Northern Baby, who sired no fewer than 47 stakes winners, was euthanized on Wednesday at Arthur B. Hancock III's Stone Farm near Paris, Ky. The 31-year-old son of Northern Dancer stood his last breeding season in 2000. Hancock announced in early 2001 that Northern Baby was being pensioned because of declining fertility.
"He was a real nice horse to be around, and he did very well as a stud," Hancock. "He was a good sire, but not a spectacular sire. We sold some nice yearlings out of him, and we raced a few."
Northern Baby's paddock was located near the paddocks of 1998 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Wagon Limit and 1982 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Gato Del Sol.
"He was buddies with Gato, and they would nicker back and forth sometimes," Hancock said. "Gato misses him, and so does Wagon Limit."
Northern Baby started standing at Stone Farm in 1982. He spent his first season in Ireland. His top-earning offspring was Possibly Perfect, North America's champion mare on grass in 1995, collected $1,367,050 in three seasons of competition.
Northern Baby also sired champions steeplechasers Highland Bud (1989) and Warm Spell (1994). The stallion's other progeny included European champions Michelozzo (winner of the 1989 St. Leger , Eng-I), Thrill Show (a grade I winner in this country), Bairn, and Coolcullen. Northern Baby also sired 1986 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Rampage, 1989 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) winner Live the Dream, 1990 Ramona (gr. IT) and Gamely (gr. IT) Handicap winner Double Wedge, and 1990 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Deposit Ticket.
Bred by Kinghaven Farms, Northern Baby sold for $120,000 at the Keeneland July select yearling auction. He raced in England and France, scoring in 1979 Champion Stakes (Eng-I) and finishing third in both that year's Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I). He also captured the 1980 Prix Dollar (Fr-II) and the 1979 Prix de la Cote Normande (Fr-III). He won five of his 17 career races and earned $329,983.