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Zafonic - May 1993

Gone West's son Zafonic eases to victory in the 1993 2,000 Guineas

  PICTURE:Sporting Life  

Influential US sire Gone West put down

GONE West, one of the most influential stallions of recent times, was put down on Monday evening after suffering complications from colic surgery. He was 25-years-old.

The son of Mr Prospector spent the entirety of his stud career at Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky and had been pensioned earlier this season due to declining fertility.

"On Saturday morning, Gone West colicked and was taken to Hagyard where Dr. Bob Hunt examined him and determined it necessary to perform surgery," said Headley Bell of Mill Ridge in a statement.

"His surgery revealed a lipoma, a mass nearly the size of a football that was attached to a cord and had wrapped around his small intestine. Dr.Hunt removed the mass and did not find it necessary to resect any of his small intestine."

He added: "Gone West's recovery went fairly well on Saturday and Sunday with the exception of elevated heart rate and reflux, liquid build up that would not pass through his small intestine. Regretfully, the intestine never opened up, and he grew more uncomfortable with time. Monday, at 6 p.m., we made the humane decision to put Gone West down.

"On behalf of mymother, Alice Chandler, and everyone at Mill Ridge, I want to thank everyone for their support of Gone West over the years. It is a privilege to associate with such a classy horse and he has left a lasting legacy. He has been buried next to Diesis at Mill Ridge Farm."

A $1.9 million Keeneland July yearling, Gone West entered stud in 1988 at a fee of $40,000 - which was to rise to a high of $150,000 in 2005 - as the winner of six races, including the Grade 1 Dwyer Stakes.

He also ran a nose second to Gulch in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial for trainer Woody Stephens and owner Hickory Tree Stable.

He wasted little time in becoming an outstanding source of top-class runners, siring the Nassau County Handicap winner West By West in his first crop and the brilliant 2,000 Guineas and Dewhurst Stakes winner Zafonic in his second.

Others to represent him at the highest level include the brave dual Breeders' Cup Mile hero Da Hoss, 2004 Eclipse Sprint champion Speightstown and Belmont Stakes winner Commendable.

From 19 crops of racing age, he is the sire of 98 stakes winners, of which 13 scored at Group/Grade 1 level.

However, it is his achievement as a sire of sires which has secured his worldwide legendary status.

The brothers Zafonic and Zamindar have both made significant contributions at stud in Europe, siring eight Group 1 winners between them including the brilliant two-year-old Xaar and last season's outstanding filly Zarkava.

Kentucky, on the other hand, is home to Elusive Quality and Mr Greeley, both of whom secured their status as leading sires despite entering stud at a relatively moderatefee of $10,000 or under. Both stood the past season for $75,000.

Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Speightstown also looks to have a future at stud judged on the results of his first two crops which include eight stakes winners led by Prix Jean Prat winner Lord Shanakill.

Proud Citizen's first crop yielded the Grade 1 winner Proud Spell while another son, Grand Slam, currently sits in 29th position on the leading US sires' list.

Gone West is also the broodmare sire of five Group/Grade 1 winners, including Derby hero Motivator and recent Princess Rooney Handicap winner Game Face.

Out of the stakes-winning Secretariat mare Secrettame, Gone West was a brother to Group 3 winner Lion Cavern, the sire of Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Crimplene.


Gone West's Group/Grade 1 winners

 Name  Year born  Notable races won
 Came Home  1999  Pacific Classic, Santa Anita Derby
 Changeintheweather  1999  Grey Breeders' Cup S.
 Commendable  1997  Belmont S.
 Da Hoss  1992  Breeders' Cup Mile (x2)
 Grand Slam  1995  Champagne S., Futurity S.
 Johar  1999  Breeders' Cup Turf
 Lassigny  1991  Rothmans Int'l
 Link River  1990  John A. Morris H'cap
 Marsh Side  2003  Canadian Int'l
 Speightstown  1998  Breeders' Cup Sprint
 West By West  1989  Nassau County H'cap
 Zafonic  1990  Dewhurst S., 2,000 Guineas, Prix
 Morny, Prix de la Salamandre
 Zaftig  2005  Acorn S.



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