Horatius, whose 24 stakes winners include champion Safely Kept and classic runner-up Oliver's Twist, has been pensioned from stallion duty at Mr. and Mrs. Charles McGinnes' Thornmar near Chestertown, Md. The 26-year-old son of Proudest Roman remains in excellent health, according to Charles McGinnes.
"We bred him to 14 mares in 2000, and 13 got in foal," McGinnes said. "He's a little arthritic and over the winter we decided to take it easy with him. We waited until the warm weather in April to breed him. He had the desire, but we didn't want to see him get hurt. He covered four mares."
Safely Kept, champion sprinter of 1989 for Jayeff B Stable and Barry Weisbord, was a running machine. In four years of competition, she won 24 of 31 races and earned $2.1 million. Bred in Maryland by Mr. and Mrs. David Hayden, Safely Kept won the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and ran second in the race the year before.
Oliver's Twist also was a Maryland-bred, and he nearly won the state's biggest race. Bred by the Boniface family's Bonita Farm, Oliver's Twist finished a half-length behind Timber Country in a runner-up effort in the 1995 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) for Maryland owner Charles Oliver.
Horatius, who was produced from the Cohoes mare True Charm, was named by his breeder, Col. W. Randolph Tayloe, for legendary Roman hero Horatius Cocles. The equine Horatius, who raced for Philip J. Torsney, won 18 of 54 races, including seven stakes, and earned $383,899.
Torsney, the principal shareholder in Horatius, celebrated the victory by Horatius' daughter, Steppedoutofadream, in the Sept. 1 Alma North Stakes at Timonium. Torsney races the 4-year-old homebred filly. Two days later, Horatius' son, Clark's Clone, won the Taking Risks Stakes at Timonium for breeder/owner/trainer Nancy Alberts.