Lotka, the 30-year-old Kennelot Stables' grade I-winning mare by Danzig, died Sept. 10 at Our Mims Retirement Haven near Paris, Ky., where she had been a resident since August 2008. She was buried in the Haven's cemetery.
"We have had many great mares at OMRH but none as full of life as Lotka. She was magnificent, the heart of the farm. As crushed as I am at her passing, I was honored to be part of her life," said Jeanne Mirabito, president of OMRH.
The late Henryk de Kwiatkowski's Kennelot Stables bred and raced Lotka, who counts among her wins the Acorn Stakes (gr. I), the Black Helen Handicap (gr. II), the Columbiana Handicap (gr. III), the La Prevoyante Invitational Handicap, and the Magnolia Stakes. The multiple graded-stakes winner was also twice grade I-placed in the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Fantasy Stakes. Lotka retired with a record of 10-4-1 from 20 starts and earnings of $721,804.
Winner of the second running of Keeneland's Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. III) in 1986, Lotka was invited back to the Lexington oval in 2011 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that win. She appeared at Keeneland's Breakfast with the Works on the track's 75th anniversary.
As a broodmare Lotka was successful as well. Her 1995 son Mambo Twist by Kingmambo was a multiple stakes winner who earned more than $2.5 million racing in Japan. Lotta Dancing, her 1991 filly by Alydar, was a grade III winner and earned more than $350,000 on the track. Of Lotka's 14 foals, only three were unraced and four earned in excess of $100,000.
Lotka was a favorite for those who came to see her at the Haven. She celebrated her 30th birthday there on March 27th.
"Lotka was special to us in so many ways. We could always count on her to be large and in charge when it came to herd dynamics," Mirabito said. "She also ruled our hearts. I remember the day Lotka arrived. I looked into her eyes and was mesmerized by the intelligence behind them. I knew, at that moment, my life would never be the same.
"A loss this big, a wound this deep, will take a long time to heal. Godspeed, Lotka, you were loved beyond measure."