Monday, September 21, 2009

El Prado dead at 20: World loses splendid sire

In the wake of the loss of the great Gone West, it was particularly a shock for me to learn this evening of the death of El Prado at the "middle" age of 20.

El Prado reportedly died Monday in his paddock of an apparent heart attack.

A son of the stellar sire Sadler's Wells, out of Irish Thousand Guineas-winning mare Lady Capulet (Sir Ivor-Cap and Bells, by Tom Fool), El Prado had everything it took to be successful not only in the track, but in the breeding shed. And he did not fail to disappoint in either case.

The dashing gray won four of just nine races lifetime, but three of them were group-stakes (including the Irish National S.-G2) and was named Irish champion 2-year-old. Half-brother Entitled (Mill Reef) was Irish champion at age 3.

Their family included El Prado's fellow National Stakes winner Sir Wimborne (his dam's full brother), and their three-quarters brother Drone, who won 4-for-4 lifetime and went on to earn the note as the broodmare-sire of two Kentucky Derby winners, Charismatic and Grindstone. El Prado's second dam, stakes-placed Cap and Bells, was a winning full sister of Arlington Classic and American Derby-winner Dunce, and to stakes winners Ghan Fleet and Ace Destroyer. The female family also boasts numerous other blacktype winners, including: Almushtarak (Sandown Mile-G2); Kentucky Jockey Club S.-G2 winner Notebook; Turkish Treasure (Park S.-G3); Magic Mirror (the U.K.'s Norfolk S.-G3); and Dashing Colours (highweight older mare in Ireland from 7 to 9 1/2 furlongs).

Standing at Adena Springs in Kentucky, most recently for $75,000, El Prado unequivocally proved his worth at stud, and sired a versatile array of sons and daughters. His best include U.S. turf champion Kitten's Joy, classic-distance Grade 1 winner Medaglia D'Oro, Breeders' Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller, two-time G1 winner Borrego, French-raced G1 winner Spanish Moon, and Spinster S.-G1 winning filly Asi Siempre.

Led by Medaglia D'Oro (sire of the breathtaking Rachel Alexandra and others) and Kitten's Joy (whose first crop includes 2009 juvenile stakes winner William's Kitten) some of El Prado's sons are showing some of their sire's ability to pass along talent to their foals.

I certainly had expected to see another crop or two -- or five, or six -- from this excellent stallion, whose sons and daughters must carry on in his absence.

I believe they will acquit their sire well.

Photo: Louise Reinagel

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