Horatius, sire of Eclipse Award winner Safely Kept, died Feb. 3 in his paddock at Thornmar near Chestertown, Md.
"He was lying down napping in the sun and never got up," Thornmar's Charles McGinnes said about the pensioned 31-year-old son of Proudest Roman. "It was a wonderful and dignified way for him to leave us. Horatius made the farm. He was a member of the family occupying the same paddock across from our home for 25 years, and his presence will be sorely missed."
Safely Kept was one of 25 stakes winners sired by Horatius. Safely Kept, the last filly to be voted champion sprinter, clinched Eclipse Award honors with a victory over English speedster Dayjur in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). Safely Kept won 24 of 31 races and earned $2,194,206.
Oliver's Twist, another of Horatius' graded stakes winners, ran second in the 1995 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Horatius sired the winners of eight Maryland Million stakes. His son, Algar, captured back-to-back runnings of Maryland Million Classic Stakes in the late 1990s and another son, Forry Cow How, won the Classic in 1993.
Horatius, who was produced from the Cohoes mare True Charm, sired the earners of $26.3 million.
Bred by Col. W. Randolph Taylor, Horatius raced for Philip J. Torsney, winning 18 of 54 races and earning $383,899. A graded winner, he captured seven stakes, including the Red Bank Handicap at a mile in course-record-equaling time at Monmouth Park, and placed in 10 others.