Courtesy Coolmore

Champion Dehere Dead at 23 in Turkey

Top 2-year-old male of 1993 was the sire of 77 stakes winners.

Dehere, the champion 2-year-old male of 1993 and a top sire of 77 stakes winners, has died from a heart attack, according to a report from the Turkish Jockey Club. The 23-year-old son of Deputy Minister—Sister Dot, by Secretariat, has been standing in Turkey since the 2010 breeding season.

In North America his influence will carry on through his top-earning runner, Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, the dam of grade I winner Take Charge Indy (by A.P. Indy) and champion Will Take Charge  (by Unbridled's Song). Dehere is also the broodmare sire of leading sire Midnight Lute .

Globally, Dehere has sired 1,615 foals and his runners have earned in excess of $100 million.

Bred and raced by Robert Brennan's Due Process Stable, Dehere was named for the Seton Hall University (and later NBA) basketball star Terry Dehere. Dehere tore a hole through the 1993 Saratoga racing season, becoming just the third horse (along with Hall of Fame member Regret and Campfire) in history to win the Saratoga Special (gr. II), Sanford (gr. III) and Hopeful (gr. I) stakes at Spa. The feat has since been accomplished by City Zip in 2000.

After breaking his maiden at Monmouth Park in late June he shipped to upstate New York where he won the Special by a neck over Slew Gin Fizz under Eddie Maple. Trainer Reynaldo Nobles then went to rider Chris McCarron and Dehere won the Sanford by five lengths over Prenup and then the Hopeful by 21/2 lengths.

"As I said back then, he was the fastest 2-year-old I've ever ridden," McCarron said upon hearing of Dehere's passing. "John Perrotta, Mr. Brennan's racing manager, called me and said, 'I have a horse I want you to ride. He's special.' And he was."

Second in the seven-furlong Futurity Stakes (gr. II) to Holy Bull in the mud, Dehere went on to win the one-turn mile Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

"That was his most gratifying win for me," Perrotta said. "He just ran away with that race."

Dehere was the 7-10 favorite at Santa Anita Park for the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He never got the lead and faded late to finish eighth behind Brocco, Blumin Affair, and Tabasco Cat.

"He didn't run with Lasix that day and he bled pretty signifiicantly," Perrotta said. "That was the year of the fires at Santa Anita and the air was really bad."

"He wasn't training that well up to the race," McCarron said. "He was washing out in the mornings. He didn't run that great after that."

His brilliance early in the season earned him the Eclipse Award. At 3 he was beaten in an allowance race in early February at Gulfstream Park and then rallied to win the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) on a "good" track over eventual Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Go for Gin. A fractured right hind cannon bone while training in early March at the Palm Beach Training Center brought an end to his racing career.

He won six of nine starts, with two seconds, and earned $723,712.

Perrotta had been working with Coolmore's John Magnier and a deal to stand Dehere was made after his win in the Fountain of Youth. He was returned to training but was not deemed ready to compete in grade I action, so Dehere was retired to Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., where he stood his first five seasons. He also shuttled to Coolmore Australia. In 2000 he was moved to Shizunai Stallion Station in Japan and shuttled to Arrowfield Stud in Australia. He returned to North America and Ashford for the 2006 season and continued to shuttle to Coolmore Australia until being sold to The Jockey Club of Turkey Stud Farms.

Dehere's top earning offspring was Take Charge Lady (out of Felicita, by Rubiano), a three-time grade I winner who bankrolled $2,480,377. During Take Charge Lady's 3-year-old campaign in 2002 in which she won Keeneland's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) and Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I), Dehere ranked second to El Prado on the leading sire list. 

She has extended Dehere's influence as the dam of Take Charge Indy and last year's champion 3-year-old male and top 2014 handicap horse Will Take Charge.

Dehere's other top runners include 2000 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) winner and sire Graeme Hall, Australian champion Belle du Jour, and North American graded winners Soto, Finality, and Belle of Perintown.

Dehere's full brother, Defrere, was stakes placed in 1995 and has sired 22 stakes winners while standing at Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington and Walnford Stud in New Jersey. He has been a 10-time leading sire in the Garden State.