Washington stallion and millionaire Desert Wine, who ran second in the 1983 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), died Oct. 15 of a heart attack at Gary and Christine Jackson's St. Hilaire Farm near Yakima. The 23-year-old son of Damascus was a three-time grade I winner in Southern California.
"He was playing in his paddock, when he took a step, raised his neck, then dropped down," said Gary Jackson, who stood Desert Wine since 2000.
Bred by Brereton C. Jones and Warnerton Farms, Desert Wine was the second foal produced from subsequent Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Anne Campbell (by Never Bend). Racing for Fred Sahadi's Cardiff Stud Farm and Dan Agnew's T 90 Ranch, Desert Wine was one of the top runners of his generation by virtue of winning multiple graded stakes all three years he raced. His best year came as a 4-year-old when he captured the 1984 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) over John Henry and the Californian (gr. I) and Charles H. Strub (gr. I) Stakes. His 3-year-old season was marked by wins in the San Felipe Handicap (gr. II) and San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) in addition to his Derby and Preakness performances.
Desert Wine entered stud at Cardiff in California in 1985 with eight wins from 25 starts and earnings of $1,618,043 for trainer Jerry Fanning. His influence in the way of future generations is being felt in a big way through his daughters, especially Irish group I winner Flamenco Wave. The latter's offspring include Irish champion Ballingarry, English and French group I winner Starborough, and English group I winner Aristotle. Other big winners produced from Desert Wine mares include grade I winners Celtic Melody and Subordination, plus Australian group I winner Diatribe. Overall, Desert Wine is the sire of 22 stakes winners and broodmare sire of 26 stakes winners.
Jackson bought Desert Wine for $27,000 at the 2000 Barretts January mixed sale from Havens Bloodstock Agency, agent. Jackson plans to place a memorial marker on Desert Wine's grave.