Phone Trick, at Milfer Farm in 2001.

Phone Trick, at Milfer Farm in 2001.

Barbara D. Livingston

New York Stallion Phone Trick Dead

Phone Trick, sire of champions and Breeders' Cup winners Favorite Trick and Phone Chatter, died Oct. 10 of natural causes. The 23-year-old son of Clever Trick stood at Dr. Jonathan Davis' Milfer Farm near Unadilla, N.Y.

One of the top sprinters in the mid-1980s, Phone Trick has sired 53 stakes winners and the earners of $48 million. In a six-year span, his year-end progeny earnings never dipped below the $4.2 million mark and once reached $5.1 million.

Favorite Trick, the best of Phone Trick's runners, became the first horse since Secretariat in 1972 to be voted Horse of the Year as a 2-year-old. Favorite Trick clinched top honors in 1997 after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) to go unbeaten in eight races that year. He also was voted champion 2-year-old male.

Phone Chatter earned champion 2-year-old filly honors in 1993 after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Phone Trick is represented by other top 2-year-olds and/or sprinters Caller One (a champion in Dubai), Intidab, Mazel Trick, Speed Dialer, Caller I.D., Zavata, Day Trader, and Confide. His percentage of winners from foals of racing age is a solid 59%.

Campaigned by Larry DeAngelis and Howell Wynne in partnership with trainer Richard Mandella, Phone Trick won nine of 10 races, his sole loss coming to top sprinter Groovy in the 1986 Tom Fool Stakes (gr. II) in what was his last start. He won the San Carlos (gr. II) and True North (gr. II) Handicaps and the Bold Ruler Stakes (gr. II). At Hollywood Park, he set a six-furlong track-record of 1:09 1/5, then lowered it to 1:08 4/5.

Phone Trick, produced from the Finnegan mare Over the Phone, retired from racing after breaking a sesamoid in a workout at Santa Anita in October 1986 in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). He exited racing with earnings of $395,112, and began his stallion career at John T.L. Jones Jr.'s Walmac International near Lexington. He stood there until a syndicate privately purchased him in the fall of 2001 to stand at Milfer. Foals from his first crop of New York-breds are 2-year-olds.