Multiple grade 1 winner Tinners Way was euthanized July 5 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY., where he had been pensioned since 2010. The son of Secretariat was 27.
Old Friends resident veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge attributed the cause of death to acute onset of a severe neurologic disease, adding that "Tinner had been treated in the past for EPM, and he did have some lingering neurologic effects from a previous infection."
Bred and owned by Juddmonte Farms, Tinners Way began his career in Europe, where he won three of his seven starts in England and France. After coming stateside as a 4-year-old, Tinners Way joined the barn of California-based Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, and under his watchful eye the striking chestnut won the 1994 $1 million Pacific Classic Stakes (G1), beating future Hall of Famer Best Pal and posting a record-equaling mile and a quarter of 1:59 2/5.
Tinners Way had a repeat victory in the 1995 Pacific Classic, where he defeated a field that included 1994 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Concern, and he earned yet another grade 1 triumph the following year when he took the 1996 Californian Stakes.
The Californian marked the seventh and final win of Tinners Way's career; he retired with $1,846,546 in earnings from 27 starts. Sent to stud in 1997, Tinners Way stood at Vinery in Kentucky, Harris Farms in California, and finally at Key Ranch in Texas, where he retired in 2010 as the richest racehorse in Texas. He was donated to Old Friends by owners Phil Leckinger and Jerry Hardin.
"Twenty seven is not a bad number," said Leckinger by phone from Texas. "I can't thank Old Friends enough for the care and support he was given. Tinners Way certainly did wonders for us, he did wonders for Juddmonte on the track, and I hope he did wonders for his friends and fans in retirement."
As a sire, Tinners Way produced 93 winners from 14 crops of racing age, with progeny earnings of $3,263,785.
"We are so saddened by the loss of Tinners Way," said Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends. "It's times like these that you really see how much we can do for these old horses. Tinner, like Wallenda, was a warrior to the end, and when he told us his battle was over, we listened. He had so many friends from all over the country that visited him often. He leaves behind a great legacy and a host of adoring fans."