Danzig, in a photo from 1999.

Danzig, in a photo from 1999.

Barbara D. Livingston

Leading Sire Danzig Dead at 29

Danzig, who topped the general sires list from 1991-93, was euthanized Jan. 3 at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., because of the infirmities of old age.

The 29-year-old son of Northern Dancer out of the Admiral's Voyage mare Pas de Nom had been pensioned since the summer of 2004 because of declining fertility.

Danzig, who was unbeaten on the racetrack for owner Henryk de Kwiatkowski and trainer Woody Stephens, got off to quick start as a stallion with three grade I winners--Chief's Crown, Contredance, and Stephan's Odyssey--from his first crop. As a 2-year-old in 1984, Chief's Crown won the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and was voted champion 2-year-old male. Chief's Crown went on to become a major winner at three and a successful stallion. Danzig not only led the freshman sires list by progeny earnings, but also that year's sires of 2-year-olds list.

Danzig became the first stallion since Claiborne's Bold Ruler in the 1960s to head the sires list three consecutive years. In fact, in the last 100 years, only Broomstick and Bull Lea led for as many as three straight seasons. Danzig is represented by 188 stakes winners--tops among North American stallions--and ranks among the leaders by number of Breeders' Cup winners. In addition to Chief's Crown, his son Lure won the 1992-93 Mile (gr. IT). Another son, War Chant, took the 2000 Mile and a daughter, Dance Smartly, captured the 1991 Distaff (gr. I) the year she was Canada's Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year.

Danzig's other top runners include major sire Danehill, English Horse of the Year Dayjur, and United States classic winners Danzig Connection (Belmont Stakes, gr. I) and Pine Bluff (Preakness Stakes, gr. I). Danehill is the all-time leader by number of stakes winners, with 309. Danzig also is the sire of successful stallions Belong to Me and Langfuhr . Another son, Polish Navy, sired 1993 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Sea Hero.

For his career, Danzig sired 1,074 foals and is represented by the earners of $101 million. He has sired 107 graded stakes winners and 10 champions.

Danzig was bred in Pennsylvania by Marshall Jenney's Derry Meeting Farm and William S. Farish, and sold to de Kwiatkowski for $310,000 at the 1978 Saratoga yearling sale. He raced three times before being retired to Claiborne because of knee problems.

Danzig's last foals are yearlings, and there are 18 of them. His 2-year-old crop numbers 30. Danzig will be buried at Claiborne.