Sharon Brown, the dam of 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull, was euthanized July 28 because of complications from the infirmities of old age. The 27-year-old pensioned daughter of Al Hattab was owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Farm. Her youngest offspring, 3-year-old Fregata (by Trippi ), ran fourth July 30 at Saratoga in the Kinsman Stable colors in his first start.
Holy Bull, a son of Great Above, was bred in Florida by Rachel Carpenter's Pelican Stable and became the property of Carpenter's trainer, Warren A. "Jimmy" Croll, the day of her death, Aug. 14, 1993. Carpenter had willed all her horses to Croll. Holy Bull won that day at Monmouth Park for his new owner and later took that year's Futurity Stakes (gr. I) from subsequent champion Dehere. He also won the In Reality Stakes for Florida-breds.
Holy Bull's unbeaten season also proved rewarding for Steinbrenner. He had purchased Sharon Brown (in foal to Bet Big) for $13,000 at the 1993 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s January mixed sale from Croll and Pelican.
As a 3-year-old, Holy Bull proved an easy choice for Horse of the Year and divisional champion. He won eight of 10 races--all graded stakes--including the Travers (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I) Stakes, the Metropolitan (gr. I) and Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Handicaps, and the Florida Derby (gr. I). The favorite in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), he finished a puzzling 12th. He redeemed himself 11 years later when a son, Giacomo, captured the 2005 running.
At 4, Holy Bull won the Olympic Handicap, and then suffered an injury in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and was retired. He entered stud with wins in 13 of 16 races and earnings of $2.4 million. Currently standing at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley near Lexington, he has sired 32 stakes winners.
Sharon Brown, out of the Grey Dawn II mare Agathea's Dawn, raced as a homebred for Pelican and was trained by Croll. She started her career in the claiming ranks and won just three of 31 races.
Sharon Brown produced 14 foals, nine of which are winners, including additional stakes winner Winnie D. (by Crafty Prospector). A daughter, Brandy Rose, is the dam of Alabama Stakes (gr. I) winner Sweet Symphony and two other stakes winners. Sharon Brown was buried at Kinsman near Ocala, Fla.