Crème Fraiche, who won the 1985 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and retired as one of racing's richest runners, was euthanized Oct. 9 at Elizabeth Moran's Brushwood Stable near Malvern, Pa. The 21-year-old son of Rich Cream experienced a brief and acute case of laminitis that couldn't be stopped. He will be buried on the farm in the memorial garden at Bryn Clovis.
Bred by Pamela Firman and her nephew, G. Watts Humphrey, Crème Fraiche was sold to Moran for $160,000 at the 1983 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale. He was sent to Hickory Tree Farm in Virginia for breaking, but proved too tough to handle and was gelded.
Trained by Hall of Famer Woody Stephens, Crème Fraiche won 17 of 64 starts and earned $4,024,727. His Belmont victory, the fourth of five straight for Stephens, was achieved over Stephens-trained Stephan's Odyssey and 2-year-old champion Chief's Crown and came while Moran was new in the business. "I was spoiled too quickly, too soon," she told The Blood-Horse
earlier this year on the anniversary of Crème Fraiche's Belmont win. "I was speechless when he won, but I didn't know what it meant to win the Belmont. I know now."
During his career, Crème Fraiche won consecutive runnings of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) and scored other grade I wins in the Super Derby, American Derby, Meadowlands Cup Handicap, and Jerome Handicap. He won a total of 14 stakes and placed in 25 others.
Crème Fraiche, who was produced from the Terrible Tiger mare Likely Exchange, raced to age seven before he was sent to Brushwood for retirement.