Sky Classic, a four-time Champion in the U.S. and Canada, died peacefully this morning in his paddock at Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud, according to farm manager Clifford Barry. The 28-year-old stallion had stood at the farm since his retirement from racing in 1992 and had been pensioned from stud duty in January of this year.
“Sky Classic's arrival at the farm remains fresh in my mind even after 23 years,” said Barry. “Standing a stallion of his caliber started a very exciting chapter for Pin Oak, and his impact on our breeding program has proven immeasurable. We lost a champion today, and the most faithful of servants to the farm, but we are honored and grateful to Sam-Son Farm for entrusting him to us for all these years.”
The handsome chestnut was a son of Nijinsky II out of Hall of Fame mare No Class and was bred and raced by Ernie Samuel's Sam-Son Farm. Sky Classic was voted the Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Male in 1992, and also earned Sovereign Awards as Champion 2-Year-Old, Turf Male, and Champion Older Male in Canada. In addition, he is a member of Canada's Racing Hall of Fame.
Sky Classic won 15 races, 13 stakes, and nine Graded stakes. He earned over $3.3 million, which at that time was a record for a Canadian-bred colt. Sky Classic won or placed in 22 of 29 career starts and set new course records in both the Rothmans International S.-G1 and the Turf Classic-G1. In addition, Sky Classic was runner-up by a nose to Fraise in the Breeders' Cup Turf-G1 who he had previously defeated in the Turf Classic-G1.
Retired to Pin Oak, Sky Classic has sired six champions, 59 stakes winners, ten G1 winners, and a total of 106 stakes horses in 19 crops to race. Additionally, he is the sire of the dams of 43 stakes winners including three champions, as well as English Classic winner Speciosa and 2014 G1 winner La Tia.
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