Grade 1 Winner, Veteran Sire Gayego Dies At Age 17 - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Grade 1 Winner, Veteran Sire Gayego Dies At Age 17

Gayego, a Grade 1 winner and veteran stallion that ran in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, died due to complications from colic, Bar None Ranches announced Wednesday. He was 17.

The son of Gilded Time stood his entire career in Canada, debuting at Norse Ridge Farm in Ontario for the 2012 breeding season, and moving to Bar None Ranches in Alberta the following year. He stood there for the rest of his life.

Bred in Kentucky by Hargus and Sandra Sexton, Gayego began his career in the barn of Paulo Lobo for owner Cubanacan Stables. He picked up his first stakes victory in his 3-year-old bow, taking the listed San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Gayego then entered the Triple Crown scene with a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes, and a road trip to win the G1 Arkansas Derby. He entered the 2008 Kentucky Derby as a middle-priced prospect, and he finished 17th after a sluggish start and rank behavior through the races early goings. He came back two weeks later for the Preakness Stakes, where he finished 11th.

In the fall of his 3-year-old season, Gayego set a track record for 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park, winning an optional claiming race in 1:13.37.

Trainer A.C. Avila purchased the horse shortly after his record-setting performance, and he quickly sold him to the Godolphin operation, who sent him to run in the U.A.E. He won his first international start, and his 4-year-old debut, in the G2 Dayjur Mahab Al Shimaal, then he finished second in the G1 Godolphin Mile.

Gayego then returned stateside for the remainder of his 2009 campaign, which started with an optional claiming victory in Saratoga, followed by the G1 Ancient Title Stakes. He finished the season with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

Whether in the U.S. or U.A.E., Gayego was trained by Saeed bin Suroor.

At five, Gayego began his season once again in the U.A.E., and then returned in the U.S., where his season was highlighted by a victory in the listed Presque Isle Mile Stakes, followed by a third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs. He returned to the U.A.E. for one final start at age six before his retirement.

Gayego retired with eight wins in 25 starts for earnings of $1,751,120.

At stud, Gayego has been responsible for eight crops of racing age, with 44 winners and combined progeny earnings of more than $1.2 million. His top runners include multiple stakes winners Bar No Q, Doc Ross, and Ma's Miracle Run.

A social media statement from Bar None Ranches read as follows:

“He enjoyed racing his sire Gilded Time up and down the long fence lines when he arrived, never one to turn down a challenge or an opportunity to show off. In later years, because of his excellent, quiet temperament he was able to live by 'his mares,' enjoying his post watching the daily activities of the broodmare pens and socializing with anyone who'd stop in for a visit.

“His foals were known for their quiet, bidable personalities and reflected his large, kind eye and considerable size…The big black stallion with a heart of gold will be missed greatly by (breeding manager Shaun Rathy) and her team, as well as anyone who had the fortune of having met him.”

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