Charles Nuckols III of Nuckols Farm near Midway, Ky., announced Aug. 21 the passing of pensioned sire Home At Last. The 26-year-old son of Quadratic died at home at Nuckols Farm July 30 from the infirmities of old age.
Bred in Kentucky by Charles Nuckols Jr. and sons, Home At Last was out of the Ack Ack mare Away From Home.
A veritable icon at Nuckols Farm, Nuckols described "Homer" as an easygoing horse who was loved by all and who enjoyed the company of his best buddy, Animo de Valeroso ("Animal"), and was once mistaken for Monarchos ("Mo") by a visitor to the farm.
Hall of Fame trainer Carl Nafzger trained the gray colt for the Russell L. Reineman Stable, a longtime client of the Nuckols.
"It's a pleasure to have horses like (Home At Last) for clients for as long as the Reinemans have been around," Nuckols told The Blood-Horse. "Mr. Reineman and dad (Charles Nuckols Jr.) were friends going back to the 1960s."
Nuckols Jr. & Sons and Reineman Stable are the same team that bred and raced leading sire Distorted Humor and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner War Emblem, who Reineman sold to The Thoroughbred Corporation before his first classic victory.
Winner of the grade I Super Derby over Unbridled and Cee's Tizzy, Home At Last earned $972,914 from in his three seasons at the track. On the Kentucky Derby trail, the colt won the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, defeating Pleasant Tap, who went on to run third in the Kentucky Derby to Unbridled and Summer Squall.
As a stallion, Home At Last sired 93 winners and six stakes winners. His best performer, multiple stakes winner Home of Stars, was also grade II-placed in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. Among his other stakes-winning progeny are Home First, Special Moments, and Dixie's Home.
"I've known Home At Last his whole life," Nuckols said. "That's the thing that we cherish about our farm, knowing that our clients rely upon us to take care of their loved ones."
Before being pensioned in the late 1990s, Home At Last stood most of his stud career at the Nuckols nursery, where, according to Nuckols, he was part of the family.