Pensioned stallion and Florida champion Wekiva Springs was euthanized June 2 as a result of cancerous melanoma tumors, reported Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Fla..
In an exceptional racing career, the 23-year-old Florida-bred son of Runaway Groom—Jetting Angel, by Tri Jet, earned more than $1.5 million. Campaigned in the famed red, white, and blue colors of breeder Donald Dizney, Wekiva Springs was a graded stakes winner for three consecutive seasons.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss," said Roger Brand, general manager of Double Diamond Farm, on June 5. "He was a brilliant horse, and he delivered many memorable performances on the racetrack that made all of us proud. He will be missed."
A handsome gray or roan, Wekiva Springs enjoyed his best season on the track with Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott as a 5-year-old in 1996. Despite sharing the limelight that year with stablemate Cigar, Wekiva Springs generated headlines of his own, winning that year's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I), Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), and Suburban Handicap (gr. I) en route to year-end honors as Florida's champion handicap horse.
Additional stakes victories included the 1995 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, the 1994 Vernon O. Underwood Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park, and that year's Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita. He also placed in the 1996 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I), Donn Handicap (gr. I), NYRA Mile Handicap (gr. I), Broward Handicap (gr. I), and Strub Stakes (gr. I).
All told, Wekiva Springs posted 10 wins in 21 career starts, capturing six stakes, and earning $1,512,575.
As a stallion, Wekiva Springs sired winners of more than $13 million. He is the sire of 27 stakes horses, including Uremic, a champion sprinter and champion imported older horse in Panama, multiple stakes winner Silversider, and stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Apalachian Thunder.
Wekiva Springs is also the broodmare sire of the late grade I winner Turallure, an earner of more than $1.3 million, winner of the grade I Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes, and second in the 2011 TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.