South Sea Dancer, who commanded a world-record price of $1.8 million as a yearling, was euthanized Feb. 2 at Jim FitzGerald's Knockgriffin Farm near Paris, Ky. The 25-year-old daughter of Northern Dancer suffered from arthritis and experienced difficulty moving around.
Catalogued as a full sister to European champion Storm Bird and Canadian champion Northernette, South Sea Dancer established a record for a filly in selling for $1.8 million at the 1982 Keeneland July yearling sale. (The mark was bettered a month later at the Saratoga sale.) Bred in Maryland by E.P. Taylor, South Sea Dancer was purchased by William S. Farish from Taylor's Windfields Farm.
Racing for Farish in partnership, South Sea Dancer won two of 14 races, was stakes-placed twice at Golden Gate Fields, and earned $62,200.
During her early days as a broodmare, South Sea Dancer more than made up for her modest record as a racemare. Her first four foals went through the Keeneland July sale, and they brought a total of $4.3 million.
Overall, South Sea Dancer produced 15 named foals, nine of which were winners, including multiple graded stakes winner Signal Tap. Two of her daughters developed into stakes producers,
Farish sold South Sea Dancer (in foal to Quiet American
) for $150,000 at the 1998 Keeneland November breeding stock sale to the English branch of the British Bloodstock Agency. FitzGerald acquired her privately earlier this decade.
FitzGerald sold South Sea Dancer's last foal, a Came Home
colt, as a yearling at the 2006 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale to John and Cheryl Toffan. The unnamed colt fetched $150,000.
South Sea Dancer, who was produced from the New Providence mare South Ocean, was buried at Knockgriffen.