John Martin Silvertand, who bred champion and dual classic winner Afleet Alex, died Jan. 7 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Silvertand, who had fought stage VI cancer, was 61.
Afleet Alex provided Silvertand and owner Cash is King with lasting thrills in all three 2005 classics. The son of Northern Afleet finished a strong third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), then won the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) by 4 3/4 lengths after going down to his knees approaching the stretch. He followed that effort with a seven-length triumph in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in what proved to be his last race. Afleet Alex stands at stud at the Beck family's Gainesway Farm near Lexington. Afleet Alex was champion 3-year-old male.
Silvertand sold Afleet Alex's dam, Maggy Hawk, privately to Jess Jackson in the early part of Afleet Alex's racing career
An English native, Silvertand had been around horses much of his life. His family developed and owned Southwell Racetrack in Britain before selling it in the 1980s. Silvertand arrived in the U.S. in 1990.
Silvertand, who served in the Royal Air Force, had been the personal pilot for rock group Fleetwood Mac.
Silvertand is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and daughter Lauren.