Pensioned Maryland sire Citidancer, sire of 29 stakes winners, including grade I winners Urbane and Hookedonthefeelin, succumbed to laminitis Aug. 11 at the age of 23. He was euthanized and buried at the Pons family’s Country Life Farm near Bel Air, Md., where he had stood his entire career.
A son of Dixieland Band, Citidancer won his first three races by a total of 36 lengths before finishing second to subsequent champion sprinter Housebuster in the 1990 Jerome Handicap (gr. I). Citidancer suffered a fractured sesamoid in that race and was retired with earnings of $80,022. He entered stud in 1991.
Inbred 2 x 4 to Northern Dancer, Citidancer encountered fertility problems throughout his career, limiting his foal crops. Nevertheless, he was an immediate success on the national scene.
His first crop included millionaire Urbane, winner of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) and the John A. Morris Handicap (gr. I) and dam of millionaire Suave. Citidancer’s early crops also included graded-stakes winner Latin Dancer, who was the highest-priced auction yearling sold to that date in Maryland when he fetched $210,000 at the 1995 Fasig-Tipton Eastern Fall yearling sale.
Country Life was the breeder of Citidancer’s other grade I winner, 1999 La Brea Stakes winner Hookedonthefeelin, who is the dam of grade I winner Pussycat Doll. Citidancer’s other graded-stakes winners include millionaires Cherokee's Boy and Park Avenue Ball as well as $500,000-plus earner Disco Rico. Those three sons of Citdidancer are standing at stud.
Citidancer’s average earnings per starter of $85,049 is the second-highest among Maryland sires with current runners.
“That inbreeding gave him a touch of brilliance, at the races and in the stud,” Country Life manager Josh Pons said. “But perhaps it also contributed to his infertility. He had a fine libido. He was just unpredictable settling his mares. Otherwise, he might have been a leading sire, as he had 8% stakes winners from foals. That’s rare air for any sire.
"Like many fine stallions, his influence lives on as a broodmare sire. He has 113 mares with foals of racing age, and 30 of those mares (27%) have produced stakes horses.”
Citidancer, a half brother to grade I winners Will’s Way and Willa On the Move, was produced from the stakes-winning Tentam mare Willamae.