Nine Keys, one of the top racemares of 1994, was euthanized March 22 because of foaling complications. The day before her death, she produced a City Zip filly. The filly was bred by the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm and the late Martha F. Gerry and was placed on a nurse mare at Claiborne.
Nine Keys, who also was bred by Claiborne and Gerry, was from the first crop by Claiborne stallion Forty Niner and produced from the Key to the Mint mare Clef d’Argent, who was a grade II winner for Gerry’s Lazy F Ranch. Nine Keys’ third dam was the Lazy F blue hen mare Marche Lorraine.
Trained by Angel Penna Jr., Nine Keys won or placed in all 11 races. Her big win came at 4 in the 1994 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. That year, she also won that year’s Rampart Handicap (gr. II), plus the Monmouth Park Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III) in her final start. At 3, she captured the Honey Bee Handicap (gr. III).
Nine Keys retired with seven wins and earnings of $637,320. She produced six named foals, two of which were winners.