I Want Revenge, a Grade 1 winner and stallion, died Saturday from an illness, 12 days after selling at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, new owner Jeff Jeans reported on his Facebook page.
The 12-year-old Stephen Got Even horse was purchased by Jeff and Stacy Jeans for $10,000 on Nov. 12 at the Keeneland November sale, with plans to stand him at Indiana Stallion Station in Anderson, Ind., for 2019. He previously stood at Millennium Farms in Lexington, Ky.
Per Jeff Jeans' post, the owner was informed upon the stallion's arrival that the horse had a 104-degree fever.
According to Jeans, who is based in Texas, I Want Revenge was treated immediately with intravenous medication, and he began to show signs of recovery after a few days. However, when Jeans called Indiana Stallion Station owner Joyce Baker on Saturday, he was informed that the stallion was struggling to breathe, and the veterinarian had been called back out to resume treatment. The horse died later that day.
“Stacy and I are so broken hearted,” Jeans posted on Facebook. “This is a horse who had the heart of a champion, he gave everything he had. He dealt with less than favorable circumstances throughout his racing and breeding career. Stacy and I, along with Ryan Campbell and Joyce Baker [of Indiana Stallion Station], were committed to supporting him to ensure his greatness was passed on to his progeny. But it was not to be. Please know, we all did everything possible to save this magnificent animal, we loved him the moment he walked out into the sales ring.”
The death of I Want Revenge brings to a close one of the most turbulent racing and stallion careers for a major Thoroughbred in recent memory.
A Grade 1-placed runner at two, I Want Revenge established himself as the morning line favorite for the 2009 Kentucky Derby after gutsy victories in the G3 Gotham Stakes and G1 Wood Memorial. However, the horse was forced to scratch the morning of the race with an ankle injury.
I Want Revenge returned in the summer of his 4-year-old season, where he finished third in the G2 Suburban Handicap. He raced six times in the three seasons after his 3-year-old campaign, never racing more than three times in a year. The horse went winless in that stretch, but he finished in the money in four of those starts, and even made a start in the G2 Godolphin Mile on the 2011 Dubai World Cup undercard.
After his lone start at age six, a second in the non-graded Evening Attire Stakes at Aqueduct, the horse was retired with three wins in 14 starts for earnings of $928,000.
After running longer than a colt with a stallion's resume typically would, I Want Revenge had to wait another two years before entering stud, residing in the meantime at Blackwood Stables in Versailles, Ky., as an asset while majority owner IEAH Stables dealt with its high-profile legal troubles.
I Want Revenge finally entered stud in 2014, five years after scratching from the Kentucky Derby, at Pauls Mill Farm in Versailles. He stood there for one year before moving to Millennium Farms, where he remained until the recent Keeneland November sale. The stallion covered six documented mares in 2018, according to The Jockey Club's Report of Mares Bred after visiting 60 mares in each of his first two seasons.
The first foals by I Want Revenge are 3-year-olds of 2018. He has 16 winners from 41 starters and combined progeny earnings of $529,071. Though none of his runners have earned U.S. black type, his son Mexican Revenge is a G2 winner in Mexico.
I Want Revenge stood for $5,000 in his final season at Millennium Farms, half his hammer price in the Keeneland November sale.
After signing the ticket, Jeans said he was hopeful that giving I Want Revenge a chance to stand out in Indiana would lead to more opportunities than he might have seen in the highly competitive Kentucky market.
“We had such high hopes for this guy,” Jeans said on Facebook. “We wanted to prove Kentucky wrong, we wanted him to have a chance and we surrounded him with committed professionals who believed in him as much as we did. I hurt for I Want Revenge. I wanted him to have this chance.”
I Want Revenge was scheduled to stand for $2,000 during the upcoming breeding season.
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the loss of I Want Revenge; our program was looking forward to his contribution to Indiana horse racing,” said Jessica Barnes, director of breed development and racing for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. “We send our sincere condolences to Jeff and Stacy Jeans, Joyce Baker and all the connections at the Indiana Stallion Station.”
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