Mat-Boy, an Argentina Horse of the Year and a record-setting grade I winner at Gulfstream Park, and Roi Normand, sire of Eclipse Award winner Riboletta, have died in South America. Mat-Boy stood at Haras La Biznaga in his native Argentina, and Roi Normand held court at Haras Santa Ana do Rio Grande in Brazil.
Mat-Boy was sent to the U.S. to race after he had run out of competition in Argentina. He started off by easily winning the 1984 Widener Handicap (gr. I) at Hialeah for Noroma Stable, and then was a 12-length winner of the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I) in track-record time of 1:59 for 1 1/4 miles. His win streak that had started in Argentina came to an end with a last-place effort in the Pan American Handicap (gr. IT) at Gulfstream. That poor effort was blamed on a cough-related virus.
Mat-Boy (Matun--Boyera, by Pastiche) was retired from racing that summer with a record of nine wins from 13 races and earnings of $202,002. Returned to Argentina for stallion duty, he sired numerous group I winners, including Gran Premio Nacional (Argentine Derby) winner Fanatic Boy. Sent to the U.S., Fanatic Boy was a graded winner at Del Mar in 1993.
Another of Mat-Boy's runners, Festin, was a top older runner in the U.S. in 1991 following his arrival from Argentina. He captured that year's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), plus the Oaklawn (gr. I) and Nassau County (gr. II) Handicaps.
Foaled in 1979, Mat-Boy was bred by Haras Parque.
Roi Normand, a son of Exclusive Native, sired a number Brazilian group I winners. Riboletta scored her big win in the Grande Premio Diana (Brazilian Oaks) prior to her arrival in the U.S. to race for owners Aaron and Marie Jones.
Riboletta was an easy choice for 2000 champion older female after winning five grade I stakes, including the Beldame Stakes and Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap. She currently is boarded at the Taylor family's Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. She has been bred this year to Distorted Humor .
Roi Normand, who is out of the Luthier mare Luth de Saron, also was represented by additional U.S. graded winners. Redattore, a Brazilian group I winner, won seven graded stakes in California, including the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes (gr. IT) and Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) this decade. Ay Caramba, a Brazilian champion, won the 2005 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park.
Foaled in 1983 and bred in Kentucky by S.C.E.A. Haras Du Mezeray, Roi Normand initially raced in France, where he was stakes-placed. He was returned to the U.S. to race for Mr. and Mrs. Edmund A. Gann and scored his big win in the 1988 Sunset Handicap (gr. IT). Roi Normand retired from racing with five wins from 17 races and earnings of $390,466.