One of Thoroughbred racing's premier stallions, Dynaformer, died at the age of 27 at Robert and Blythe Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm April 29.
The stallion, who was known internationally for siring such top class athletes as Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro, Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) winner Americain , and $4.7 million dollar-earner Perfect Drift, had been pensioned after suffering an aortic valve rupture the afternoon of April 14 while in his stall.
An ultrasound performed the following day revealed several holes in Dynaformer's heart as a result of the heart attack, one measuring eight centimeters long and two others measuring two centimeters each.
Dynaformer had been resting comfortably, eating well, and maintaining his daily turnout routine in the days following the scare, but his health took a turn the evening of April 28.
“Dynaformer told us when it was his time to go,” said Dr. Jim Morehead, Three Chimneys’ resident veterinarian. “Amazingly, he had been comfortable after his initial crisis on April 14 and had been able to go to his paddock daily. A normal horse would not have survived his initial cardiac episode. He did everything on his terms, including deciding when he'd had enough.”
The public is invited to pay their respects to Dynaformer during the annual Three Chimneys Derby Week Open House on May 3 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. A memorial service for Dynaformer will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the stallion cemetery.
“Dynaformer impacted the industry in a way that few ever have or will," said Three Chimneys president Case Clay. “More than that, though, he was an awe-inspiring horse to be around. He commanded respect and his toughness was undeniable to the very end. He reminded me a lot of Seattle Slew in that when you were around him, you knew you were in the presence of greatness.”
Some of the other stars sired by Dynaformer include European champion 2-year-old filly Rainbow View, English champion 3-year-old colt Lucarno, multiple grade I winner Riskaverse, and multi-millionaire Dynever.
With 21 crops to race, Dynaformer's progeny have earned more than $105,000,000. He is the sire of 130 stakes winners, including 61 graded stakes winners, 25 grade I stakes winners, and 18 millionaires. Those numbers are the best in each respective category of all active sires.
He ranks in the 0.5% of all sires by average earnings per starter.
“Dynaformer's tough spirit will continue to influence our breed for many years to come," said Robert Clay, owner of Three Chimneys Farm. He reminds us that looks aren't everything, and that the will to win is that intangible ingredient we are all striving to find."
The caliber and quantity of races won by progeny of Dynaformer is unprecedented. Sons or daughters of Dynaformer have won the following grade/group I events: the Kentucky Derby, One Thousand Guineas, Melbourne Cup, Irish Oaks, Stephen Foster Handicap, English St. Leger, German Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, American Oaks, Hollywood Derby, Shadwell Turf Mile, Santa Margarita Invitational, Flower Bowl Invitational, Santa Maria Handicap, Yorkshire Oaks, Beverly D. Stakes, Diana Handicap, Florida Derby, Hempstead Handicap, Gazelle Handicap, and Matriarch Stakes.
“He commanded respect and total attention at all times,” said Three Chimneys stallion manager Sandy Hatfield. “He had earned every bit of his reputation as being one of the toughest stallions in the industry, but when it came to his job in the breeding shed, he was a total professional. In my opinion, our industry has lost one of the greatest sires it will ever see.”
Dynaformer will be impacting the Thoroughbred breed for decades to come. His daughters have produced 78 stakes winners and that number will undoubtedly continue to grow.
Dynaformer's death came on what would have been the ninth birthday of his most famous son, Barbaro. The stallion will be buried in the Three Chimneys stallion cemetery next to stablemates Rahy and Wild Again.
Bred in Kentucky, Dynaformer was raced by his breeder, Joseph Allen and was trained by D. Wayne Lukas. During his race career, he won the 1988 Jersey Derby (gr. II), Discovery Handicap (gr. II), and Lucky Draw Stakes at 3. Dynaformer, who is out of the His Majesty mare Andover Way, retired from racing with a record of 7-5-2 from 30 starts, for earnings of $671,207.