Champion Sky Beauty, one of the top racemares of the 1990s, died in Kentucky from foundering. She had delivered a Storm Cat colt May 28 for Eagle Holdings, a subsidiary of Irish-based Coolmore Stud. Sky Beauty, a 14-year-old millionaire daughter of Blushing Groom, won or placed in 19 of 21 starts, with all but one of her 17 stakes wins or placings coming in New York.
Campaigned by the late Georgia Hofmann, Sky Beauty thoroughly dominated the New York distaff scene as a 3- and 4-year-old in 1993-94. She won 10 graded stakes, eight of which were grade I events. She captured the New York Filly Triple Crown--the Acorn and Mother Goose Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks, all grade I--plus the Alabama (gr. I) and Rare Perfume (gr. II) Stakes. She seemed destined for a 3-year-old championship, but lost out to Hollywood Wildcat after that filly clinched it with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
Sky Beauty's 4-year-old season proved equally spectacular. She won the Go for Wand Stakes (gr. I), and the Ruffian (gr. I), Shuvee (gr. I), Hempstead (gr. I), and Vagrancy (gr. III) Handicaps. She failed to prove up to expectations in the Distaff at Churchill Downs, running unplaced, but had accomplished enough to be voted champion older female.
Sky Beauty was retired in 1995 with a record of 15 wins and earnings of $1,336,000 for trainer H. Allen Jerkins. As a 2-year-old, she won the Matron (gr. I) and Adirondack (gr. II) Stakes, and finished first in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I), but was disqualified and placed third. Her lone stakes win at five came in the Vagrancy.
Hofmann, who owned Wycombe House Stud, bought Sky Beauty for $355,000 at the 1991 Saratoga yearling sale from the mare's breeder, Howard and Susan Kaskel's Sugar Maple Farm. The acquisition served as a sort of home coming,
Hofmann and her late husband, Philip, bred Sky Beauty's dam, Maplejinsky (by Nijinsky II). Through Taylor Made Sales Agency, Wycombe sold Maplejinsky to trainer P.G. Johnson for $750,000 at the 1986 Keeneland July yearling sale. Maplejinsky scored her big win in the 1988 Alabama for Susan Kaskel. Hofmann earlier had raced Maplejinsky's dam, homebred Gold Beauty, the champion sprinter of 1982 bred by her and her husband.
Sky Beauty produced her first three foals for Georgia Hofmann. Through Taylor Made, Wycombe sold Sky Beauty (in foal to Gone West) for $2,850,000 to John Magnier of Coolmore Stud at the 1999 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Sky Beauty produced five named foals, three of which were winners. Her two youngest offspring, a yearling and a weanling, are unnamed colts by Storm Cat. Three of Sky Beauty's offspring fetched high prices--two yearlings selling for $1.2 million and $500,000, and a weanling for $800,000.
Sky Beauty has been nominated several times to the Racing Hall of Fame, including this year.