GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 7, 2014 – Sunshine Forever, the 1988 Eclipse Award Turf Champion, died January 7 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY. The 29-year-old stallion was discovered in his paddock at dawn today and a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
The son of Roberto out of the Graustark mare Outward Sunshine, Sunshine Forever had been pensioned at Old Friends since his return to the United States in 2004 from stud duty in Japan.
“Our foundation stallion, the Eclipse Award winner who we brought home after his breeding career was over, is dead, and there’s nothing much more to be said,” noted Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen. “I don’t think I’ve ever been sadder.”
In 1988 the 3-year-old Sunshine Forever captured fived graded-stakes wins, including a trio of back-to-back GR1 victories in the Turf Classic, the Man O’ War, and -in an impressive fight to the finish – the Budweiser International.
A favorite in that year’s Breeder’s Cup Turf, he narrowly missed the win, coming in second to Great Communicator, but he was nevertheless honored as 1988’s Eclipse Turf Champion.
The bay colt ended his career in 1989 with 8 wins from 23 starts and track earnings of over $2 million.
“I want to thank everyone who ever fed him a carrot or petted him or bet on him or bred to him or just smiled when they saw him,” added Blowen. “You are the ones who had the privilege of knowing how extra special he was in a very special place.”
For additional information, contact Old Friends at (502) 863-1775.
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 120 retired racehorses. It’s Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, N.Y., Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.