Auctions

Feb 13 Arqana February Mixed Sale 2024 HIPS
Feb 15 Tattersalls February Online Sale 2024 HIPS
Feb 20 Fasig-Tipton February Digital Sale 2024 HIPS
Feb 23 Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale 2024 HIPS
Mar 12 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March Sale of 2YOs in Training 2024 HIPS
View All Auctions

Champion, Prominent Sire Speightstown Euthanized at 25

The 2004 Eclipse champion sprinter suffered foot issues due to old age.

Anne M. Eberhardt

WinStar Farm's Speightstown , Eclipse Award-winning champion sprinter of 2004 and one of North America's most prolific and versatile sires, was euthanized Dec. 8 due to foot issues from old age, the farm announced the day the stallion died. Speightstown, a Taylor Made/WinStar stallion, was 25.

"Speightstown was a foundational sire for WinStar and helped stamp our legacy as a sire-making farm," said Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager for WinStar Farm. "I want to thank (WinStar Farm stallion manager) Larry McGinnis and his team for all the love and care they gave 'Speighty,' as he was lovingly called. They helped him through three colic surgeries, and he had none in the last 13 years. His progeny ran on dirt, turf, six furlongs to 1 1/4 miles, and they always showed their grit. Like with any family member, he will be truly missed. We are fortunate to have his son Nashville in the shedrow, and we look forward to seeing Speightsown's legacy continue through him, and as a broodmare sire."

McGinnis added, "We've been through a lot together in the last 19 years. We'll miss our friend."

A 1998 son of Gone West bred by Aaron and Marie Jones out of the Storm Cat stakes winner and Canadian champion Silken Cat, Speightstown possessed a commanding presence from the start. He was an outstanding physical specimen—handsome, compact, and muscular—deserving of the $2 million price paid as a yearling by Eugene and Laura Melnyk from Taylor Made Sales Agency's consignment at the` 1999 Keeneland July Sale. Equipped with brilliant speed and a heart to match, Speightstown won 10 of 16 starts, placed in four others, and amassed earnings of $1,258,256 for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.

Speightstown's signature win came in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Lone Star Park in 2004, where he polished off a competitive field at age 6, zipping six furlongs in 1:08.11 under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.

Video

He would earn champion sprinter honors on the strength of this performance along with victories in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G2)—registering a 121 Equibase Speed Figure and setting a track record for six furlongs of 1:08.04—the True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (G2), and the Churchill Downs Handicap (G2). He was also third in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1).

What made his championship season even more remarkable was what Speightstown overcame in his racing career leading up to that point. Injuries limited Speightstown to just one start at 2 in 2000. He returned and won four of seven starts at 3. Off nearly two years, he resumed his racing career in 2003, winning an allowance race in his first start since finishing second in the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) in 2001. He followed that win with a runner-up effort in the Jaipur Handicap in his only other outing that year.

Speightstown's accomplished racing career was a prelude to establishing an enduring legacy as an influential stallion at WinStar. A sire of sires, Speightstown was a regular fixture among North America's most successful sires. In 2013, Speightstown was the leading sire in North America by number of stakes wins with 37, higher than Kitten's Joy, War Front , Harlan's Holiday, and Giant's Causeway.

From 16 crops of racing age, Speightstown has sired 26 grade 1 winners on every surface, from six furlongs to 1 1/4 miles worldwide. He is represented by 229 black-type horses, 138 black-type winners, 65 graded stakes winners, and he has more than $155 million in progeny earnings. Speightstown was one of only three active sires to win a Breeders' Cup World Championships race and sire multiple Breeders' Cup winners—colt and filly, dirt and turf. His Breeders' Cup winners are Tamarkuz , winner of the 2016 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Sharing, winner of the 2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T).

Among Speightstown's lifetime leading earners are grade 1 winners Charlatan , winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Malibu Stakes (G1) and an earner of $4,047,200; Mozu Superflare ($3,704,317); Olympiad , a five-time graded stakes winner in 2022 who bankrolled $3,027,560; Switzerland ($2,359,052); and Reynaldothewizard ($2,210,790), etc. Speightstown is also represented by Canadian champions Lady Speightspeare, Essence Hit Man, champion sprinter in both 2011 and 2012, Bold Script, and Italian champion Farmah.

While Speightstown was a champion sprinter and sired numerous top sprinters, he also sired horses that excelled over a route of ground such as Travers Stakes (G1) winner Golden Ticket and Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) winners Haynesfield and Olympiad. Top turf runners include the likes of Force the Pass, winner of the 2015 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1T); 2013 Hollywood Derby (G1T) winner Seek Again; and Lord Shanakill, winner of the 2009 Prix Jean Prat (G1) in France.

In 2023, Speightstown is the sire of 106 winners, seven black-type winners, and 20 black-type horses through Dec. 7. He is represented by Prince of Monaco, winner of the Del Mar Futurity (G1), Switzerland, a graded stakes winner this year at age 9, and stakes winners Gold Sweep, Chiseler, Ultimate, Dean's List, and Otago.

Poised to carry on his legacy, Speightstown's sons are distinguishing themselves at stud and are led by Munnings , the eighth-ranked general leading sire of 2023 through Dec. 8. Nashville , the speedy stakes winner and new-track-record-setter at Keeneland (six furlongs in 1:07.89), will carry on his sire's line at WinStar Farm with first foals arriving in 2024. As a broodmare sire, Speightstown is the sire of 451 dams of 1,383 named foals of racing age with 1,008 runners (73%), 697 winners (50%), and 58 stakes winners topped by 2021 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Aloha West  ($1,507,290).

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.