Anne M. Eberhardt

Gainesway Stallion Irish River Dies

Pensioned stallion Irish River died April 26 in his paddock at Graham J. Beck's Gainesway Farm near Lexington. The 28-year-old classic-winning son of classic winner Riverman stood all but one of his seasons at stud at the Lexington nursery.

"He was in reasonably good health for a stallion his age," said farm representative Annette Covault.

Irish River has sired 87 stakes winners and is represented as a broodmare sire by 97 stakes winners. The day before his death, maternal granddaughter Spring Star won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.

Irish River achieved a measure of fame by being represented by two Eclipse Award winners in the same year. In 1994, his son Paradise Creek was the champion turf male, and a daughter Hatoof was champion grass female. Paradise Creek won the 1994 Arlington Million (gr. IT), and Hatoof won the distaff version of the race, the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT), that year. Hatoof also was a champion in France. Irish River's progeny earnings of $5 million that year were good enough for third on the leading sires list.

Irish River, who was produced from the Klairon mare Irish Star and raced as a homebred for Mrs. R. Ades, won the mile classic Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) and six other French group I events during a two-year career in which he won 10 of 12 starts and earned $623,257.

Former Gainesway owner John R. Gaines acquired Irish River privately in 1980 to stand alongside Riverman. Irish River's other stakes winners includes European champions Brief Truce and Orban.