Wild Again, long-shot winner of first Breeders' Cup Classic, dies

Pensioned stallion Wild Again, winner of the first Breeders' Cup Classic, was euthanized Friday morning because of infirmities of old age, said Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, where the son of Icecapade stood most of his career.

Wild Again was 28. He will be buried in the farm's stallion cemetery, next to former barn mate Capote.

"We all knew this day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept," said Robert Clay, Three Chimneys owner. "At 28 years old, he lived a long and fruitful life. Wild Again was integral to the success of Three Chimneys and proved to be a highly significant sire and broodmare sire both in the U.S. and abroad."

Wild Again was pensioned in October 2004 because of declining fertility but remained in good health.

He sired 88 stakes winners, including two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Milwaukee Brew, Canadian champion older mare Wilderness Song, stallion Wild Rush and Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Elmhurst. Wild Again's progeny have earned nearly $81 million.

On track, Wild Again earned more than $2.2 million for Black Chip Stable. He was the long-shot winner of the inaugural 1984 Breeders' Cup Classic, fighting off Gate Dancer and Slew o' Gold in a stretch drive. He entered stud at Calumet Farm and came to Three Chimneys after its dissolution in 1991.

"The combination of his athleticism, bloodlines, and personality made him a one-in-a-million kind of horse," said Sandy Hatfield, Three Chimneys stallion manager. "He was my favorite. Until the very end, he was happy, healthy and energetic, but above all else, he was a gentleman."

He was bred in Kentucky by W. Paul Little and purchased by William Allen, a partner in Black Chip Stable, for $35,000 at the 1981 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale.