Multiple grade I winner and top sire Seeking the Gold has died at the age of 31. He was euthanized July 28 from infirmities of old age, according to Claiborne Farm representative Bernie Sams.
The brilliant son of Mr. Prospector, out of the Buckpasser mare Con Game, was foaled in Kentucky at Claiborne Farm near Paris in 1985. Trained by Shug McGaughey for breeder/owner Ogden Phipps, Seeking the Gold notched eight wins and six seconds in 15 starts with career earnings over $2.3 million.
His most notable accomplishments on the racetrack included victories in the Super Derby (gr. I), Dwyer (gr. I), Peter Pan (gr. II), and Swale Stakes. He would be runner-up to Horse of the Year Alysheba in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and also finish second in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. I), Haskell (gr. I), Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), and Gotham Stakes (gr. II).
In 1990, at the age of 5, he entered stud at Claiborne where he soon became one of the most influential sires of his generation.
Crowned leading freshman sire of 1993, Seeking the Gold rose to as high as number two on the general sire list behind Storm Cat in 2000. Among his 91 stakes winners were five champions—Dubai Millennium, Seeking the Pearl, Heavenly Prize, Flanders, and Catch the Ring—and three Breeders' Cup World Championships winners—Flanders, Cash Run, and Pleasant Home.
Grade I winners Bob and John, Dream Supreme, Cape Town, and Jazil were among other notable stars sired by Seeking the Gold.
In November 2008, he was pensioned from stallion duty at the age 24. During his career, Seeking the Gold stood for stud fees as high as $250,000.
"We're saddened by the loss of this magnificent racehorse and stallion," said Daisy Phipps Pulito, grand-daughter of the late Ogden Phipps. "He meant so much to my grandfather and the Phipps Stable breeding program."
Hall of Fame trainer McGaughey added, "He was a very, very successful racehorse. One of my all-time favorites. He gave 110% every time."
"He will be sorely missed," said Claiborne's Sams. "There's no doubt he will go down as one of the all-time greats. He was a valued member of the Claiborne Farm family and an important part of this farm's storied 100-plus year history."