Tammy Samuel-Balaz, whose family bred and raced champion Dance Smartly and leading sire Smart Strike, among numerous others, under their Sam-Son banner, died Jan. 5 in Canada after battling cancer. She was 47.
Samuel-Balaz took over management of her family’s Thoroughbred interests upon the passing of her father, Ernie Samuel, in May 2000.
Sam-Son Farm is comprised of two parts: the broodmare division near Milton, Ontario, Canada, and the training center located near Ocala, Fla. The racing operation is based at Woodbine with trainer Mark Frostad.
In 1991, Dance Smartly won the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly after winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) and becoming the only filly to capture the Canadian Triple Crown. The daughter of Danzig, out of the champion Smarten mare Classy ‘n Smart, was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Dance Smartly produced Queen’s Plate winners Scatter the Gold (in 2000) and Dancethruthedawn (2001), both by Mr. Prospector. Dance Smartly died in August 2007.
A full brother to Dance Smartly, Smart Strike is the sire of likely Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male Curlin, as well as champion turf horse finalist English Channel. Smart Strike ended 2007 on top of the leading general sire list with progeny earnings of $14,358,570.
Samuel-Balaz was a director of Woodbine Entertainment Group, The Jockey Club of Canada, and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Samuel-Balaz leaves her husband, Rick; her two children, daughter Lisa and son Michael; and her mother, Elizabeth Samuel. She is also survived by a sister, Kim Samuel-Johnson, and a brother, Mark Samuel.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to a cancer care or research organization.