Looks? He was a magnificently handsome specimen, combining the power and muscle of his sire Mr. Prospector with the elegance and scope of his maternal grandsire Buckpasser. Pedigree? Aside from the particulars already mentioned, he came from a champion-producing family developed by Ogden Phipps.
Racing? Probably the third-best colt in a talented crop, he was out of the money only once, earned over US$2.3 million and staged two ding-dong battles with Forty Niner that were among the best races of 1988. That he lost the Haskell Invitational and the Travers by two noses to such a talented opponent was no disgrace to him, and he gained further stature by running 1988 American Horse of the Year Alysheba to a neck in the Breeders' Cup Classic (USA-I). It was sheer ill fortune that an injury suffered in the 1989 Metropolitan Handicap (USA-I) denied him the chance to win a championship.
Breeding? The American champion freshman sire of 1993, he never quite managed to parlay that into a general sire championship but came close, finishing second to Storm Cat in 2000. His 91 stakes winners include five champions; his daughters have put him among the top 10 American broodmare sires for the last seven consecutive years. And despite the early loss of his magnificently talented son Dubai Millennium to grass sickness, his male line appears to have a future through his grandson Dubawi, who is about the best sire in Europe not named Galileo.
With Seeking the Gold's death at Claiborne Farm on July 28, an era has come to an end. While the male line of Mr. Prospector is alive and well elsewhere, there is now no direct male representative of his line at Claiborne, where the son of Raise a Native became one of the great progenitors on the breed above and beyond the reputation he had previously gained in Florida. This does not mean that Mr. Prospector does not wield major influence in the Claiborne stallion farm; every active stallion in the barn carries Mr. Prospector's blood, including 2010 champion older male Blame, a maternal grandson of Seeking the Gold. It simply points to a shift that is common to most male lines: over the passing of time, they become more and more commonly seen on the distaff side of pedigrees. This is where Seeking the Gold already fits in, and it is no dishonorable legacy.