This champion, who died on New Year's Eve, won the only Kentucky Derby to have more than 20 starters since Cannonade's record-setting victory in a field of 23 in 1974. He is also the only Kentucky Derby winner to date who can boast Uruguayan ancestry. Name him---and give yourself bonus points if you can do it without using the site's search function.
Thoroughbred breeding suffered a sad loss with the sudden demise of Scat Daddy this morning. One of Kentucky's most popular sires, the Ashford Stud stallion bred 217 mares in 2015 and was expected to draw another large book in 2016 after cracking the top 10 on the 2015 American general sire list with 30 stakes winners and over US$9.5 million in progeny earnings. He will also be missed in Chile, where he was champion sire in 2013/14 and has seven Group I winners of 2015 including El Derby winner Il Campione and Las Oaks heroine Wapi.
A handsome, good-bodied son of 2001 American and European champion 2-year-old male Johannesburg and the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Love Style, Scat Daddy himself was a high-class racehorse, winning the Champagne Stakes (USA-I) at 2 and the Florida Derby (USA-I) at 3. He got his stud career off with a bang as he led the 2011 American freshman sire list and was third on that year's juvenile sire list. Since then, he has consistently been among the best young sires in the country, finishing a close second to Hard Spun on the 2012 American second-crop sire list and fourth on the 2013 American third-crop sire list. To date, Scat Daddy has sired 38 Northern Hemisphere stakes winners and another 31 Southern Hemisphere stakes winners, and 42 of his stakes winners have scored at graded/Group level.
Scat Daddy's greatest attraction as a stallion was versatility; he could get European speedsters like No Nay Never and Acapulco, intermediate-distance North American dirt runners and South American horses capable of getting classic distances. In this, his stud career appears to reflect that of Mr. Prospector, to whom he was inbred 4x2. Nonetheless, his greatest strength has been throwing good juveniles, a hallmark of the Storm Cat male line in general. This year, Scat Daddy set a new North American record by number of juvenile stakes winners with nine, headed by Frizette Stakes (USA-I) winner Nickname. And the horse whose record he broke? Storm Cat, of course.
In light of Scat Daddy's too-early departure, this latest embellishment of an already strong stud record has to be bittersweet to his connections. Nonetheless, it may not be the last note in his career as he will have three more crops come to the races. We can hope that their members will provide a suitable coda to a song cut off too soon.
Unbeaten champion Colin never raced in Canada but has a race named for him there. Although he did not race in England, he showed such high form in private trials that trainer Sam Darling rated him the best horse he had trained for James R. Keene along with the Oaks Stakes winner Cap and Bells II.
Named for a character in a poem, this champion never raced in Canada but has a race named for him there. He also never raced in England, yet was rated by English trainer Sam Darling as one of the best horses he ever trained. Who is he?
Named for a triathlon, this fine racehorse completed an unusual triple of his own by becoming the first horse to win Grade I races on dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces. Name him.
He had the makings to have become one of the legendary geldings of the American turf: speed, push-button acceleration, stamina and heart. What he lacked was luck and time, and both ran out on him on December 3, 2015. Just hours after another strong workout on his way back to the races, Shared Belief was dead, a victim of colic.
Nothing ever came easily to the gelded son of Candy Ride after he won the Eclipse Award as the best American 2-year-old male of 2013. A planned Triple Crown campaign went by the wayside when he came up with a foot injury. When he got back to the races, he ripped off three straight wins, scoring dominant victories in the Los Alamitos Derby (USA-II) and Pacific Classic (USA-I) and then proving he could handle adversity by overcoming an extremely wide trip in the Awesome Again Stakes (USA-I). Luck was no lady no him in the Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-I), however; the best he could do was fourth after being turned into an equine ping-pong ball when eventual winner Bayern and runner-up Toast of New York tangled up the field coming out of the gate.
Undaunted, Shared Belief roared back into action at the winter Santa Anita meeting, After cutting back to seven furlongs and beating good 3-year-old sprinters in the Malibu Stakes (USA-I), Shared Belief threw down the gauntlet against dual Classic winner and 2014 American Horse of the Year California Chrome in the San Antonio Stakes (USA-II). Chrome ran a winning race, but Shared Belief ran a still better one, scoring a decisive victory. After that, the historic Santa Anita Handicap (USA-I) was practically a paid workout. So it was small wonder that fans were utterly shocked when Shared Belief not only didn't win the Charles Town Classic (USA-II) but didn't even finish.
It was almost a relief to find out that the race really was too bad to be true; Shared Belief had fractured a hip. It was even better to find out that the fracture was non-displaced and had a good prognosis. All the gelding needed was time...time that he turned out not to have.
This time, there won't be a comeback. All that is left are the memories of a special horse, and the shadow of greatness that might have been.
I'm Avalyn Hunter, an author, pedigree researcher and longtime racing fan.