pensioned at Stonehedge.
“We have a number of horses that are retired here,” noted King. “The Campbells are very good about giving a home to the horses they have raised and raced.”