Seattle Dancer, Record-Priced Yearling, Dead

Seattle Dancer, who set the racing world abuzz when he commanded a world-record $13.1 as a yearling, died of a heart attack in June. The 23-year-old son of Nijinsky II stood at Gestut Auenquelle in Germany.

Bred in Kentucky by Warner L. Jones Jr., William S. Farish, and William Kilroy, Seattle Dancer was a hot item going into the 1985 Keeneland July yearling sale. A half-brother, Horse of the Year Seattle Slew, had won the 1977 Triple Crown, and another half-brother, Lomond, had captured the 1983 English Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I). And there was another half-brother, Argosy, who also was a stakes winner.

Consigned by Jones as agent, Seattle Dancer sold for $13.1 million to the English branch of the British Bloodstock Agency. The purchase was made for the Irish-based Coolmore Stud triumvirate of John Magnier, Robert Sangster, and trainer Vincent O'Brien; Stavros Niarchos of Greece; and Danny Schwartz of California.

The price bettered the $10.2 million paid at the 1983 Keeneland July sale for Snaafi Dancer, a son of Northern Dancer who was unraced. Ironically, Sangster was the underbidder.

Campaigned in Niarchos' colors, Seattle Dancer failed to start at 2, but developed into group II winner at 3. He captured the Windfields Farm Gallinule (Ire-II) and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Ire-II) and ran second in the Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I). He retired with two wins from five starts and earnings of $152,413.

Seattle Dancer, who was produced from the Poker mare My Charmer, entered stud in 1988 at Coolmore satellite Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., and later stood at Coolmore Stud. He was moved to East Stud in Japan for the 1997 breeding season and began his German stint in 2003.

Seattle Dancer's 37 stakes winners include Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Pike Place Dancer, California grade I winner Caffe Latte, English group I winner Seattle Rhyme, and German champion and dual classic winner Que Belle.

His record price was surpassed by the $16 million paid for The Green Monkey at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale of 2-year-olds in training.