Regal Band, dam of 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos, died April 9 at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington. Owned by James D. Squires, the 20-year-old daughter of Dixieland Band had been undergoing treatment for a liver disorder. She was carrying an Empire Maker colt, due in May, at the time of her death.
Monarchos, who raced for John Oxley, won the 1 1/4-mile Run for the Roses in the second-fastest time ever, 1:59.97, about two-fifths of a second slower than Secretariat's immortal mark set in 1973. Monarchos continued on the Triple Crown trail, running unplaced in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), both won by Point Given.
Monarchos, by Maria's Mon, retired with four wins and earnings of $1,720,830. His other stakes win came in the Florida Derby (gr. I) leading up to the Churchill classic. Monarchos stands at stud at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.
Regal Band was bred by James and Jody Phillips of Darby Dan Farm and raced for the couple, winning or placing in 13 of 18 races and earning $86,865. Squires bought Regal Band privately from Darby Dan after she was bought back for $15,000 at the 1995 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale as part of the Darby Dan consignment. Squires, who owns Two Bucks Farm near Versailles, Ky., with his wife, Mary Anne, paid $13,000 for her right after the sale.
"She leaves a great void in our lives," Squires said. "We have Monarchos babies from every crop. She left all of us at Two Bucks a treasure trove of great memories, the grandest of which was watching her most celebrated son win the greatest race in the world in spectacular fashion and in a time second only to Secretariat."
Regal Band, who was out of the Roberto mare Regal Roberta, produced 10 named foals, only five of which were winners, including stakes-placed Morava. The Two Bucks broodmare band includes one of Regal Band's daughters. Seven-year-old Montaraz is the dam of a Maria's Mon yearling filly and a 2007 Offlee Wild filly.
Jim Squires is part owner of Regal Band's 2-year-old daughter Empiress (by Empire Maker). Plans are to race her under the care of trainer Rusty Arnold.
Regal Band will be cremated and her ashes buried at Two Bucks.