General Meeting, one of California's top sires for years, was euthanized Dec. 15 because of skin cancer near his testicles. The 17-year-old son of Seattle Slew had been pensioned in the spring of 2005 at Betty Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm near Ramona, Calif. Mabee and her late husband, John, bred General Meeting and raced him in the Golden Eagle name.
General Meeting's 1996 crop was one of the best in recent California history by virtue of the fact it included multiple grade I winners General Challenge and Excellent Meeting. Both were Golden Eagle homebreds and both excelled around two turns.
General Challenge, a gelding, was one of the nation's top runners at 3 and 4. As a 3-year-old in 1999, he won five graded stakes, including the Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) over older runners and the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The following year, he captured the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Strub Stakes (gr. II). He earned $2,877,178.
Excellent Meeting won seven graded stakes, including the 1998 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) and Oak Leaf (gr. I) Stakes at 2 and the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at 3. Her stakes-placings included a runner-up effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She earned $1,402,396.
General Meeting first topped the state sires list in 1998, with $2.5 million in progeny earnings. The following year, his progeny earnings zoomed to $4.2 million, good enough for a national 12th-place ranking. Golden Eagle then upped his fee from $10,000 to $50,000 for the 2000 breeding season.
General Meeting, who is out of the Alydar mare Alydar's Promise, is represented by 31 stakes winners and the earners of $25.7 million. He sired other grade I winner Magical Allure as well as grade II winners Yearly Report, Career Collection, and Classy Cara.
Trained by David Hofmans, General Meeting won the 1991 Volante Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Bradbury Stakes as a 3-year-old and finished second to stablemate Best Pal in the previous year's Hollywood Futurity (gr. I). He also ran third in the Hollywood Prevue Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at 2.
General Meeting entered stud at Golden Eagle at 4 in 1992, then was returned to training. He made one start that year and four in the beginning of the next year before being retired for good. He ended his career with four wins from 17 races and earnings of $441,125.
The Golden Eagle broodmare band includes 15 to 20 daughters of General Meeting. The group includes General Challenge's stakes-winning full sister Western Hemisphere, who is in foal to Unbridled's Song
. Western Hemisphere is booked to First Samurai
General Meeting is buried at Golden Eagle near Best Pal.