Secret Heart, Dam of Pluck, Dies
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) winner Pluck is out of Secret Heart.

Team Valor International reported that Secret Heart, dam of 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) winner Pluck, died July 5 at Denali Stud near Paris, Ky. The 15-year-old daughter of Fort Wood was found dead in her stall and the cause of death had not been determined, Team Valor said July 7.

At the time of her death, Secret Heart was in foal to Point of Entry   after producing a Medaglia d'Oro colt this year.

A stakes winner who placed in four grade I races in her native South Africa, Secret Heart was imported to the U.S. in 2004 by Team Valor president Barry Irwin, who said he considered her to have the best pedigree among the 28 mare Team Valor broodmare band in the U.S., Ireland, and South Africa. She was a half sister to South African grade I winner Covenant and to champion and stakes producer Promisefrommyheart.

After placing twice in the U.S., Secret Heart was retired and bred to More Than Ready in the mating that produced Pluck. In addition to his Breeders' Cup win at Churchill Downs, Pluck won the Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT). He now stands at stud at Vinery Australia.

"She was the ideal mare," Irwin said in a statement. "She had speed, she had size, her pedigree improved every year and her first foal was sensational. This is hard to swallow.

In addition to Pluck, Secret Heart produced graded stakes-placed Three Hearts.

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