Len Riggio's My Meadowview Farm lost the cornerstone of its breeding operation with the death of Noble Causeway, the sire of upcoming Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender Samraat.
The 12-year-old chestnut sire had been suffering from laminitis in recent weeks and was withdrawn from service in early May. His condition deteriorated and he was euthanized the evening of May 27, according to a May 30 release.
Wally Burleson, farm manager at Sequel Stallions New York, said, "He was a brave and determined patient, but his condition deteriorated markedly in the last 12 hours. We decided to spare him further pain.
"With heavy hearts, we send our condolences to Mr. Riggio and the rest of the My Meadowview connections. Noble Causeway has always been a special favorite of the Sequel team. We are definitely going to miss him. Hopefully, Samraat will carry the torch so we'll be able to enjoy his influence for many years to come."
Bred in Kentucky by Reiko and Michael Baum, Noble Causeway was from the first crop of Giant's Causeway and was produced by the Seeking The Gold mare Mimi's Golden Girl. He earned $360,010 for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito and My Meadowview Farm. With three wins at 3 and 4, he was second in the 2005 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park and third in the 2006 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Noble Causeway, who stood the 2014 season for $5,000 at Sequel Stallions in Hudson, N.Y., currently ranks fourth on the New York general sire list, with 2014 earnings of $1,133,180. From four crops of racing age he has sired 79 winners in his career with lifetime earnings of $3,932,485, 12 of them stakes horses.
Among his leading progeny is Samraat, winner of the Gotham (gr. III) and Withers Stakes (gr. III), second in the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I), and a game fifth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) last time out for trainer Rick Violette. New York-bred Samraat's next start is the June 7 Belmont Stakes.
Other top performers include Noble Killer,winner at the highest level in Mexico; Venezuelan grade III winner Eccole Qua; multiple stakes winner Private Cause; and stakes-placed New York-breds Noble Cornerstone and Canal Six.
"Noble Causeway provided our family with more joy than we could ever imagine," said a statement from the Riggio family. "His passing occurred on the eve of his becoming the outstanding sire we always believed him to be. He taught us to dream and, now, we can only dream of what that the future might have been. He was loved and will be greatly missed, but his memory remains with us forever."