Influential sire Kingmambo euthanized at age 26

Kingmambo cruised around Lane’s End Farm in 2004. He was retired from stud duty in 2010 and died Wednesday at age 26.
Kingmambo cruised around Lane’s End Farm in 2004. He was retired from stud duty in 2010 and died Wednesday at age 26. Herald-Leader

Champion Kingmambo, who lived up to his royal breeding on the racetrack and in the breeding shed, has been euthanized at 26 because of the infirmities of old age, Lane’s End Farm announced Wednesday.

The influential stallion stood his entire career at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End and was pensioned from stud duty in 2010. He will be buried at the farm.

Bred by the Niarchos Family, Kingmambo — as his name suggested — was nothing short of racing royalty. By legendary sire Mr. Prospector, Kingmambo was the first foal out of champion and two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Miesque. He would go on to cement his dam as an equally superior producer.

A champion in France at age 3, Kingmambo won the Group I French Two Thousand Guineas, Group I St. James’s Palace and the Group I Prix du Moulin. He retired with five wins from 13 career starts and $733,139 in earnings.

Once he entered stud in 1994, Kingmambo established himself as a leading global sire with classic winners and champions in North America, Europe and Japan. After beginning his career with a fee of $45,000, the bay horse had his fee rise to as high as $300,000 by 2004.

“It is a tough, emotional loss for all of us here at the farm,” Will Farish said in a release. “He’s been with us for a long time, was so very successful and will be greatly missed. We’re very grateful to Stavros, Maria and the whole Niarchos Family for entrusting his care to us.”

Among the top offspring by Kingmambo are Japanese Horse of the Year El Condor Pasa, European champion Divine Proportions, and champions King Kamehameha, Henrythenavigator, Rule of Law, Russian Rhythm, Okawango, and Walzerkoenignin.

Kingmambo’s most successful North American runner was his son Lemon Drop Kid, victor of the 1999 Belmont Stakes and the Eclipse Award winner for champion older male in 2000. Lemon Drop Kid also stands at Lane’s End and will command a fee of $40,000 for 2016.

From an average crop size of less than 64 foals, Kingmambo sired more than 85 stakes winners, 50 group/graded winners, of which 20 were Group/Grade I winners. Kingmambo has also emerged as a top broodmare sire, his daughters having produced Grade and Group I winners such as Midday, Duke of Marmalade, Camelot, Gozzip Girl, Maids Causeway and Ruler of the World.

“It is every owner/breeder’s dream to have a filly like Miesque. Then for her to give them two classic winners from her first two foals, in Kingmambo and East of the Moon is unique,” said Maria Niarchos-Gouazé. “Kingmambo was one of a kind who has stamped the breed forever and who has given us so much pleasure over the past 26 years.”

Alicia Wincze Hughes: 859-231-1676, @horseracinghl