Grade I winner and pensioned sire Crusader Sword died due to the infirmities of old age at Old Friends at Cabin Creek near Greenfield Center, N.Y., May 10.
Nicknamed "Grandpa," Crusader Sword died at age 29 with his owner, JoAnn Pepper, by his side.
While racing as a homebred for the late Paul Mellon's Rokeby Stables, Crusader Sword won the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and Saratoga Special (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course as a juvenile and also placed in the Futurity Stakes (gr. I) and Tom Fool Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Trained by Mack Miller, he compiled a career record of 6-3-5 from 21 starts and earnings of $327,476.
Crusader Sword, a son of Damascus—Copernica, by Nijinsky II, stood at Questroyal Stud in New York from 1990-2003, after which he stood at Foggy Bottom Farm in the Empire State until 2011. In 20 crops of racing age, Crusader Sword sired 277 winners and 16 stakes winners, for progeny earnings of $18,045,341.
Among his best offspring were multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Isitingood and 2008 New York champion 3-year-old Tin Cup Chalice.
According to an Old Friends release, Crusader Sword had made Old Friends at Cabin Creek his home for the past five years and was a favorite among the many fans and horse lovers that visit the farm.
"Crusader did a 'dinner dance' for each meal, licked the hands of volunteers and guests alike, and had a beautiful spirit," the farm said in a statement. "He is much missed and will always be remembered as a wonderful old friend, race horse, sire, and champion. All are welcome to the farm's open house on Saturdays from noon-3 p.m.to pay their respects and honor him."