West Virginia lost its leading third-crop sire Charitable Man May 30 due to an apparent heart attack or aneurysm, according to Taylor Mountain Farm owner Jim Casey.
The 10-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid was found dead in his stall just a half hour after he had been fed.
"He had not shown any signs of trouble," Casey said. "And he was just going good. I've had some pretty good stallions, but he was probably my best. It's a big loss."
Charitable Man was bred by Edward "Ned" Evans out of stakes winner and multiple graded stakes producer Charitabledonation (by Saint Ballado). He sold for $200,000 as a yearling to agent Mike Ryan and was raced by William K. Warren Jr. and his wife, Suzanne.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Charitable Man won his first start, a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga, by 11 1/2 lengths. He became a stakes winner in his second start, taking the grade II Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park. At 3 he won the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) and finished third in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II).
After Charitable Man retired in 2010, Casey bought him for $100,000 and stood him at his farm near Charles Town. Charitable Man was West Virginia's leading first-crop sire in 2014 by daylight, with more than $210,800 in progeny earnings.
His first crop improved significantly at 3 and 4. As a second-crop sire he was represented by stakes winners Charitable Annuity, winner of the West Virginia Breeders' Classic and two other stakes, and Candy Man's Girl, who won the Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes. He became the fifth-leading sire in West Virginia with $1,131,284 in progeny earnings in 2015 and was ranked 18th among all second-crop sires nationwide.
"The horse had plenty of sense, and his runner are just getting better," said Casey. "I guess I'm lucky I've still got four crops of his, the 2-year-olds, yearlings, weanlings, and mares in foal."
Charitable Man covered between 50 and 60 mares last year.