Sword Dance, Successful Florida Sire, Dies

His son Marlin, a four-time grade I winner, was a leading turf runner in 1996-97

Sword Dance, one of Florida’s leading sires for a number of years, died Nov. 1 of natural causes at Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge Farm South near Williston, Fla. The Irish-bred son of Nijinsky II was pensioned in 2004. He was 26.

Sword Dance was a multiple winner in Ireland and the United States, taking the 1988 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) over subsequent Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Great Communicator.

As a stallion, Sword Dance is represented by 23 stakes winners and the earners of more than $26.4 million. He sired grade I winner Marlin, grade II winners Blazing Sword and Dance for Thee, and grade III winner Friel’s for Real. Marlin, one of the nation’s leading turf runners in 1996-97, won four grade I stakes, including the 1997 Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT), and earned $2,448,880.

Sword Dance’s stakes winners as a broodmare sire include grade II winner Dawn After Dawn and Red Jazz, an English group II winner in October.

“Sword Dance was the first big stallion we purchased, and he brought Stonehedge and Mr. and Mrs. Campbell a lot of success,” said farm manager Larry King. “He was a foundation horse in Florida, one of the few to sire an Arlington Million winner. He had a foundation pedigree, and he was such a consistent sire for so long.

“He was the farm favorite breeder and an easy horse to care for. He’s made significant impact as a broodmare sire, and his legacy lives on through his daughters. Stonehedge's success as breeder has a lot to do with Sword Dance. He will be missed.”

Sword Dance, who was produced from the Secretariat mare Rosa Mundi, will be buried at farm.