Lucky Pul­pit dies at 16

Heart at­tack claims sire of Cal­i­for­nia Chrome

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Ni­cole Russo Fol­low Ni­cole Russo on Twit­ter @DRFRusso

The start of the breeding sea­son in Cal­i­for­nia took a stun­ning turn ear­lier this week, as lead­ing sire Lucky Pul­pit, sire of two-time Horse of the Year Cal­i­for­nia Chrome, died of a heart at­tack while cov­er­ing his first mare of the sea­son.

The Pul­pit stal­lion, who was 16, was launch­ing the sea­son at Har­ris Farms in Coalinga, Calif., which he had called home for the past decade. He was stand­ing for an ad­ver­tised fee of $7,500 this sea­son and was again poised to have a rel­a­tively size­able book for his state, mean­ing a num­ber of mare own­ers will be seek­ing swift al­ter­nate ar­range­ments.

“Lucky Pul­pit hit home run af­ter home run with his off­spring, both in the sales ring and on the race­track, and from early on we had a glimpse of what he would be­come as a sire,” farm man­ager David McGloth­lin said.

Ac­cord­ing to The Jockey Club’s Re­port of Mares Bred, Lucky Pul­pit cov­ered 44 mares in 2016 for what will be his fi­nal full crop, ar­riv­ing this year. He cov­ered 63 mares in 2015 and a siz­able book of 128 in 2014, Cal­i­for­nia Chrome’s first cham­pi­onship sea­son.

Lucky Pul­pit raced as a home­bred for Idaho-based own­ers Larry and Mar­i­anne Wil­liams, who pur­chased his dam, the win­ning Cozzene mare Lucky Soph, for $200,000 car­ry­ing the colt at the 2000 Keeneland Novem­ber breeding stock sale. Grade 3-placed on turf as a ju­ve­nile, Lucky Pul­pit was briefly on the clas­sics trail the fol­low­ing spring, fin­ish­ing se­cond in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina at 1 1/16 miles be­fore run­ning eighth in the San Rafael and sev­enth in the Santa Anita Derby. He re­turned to turf that sum­mer and spent the ma­jor­ity of his re­main­ing rac­ing ca­reer on it, in­clud­ing a vic­tory in the 2005 Smile Stakes go­ing five fur­longs at Ar­ling­ton Park. In all, he won or placed in seven stakes, bankrolling $209,928.

Lucky Pul­pit en­tered stud at Har­ris Farms for the 2007 sea­son, and got off to a fast start as Cal­i­for­nia’s lead­ing fresh­man sire of 2010. He has ranked among Cal­i­for­nia’s lead­ing sires for the last three sea­sons, pow­ered by the ex­ploits of Cal­i­for­nia Chrome, who en­ters stud at Tay­lor Made Farm in Ni­cholasville, Ky., with a record of 27-16-4-1 and earn­ings of $14,752,650, a North Amer­i­can record. His seven Grade 1 vic­to­ries in­clude the 2014 Ken­tucky Derby and Preak­ness Stakes and last year’s $10 mil­lion Dubai World Cup, at the time the world’s rich­est race. He also fin­ished se­cond in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic, and third in the 2014 edi­tion of the BC Clas­sic. With Cal­i­for­nia Chrome’s $8.1 mil­lion on the sea­son lead­ing the way, Lucky Pul­pit’s run­ners bankrolled more than $10.7 mil­lion in 2016, help­ing the stal­lion shat­ter Un­usual Heat’s sin­gle-sea­son Cal­i­for­nia record for prog­eny earn­ings of $5.8 mil­lion.

At the time of his death, Lucky Pul­pit was the sire of 148 win­ners from 230 starters for earn­ings of $24,124,121. Rous­ing Ser­mon, a mul­ti­ple stakes win­ner for Lucky Pul­pit, banked $821,572 on his ca­reer and placed in four graded stakes, in­clud­ing a run­ner-up ef­fort in the Grade 1 CashCall Fu­tu­rity. The stal­lion’s other stand­outs in­clude mul­ti­ple stakes win­ners Luckarack and Float­ing Feather; stakes win­ners Gather­attheal­ter, You’re Late, and Lucky Larry; and 14 other stakes-placed run­ners.



Lucky Pul­pit (top) broke the Cal­i­for­nia sin­gle-sea­son record for prog­eny earn­ings last year on the strength of his son Cal­i­for­nia Chrome, here win­ning the 2014 Ken­tucky Derby.

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