According to farm manager Dave McGlothlin, the 26-year-old son of Nijinsky II-Millicent (by Cornish Prince) had been confined to his stall for the last 10 days due to instability in his hind quarters.
“He wasn't very happy in there, so I took him out to his paddock…for some sunshine and a walkabout,” McGlothlin said in a statement from the farm. “He felt pretty good and actually jogged off when I turned him loose. I realized that he might not come back in if he went down because he hasn't lain down in over 10 days and we all doubted that he could stand again, if he did go down. Sometime…he decided he'd had enough and did go down in his favorite spot toward the back of his paddock.”
McGlothlin said the horse was unable to get up. “He had a great run,” the farm manager said, noting Moscow Ballet was buried in his favorite spot in the paddock.
“Moscow Ballet was the first top stallion that stood at our farm,” owner Harris said in the release. “It was very rewarding that he just kept siring top race horses, especially fillies and mares. They could run short or long, dirt or turf. I am glad to also see mares by him become good producers with his daughters producing 11 stakes horses to date, and I am pleased I have some of them to keep those bloodlines alive here at our farm. He had a great personality and presence and will be missed, but never forgotten.”
Bred in Kentucky by Swettenham Stud and Partners, Moscow Ballet started his racing career in Ireland where he won the Railway Stakes (Ire-III) as a 2-year-old.
He stood his first season at Harris Farms in 1986, and has sired over 750 foals that have earned more than $20 million. His last crop will be foals of 2008.
Included among his 19 stakes winners were grade I winners Golden Ballet (Santa Anita Oaks), Dominant Dancer (Oak Leaf Stakes), and Dancing Edie (John C. Mabee Handicap), as well as six California Champions -- Soviet Problem, Moscow Burning, Golden Ballet, Dominant Dancer, Teresa Mc, and Moscow Changes. All of his grade I winners and California champions were fillies.