Dance Smartly, a Canadian Horse of the Year and Eclipse Award winner, was euthanized over the weekend after suffering an irreparable injury in her paddock at the Samuel family's Sam-Son Farm near Milton, Ontario, Canada. The injury was related to an arthritic stifle.
A 19-year-old daughter of Danzig, Dance Smartly was bred by and raced for Sam-Son during the time the late Ernie Samuel was in change of the operation. Jim Day trained her.
Dance Smartly was voted 1991 Canadian Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly in both Canada and North America after a season in which she won all eight races, including the Canadian Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). In two of her Triple Crown races, the Queen's Plate and the Breeders' Stakes, she won by eight lengths. Her victory in the other, the Prince of Wales, came by two lengths. She was the first Canadian-bred to win a Breeders' Cup race, and the earnings from that race, $520,000, made her the sport's all-time richest female earner.
Dance Smartly, who also won the Canadian Oaks, not only beat males in the Triple Crown events, but also defeated them in that year's Molson Export Million Stakes (gr. II) and in the Canadian Maturity Stakes the following year. Never off the board, she retired with a dozen wins and five placings and earnings of $3,263,835. A little less than half-her earnings, $1,412,650, came on turf.
"Dance Smartly was a once in a lifetime horse," said Samuel's daughter, Tammy Samuel-Balaz. "She was magic and gave us incredible thrills as both a racehorse and a broodmare. While we were fortunate enough to have bred and owned her, she was truly Canada's horse."
As a broodmare, Dance Smartly produced Queen's Plate winners Scatter the Gold (in 2000) and Dancethruthedawn (2001), both by Mr. Prospector. She was voted 2001 Canadian Broodmare of the Year. Two years later, she was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Scatter the Gold, a colt, also won the Prince of Wales and ran third in the Breeders' Stakes. Dancethruthedawn's other scores at 3 included a victory in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks. She was voted Canadian champion 3-year-old filly. At 4, Dancethruthedawn won the Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Dance Smarty, who was produced from the Smarten mare Classy 'n Smart, also produced Canadian graded stakes winner Dance With Ravens and stakes-placed Dance Brightly and Dance to Destiny. Dance With Ravens stands at Northview Stallion Station near Chesapeake City, Md.
Overall, Dance Smartly produced nine named foals, six of which have started and won. Her youngest foal, 2-year-old Dance to the Sea, is a filly by Gone West.
Dance Smartly, who was not in foal at the time of her death, was buried at Sam-Son.