Lady's Secret, 1986 Horse of the Year and the richest female at one time, died March 4 from complications from foaling a General Meeting colt at Jack Liebau and Tom Capehart's Valley Creek Farm near Valley Center, Calif. The colt is fine and healthy, according to John Glenney, who owned the 21-year-old Secretariat mare with his wife, Kim.
Oklahoma-bred Lady's Secret raced for Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Klein and trainer D. Wayne Lukas during the time the couple won three Eclipse Awards in the outstanding owner category. Lady's Secret won a career total of 22 stakes, including 10 in both 1985 and 1986. Her Horse of the Year season was fashioned around such grade I wins as the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Beldame Stakes, Ruffian Handicap, Maskette Stakes, Shuvee Handicap, Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap, La Canada Stakes, and the Whitney Handicap over males. She started three other times against males that year and placed in all three.
A future Hall of Famer, Lady's Secret raced sparingly in 1987 and without as much distinction that she had showed earlier. She was retired that fall with 25 wins from 45 starts and earnings of $3,021,325, and was scheduled at sell at the "Night of the Stars Sale" at Fasig-Tipton in November. Lukas said the retirement was due to Lady's Secret's mental state rather than anything physical and said she was retired sound.
Lady's Secret entered the ring with an announced reserve price of $5.7 million, and the closest bid to that was $5.4 million, which was reported as the official RNA. Prior to the sale, Fasig-Tipton had entered into an agreement with Eugene Klein that allowed for the sale company to bid up to $5.7 million.
Lady's Secret was back for the same sale the following year, but this time in foal to Alydar. Consigned by Lukas for Klein, Lady's Secret was bought back again, this time for $4 million. She finally sold the following year in 1989 at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale to Issam Fares' Fares Farm for $3.8 million while in foal to Alydar again.
The Glenneys bought Lady's Secret (in foal to Seattle Slew) for $750,000 at the 1998 Keeneland November breeding stock sale from Issam Fares' Fares Farm. "We wanted the opportunity to own a great mare like her and get a few foals," John Glenney said from his Georgetown, Ky., farm.
Bred by Robert H. Spreen and produced from the stakes-winning Icecapade mare Great Lady M., Lady's Secret produced 11 earlier foals, the last of which is a Skip Away yearling colt named Secret Stranger. Only four of them have won.