Stallion Premiership Dies in Canada

Premiership, who led the nation by 2-year-old winners as a freshman sire, died in June at Cam and Sherisse Ziprick's Ziprick Thoroughbreds near Russell, Manitoba, Canada. The 26-year-old son of Exclusive Native had been in ill health and suffered what was believed to have been a heart attack.

"He was getting old and not eating, and had lost most of his teeth," Cam Ziprick said. "We bought him and another stallion, Lucky North, at the Franks dispersal (in 2004) and moved them up here. Lucky North remains in good health."

Premiership began his stallion career at John Franks' Southland Farm near Ocala, Fla., and was an immediate hit. His first crop yielded seven stakes winners and 20 juvenile winners.

Premiership proved effective in siring sound numbers, getting an impressive 83% starters and 68% winners from foals. He is represented by 36 stakes winners, including such graded winners as Laughing Dan, Little Miss Fast, and Premier Explosion, and the earners of $26.4 million. He is the broodmare sire of grade I winner and successful young stallion Songandaprayer.

After nine seasons at Southland, Premiership was relocated to Jim Plemmons' Old Frankfort Stud near Lexington and stood there several seasons before he was returned to Southland.

Premiership was bred by Louis and Patrice Wolfson in partnership with the latter's mother, Ethel D. Jacobs, and was trained by Lazaro Barrera, who conditioned the Wolfsons' 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Unraced at ages two and three, Premiership specialized in sprinting, winning seven of 23 starts and earning $234,425 over the next two years. He captured a division of the 1984 El Conejo Handicap at Santa Anita and placed in six stakes, including the Hollywood Express Handicap, in which he finished second to his younger full brother and stablemate Commemorate. Two races earlier, Premiership had beaten Commemorate in an allowance event.

Premiership, who was produced from the Never Bend mare Reminiscing, covered one mare this year and got her in foal.