Illinois' Great Western Playboy Dead

Western Playboy, who won the 1989 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), died in April at Harvey and Nancy Vanier's Fairberry Farm near Waterloo, Ill. The 21-year-old son of Play Fellow was foaled, raised, and stood at stud at the farm.

Bred in Illinois by the Vaniers, Western Playboy was trained by Harvey Vanier, and raced the first part of his career for Nancy Vanier. Ray Roncari became a part owner right before the Blue Grass.

During his career, Western Playboy won eight of 45 races and earned $1,128,449. As a 3-year-old in 1989, he also won the Jim Beam Stakes (gr. II) in track-record time, the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), and the John D. Hertz Stakes for Illinois-breds. He was voted Illinois Horse of the Year and later became the state's first millionaire.

Following the Blue Grass, Western Playboy contested the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), won by Sunday Silence over Easy Goer, but finished unplaced. Six years earlier, Play Fellow won the Blue Grass and competed in the Run for the Roses for Nancy Vanier and partners, He also finished unplaced.

As a stallion, Western Playboy sired four stakes winners, including graded stakes winners Wade for Me and Southern Playgirl, both of whom raced for Nancy Vanier and were trained by her husband.

Western Playboy, who was out of the Daniel Boone mare Westward Hope, is buried at Fairberry.