Wild Again Laid to Rest
“We all knew this day would come, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept,” an emotional Robert Clay commented in the wake of Wild Again being euthanized. “At 28 years old, he lived a long and fruitful life. Wild Again was integral to the success of Three Chimneys and proved to be a highly significant sire and broodmare sire both in the U.S. and abroad.” 5 December 2008 will be a date long remembered by all at Three Chimneys, as losing Wild Again has been a day they all have been dreading. But he has left behind a magnificent legacy and cherished memories for Clay and the horse racing industry.
Wild Again was born on 22 May 1980, out of the mare Bushel-N-Peck and sired by Icecapade. He was bred by Paul Little, who sold him to Black Chip Stable in 1981 as a yearling at a Fasig-Tipton July sale. Black Chip Stable remained his owners and for most of his career Wild Again was trained by Vincent Timphony. In his racing career, Wild Again won eight of his twenty-eight starts, came second seven times and in four racing events he finished third. His most noteworthy victories included the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, the Grade 1 Meadowlands Cup and the New Orleans Handicap. But Wild Again went down in horse racing history in 1984, during the inaugural running of the Breeder’s Cup Classic. He made a late attack in the final stretch and battled Gate Dancer and Slew o’Gold all the way to the finish line. After waiting anxiously for stewards to review the race finish, Wild Again was finally announced as the first winner of the Breeder’s Cup Classic. He retired from horse racing with more than $2.2 million in career earnings.
Standing stud at Calumet Farm until its closure and at Three Chimneys Farm, Wild Again proved to be a very successful sire, with progeny such as Elmhursts, Offlee Wild, Born Wild, Milwaukee Brew, Wild Rush, Sarva, Wilderness Song, Wild Wonder and Shine Again. Eight of his offspring became racing millionaires, eleven were Grade 1 champions, eighty-eight became stakes winners and together his progeny have earned approximately $81 million. He went into complete retirement in 2004 and lived out the rest of his life at Three Chimneys.
Although he has always been a healthy horse who was always eager to meet visiting fans and show off in his paddock, old age finally snuck up on this magnificent horse. It was decided that the most humane option would be to euthanize him. He will be buried alongside Capote, on the Three Chimneys Farm. Horse racing once again bids farewell to one of their legends, but is grateful for the time spent with this one in a million horse.