Champion Answer Lively Dead
Date Posted: 10/20/2003 7:45:19 AM
Last Updated: 10/21/2003 12:47:05 PM

Deceased champion Answer Lively.
Photo: File
Champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Answer Lively died April 28 of a heart attack at Ed Milligan Jr.'s Twin Oaks Training Center near Murchison, Texas, according to John Franks, who bred and raced the 7-year-old son of Lively One. Answer Lively was living the life of a pensioner at the farm because of fertility problems diagnosed during his first year of stud before being returned to training.

"He was running the fences at the farm, so I figured he'd like racing again," Franks said. "He seemed to be enjoying himself. But one day when he was at the track, he stopped, shivered, and went down."

Franks privately bought Lively One and Answer Lively's dam, Twosies Answer (by Two's a Plenty). Lively One's purchase was made just before the horse ran fourth in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).

A 2-year-old in 1998, Answer Lively won the Juvenile by a head over a fast-closing Aly's Alley to clinch championship honors. "I saw the other horse coming late and almost had heart failure," Franks said. "I told Aly's Alley's trainer, John Tammaro, who I knew, 'You almost caught me.' "

Answer Lively failed to win in seven starts as a 3-year-old, but was barely beaten in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Risen Star Stakes. His unplaced effort in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) helped perpetuate the myth that a horse's Derby chances were hindered by winning the Juvenile, since no Juvenile winner had won the Run for the Roses (and still hasn't).

Answer Lively was retired the summer of 2000 after fracturing a sesamoid in his left front leg and entered stud at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington with a record of four wins from 14 starts and earnings of $938,296 for trainer Bobby Barnett. After his fertility problems were discovered, he was sent to Franks Farm (Southland Division) near Ocala, Fla., where attempts to work on his fertility failed. He later was sent to Twin Oaks.

Answer Lively failed to sire any registered foals. He is buried at Twin Oaks.

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