Pancho Villa, a speedy son of Secretariat, suffered a heart attack and died right before he was getting ready to cover his first mare this breeding season at Dr. Steve Hicks' Cedarcrest Farm near Palestine, Texas. The heart attack occurred Feb. 20.
Pancho Villa was the younger full brother of Terlingua, a speedster herself and later the dam of leading sire Storm Cat. D. Wayne Lukas, who trained both of them, bought Pancho Villa for $1.8 million at the 1983 Keeneland July yearling sale from breeder Tom Gentry and raced him with L.R. French Jr.
As a 3-year-old in 1985, Pancho Villa won four stakes, including the National Sprint Championship (gr. III) in track-record-equaling time of 1:08 4/5 for six furlongs at Hollywood Park. He also took the mile Silver Screen Handicap (gr.II) in 1:33 4/5, and captured the Bay Shore (gr. II) and King's Bishop Stakes, both at seven furlongs and both in 1:22 1/5.
In his first start as a 4-year-old, Pancho Villa suffered an injury in the Sierra Madre Handicap (gr. III) in February and was retired. He had been syndicated by Gainesway Farm, then owned by John R. Gaines, for more than $6 million the end of 1985. He entered stud in 1987 at Gainesway near Lexington.
Pancho Villa sired a grade I winner from his first crop. His daughter Do It With Style won the 1991 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Pancho Villa stood at Gainesway through 1994 before being sent to Cedarcrest. He is represented by 22 stakes winners and the earners of $14.8 million. He sired champions Bonus Award (in Dominican Republic) and Lucha Villa (in Panama).
Produced from the Crimson Satan mare Crimson Saint, Pancho Villa was a half-brother to two other stakes winners, including Irish champion and successful sire Royal Academy.