Seeking the Gold, one of the leading sires of the last decade, has been pensioned from stud duty, Claiborne Farm announced on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old son of Mr. Prospector covered just 24 reported mares during the 2008 season when he stood for an advertised fee of $125,000.
"It was just old age. It was time to do it," Claiborne representative Bernie Sams said Tuesday. "He was a great racehorse, and he's had a very strong influence with getting great racehorses."
Bred and raced by the Phipps family, Seeking the Gold was a multiple Grade-I winner of more than $2.3 million during his racing days and had an immediate impact when he was retired to the breeding shed at Claiborne for the 1990 season.
Initially standing for a fee of $40,000, Seeking the Gold boasted 15 stakes winners from his first two crops including champions Heavenly Prize and Flanders.
While he was best known for getting top racing fillies, Seeking the Gold's most accomplished offspring was the ill-fated European champion Dubai Millennium who won nine of 10 career starts and earned more than $4.4 million.
Dubai Millennium died from grass sickness in 2001.
"(Seeking the Gold) was a very good stallion in that he could get you a horse that could be turf, dirt, short or long, 2-year-olds or late developers," said Geoffrey Russell, director of sales for Keeneland, where Seeking the Gold was the leading covering sire by average at the November sale in 1995 and 2001. "As a broodmare sire, I think he is the top sire in the game. I think that will be his legacy."
From 16 crops of racing age, Seeking the Gold is represented by 88 stakes winners including 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Cash Rush and 2005 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home.
Seeking the Gold's retirement comes in the same year that leading sires Storm Cat and Sadler's Wells also were pensioned.
"It's like everything else, it's a changing of the guard," Russell said. "There will always be new horses to take their place, not necessarily replace them. But they will have a lasting impact for generations to come."