Unusual Heat, the all-time leading sire in California progeny earnings, has been pensioned from stud at the age of 26
“It is with great emotion that we have to announce the retirement of Unusual Heat”, said Harris Auerbach, managing partner of M. Auerbach, LLC. “He's been remarkable and even in his final season at stud in 2016 managed to get 25 of 30 bred mares in foal. It's been an amazing run and I'm happy that 'Heat' can now just relax and enjoy the rest of his days just being a horse.”
Doug Burge, longtime president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, remarked, “He's been the perennial leading sire in California for over a decade and his influence on California breeding and racing through his sons and daughters will be prevalent for years to come.”
Bred by John T.L. Jones Jr. in Kentucky, Unusual Heat is the son of Nureyev and Danish champion mare Rossard. In 1991, he became the highest priced horse ever sold at a Barretts yearling auction fetching a price of $250,000. He went on to race both in Europe and the U.S. under the tack of trainers Dermot Weld, Richard Mandella and Barry Abrams. He was a multiple listed stakes winner who finished with a career record of 16-6-2-2 and career earnings of $142,605.
Where Unusual Heat made his indelible impact was in the breeding shed. Under the ownership of Abrams and Auerbach, Unusual Heat stood his first season at Walter Greenman's Farm in Hemet, Calif., before moving to Old English Rancho in Sanger, Calif., where he spent the bulk of his early stallion career. In 2010, he moved to John C. Harris' Harris Farms in Coalinga,Calif., where he spent the last six seasons of his career at stud.
The impact of Unusual Heat on California breeding and racing was far reaching. From a humble first crop of 15, Unusual Heat had 11 runners and 10 of them won their first time out, starting a ride that has never been seen in the Golden State. To date, his runners have amassed $52.4 million in worldwide progeny earnings. He has produced 12 graded stakes winners (five Grade 1 winners), 53 overall stakes winners, 18 additional graded stakes horses and an astounding 150 earners of over $100,000 and 75 earners of over $200,000 out of just 556 starters. He has won six California leading sire titles and is still the reigning California-conceived leading turf sire with 12 straight championships (2004-2015).
Unusual Heat has also produced 15 California champions, including two-time California Horse of the Year and 2011 Eclipse Award Winner Acclamation. Other notable runners include stakes winners The Usual Q.T., Lethal Heat, Unusual Suspect, Golden Doc A, Gervinho, Burns, Pretty Unusual, Lennyfromalibu, Spenditallbaby, Mensa Heat, Tucked Away, Lakerville and Lightmyfirebaby.
Currently, he is represented by 2016 stakes winners Cheekaboo, Majestic Heat, Pacific Heat, Boozer and Central Heat. In 2016, Unusual Heat has had 89 runners and 47 winners and leads all California Sires in California conceived North American progeny earnings.
Unusual Heat is pensioned at Harris Farms.
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