Bloodstock briefing: Death of two Classic kings with different backgrounds and degrees of success.
TWO acclaimed Classic winners of the 1980s, 17-year-old Doyoun and
20-year-old Spend A Buck, died in the last fewweeks.
Their deaths were largely unheralded, as news filtered through from Turkey and Brazil, their respective adopted homes.
North America's 1985 Horse of the Year, Spend A Buck, was reported to have succumbed to anaphlyactic shock at Haras Bage do Sul near Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 24.
Doyoun, who won the 2,000 Guineas for the Aga Khan in 1988, died of an unidentified illness at the Turkish Jockey Club's Izmit Pension Stud Farm, some 60 miles from Istanbul, on December 4.
Spend A Buck was undoubtedly the more accomplished racehorse of the two. A top two-year-old, the son of Buckaroo and the Speak John mare Belle de Jour, won five of eight juvenile starts and was unlucky in being a contemporary of the extraordinary Chief's Crown, whose victory in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile secured him the
Unlike many a precocious colt, Spend A Buck improved at three. His Kentucky Derby win was the high point of a year in which he won five of seven starts and was crowned champion three-year-old and Horse of the Year.
Many will remember him as well for the controversy his owner Dennis Diaz and trainer Cam Gambolati caused by skipping the Preakness Stakes - and a chance at Triple Crown glory - to shoot for a
$2 million bonus offered by New Jersey's Garden State Park to any horse sweeping the Kentucky Derby plus three of its races, the Cherry Hill Mile, the Garden State Stakes, and the Jersey Derby. It was the last-named race, a mere Grade 3 contest, that netted him the loot. He won the race by a neck.
His stud history was less than a fairytale, though, and after siring a handful of Grade 3 winners from his base at William S Farish's Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, where he stood from 1986 to 1994, he was transferred to McDermott Ranch in Texas.
He began shuttling to South America in 1997 and returned in 1998. Prior to the 1999 season he was relocated yet again, this time to Red River Farms, Louisiana. In 2001 he was sold to Brazilian interests and moved to Brazil for the 2002 Southern Hemisphere season.
His life and legacy would have been radically different had he been able to pass on his formidable talents.
As it is, he leaves behind two South American champions, Black Coffey (Peru) and Investor's Dream (Brazil). His lone North American Grade 1 winner was the filly Antespend. Otherwise, his main contribution remains the memory of some great races in 1985 - and a tinge of regret over what might have been had he gone for the Triple Crown.
If Spend A Buck's was the classic American rags-to-riches story, then Doyoun's was the quintessential tale of blue-blooded royalty - although in the end, the handsome prince fell on hard times.
A product of the Aga Khan's renowned breeding programme, Doyoun was a son of Mill Reef - who had already produced two Derby winners in Shirley Heights and Reference Point - and his dam Dumka had won a French Classic in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and already produced two Pattern winners.
The dark and handsome Doyoun was ultimately a bit disappointing on the racecourse, however, despite winning the Craven Stakes and the 2,000 Guineas - a race whose 1988 edition was short on runners - with just nine, and short on talent - after winter favourite Warning was the most prominent of several withdrawals.
Doyoun's best efforts after the Guineas yielded third places in the Derby (to stablemate Kahyasi) and Champion Stakes (to Indian Skimmer).
Still, hopes were high for him at stud based on his stellar pedigree, and he retired to the Aga Khan's Ballymany Stud in Ireland for the same fee as Kahyasi, Irpounds 20,000.
When Ballymany was sold, Doyoun moved to the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud in County Kildare, where he stood until 1998, and in 1999 he was transferred to Turkey after being purchased by the Turkish Jockey Club.
Ironically, it was very soon after his departure that his true worth became apparent. His son Daylami, who had already won the 1997 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, turned into arguably the world's best racehorse by 1999, the year in which he won the Coronation Cup, the King George, the Irish Champion Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup Turf. He was named North American champion turf male and was a finalist for Horse of the Year honours in 1999.
The following year Kalanisi repeated the feat in the Breeders' Cup Turf and in the Eclipse Awards, becoming the second consecutive son of Doyoun to be crowned a North American champion.
Daylami's first crop will soon be yearlings, and Kalanisi's first foals will hit the ground in just a couple of months. As we look forward to their arrival on the racecourse, let's not forget to drink a toast to their grandsire Doyoun, in hopes that his excellence lives on.
Spend A Buck: 1985 US Horse of the Year died near Sao Paulo at the age of 20 last month
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Dec 11, 2002|
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