Afleet Again, longest shot on the board when winning the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs in 2011, has died at Stud in Korea. The 11-year-old was struck down with colic and passed away on April 12th.
Afleet Again [Afleet Alex – Lucky Again (Wild Again)] won one race as a juvenile, over 1700M, at Philadelphia Park and won again at the same track at the start of his three-year-old campaign in February 2010 before going on to score in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct later that Spring.
Although he managed some decent placings, Afleet Again wouldn’t win again for the rest of that season or during the first ten months of his four-year-old campaign and arrived at Churchill Downs for the Marathon as the 41/1 outsider. Under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Afleet Again came down the outside to win handily from Birdrun and Giant Oak.
He ran once more a month later, finishing 4th of 6 in the Valedictory Stakes at Woodbine before being retired and sold to Korean interests.
In Korea, Afleet Again stood privately at a place called “Happy Farm”, which is home to a band of broodmares and a couple of others stallions including Australian-bred Delago Brom. Among his two crops that have so far made the track, Afleet Again is yet to get any real stars but a good proportion of his progeny have been winners and in line with expectations in terms of the quality of mare he received.
Sad news from the farms as American bred stallion Whywhywhy has passed away aged 17.
On the racecourse, Whywhywhy [Mr. Greeley – Thorough Fair (Quiet American)] was a stand-out juvenile. Trained by Patrick Biancone, he won three of five races in his two-year-old season in 2002 including the G1 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park as well as the G3 Flash Stakes at the same track and the G2 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga. He only ran four times as a three-year-old, not picking up any further wins and he was retired midway through 2003.
Whywhywhy proved reasonably successful at stud, siring nine Stakes winners in the USA with the best known being 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Nownownow after which he was standing for a fee of $10,000 at Gainseway Farm. This had dropped to $3,500 by the time he was purchased by Korean interests in 2011. In Korea, he stood privately at Challenger Farm on Jeju Island.
He didn’t sire any superstars in Korea but was producing very solid horses with a win rate comparable to the top sires in the country. He was 13th on the Leading General sire list in 2016 and currently lies in 12th in this year’s table with all eleven stallions ahead of him having had more runners.
Whywhywhy hadn’t covered for the past two seasons due to a leg injury but given his early popularity, it was hoped that he would return to duties. According to the farm where he stood, he had suffered from debilitating back problems for a number of years and it was complications arising from this that led to his early death which occurred on September 1st. A fuller report has been requested.
The loss of Whywhywhy is probably the highest profile in Korea this year but follows the deaths of two pensioned stallions who were prominent in the early development of the Korean breeding industry in the late 1990s, Psychobabble (Carleon) passing in March at the age of 26 and Silent Warrior (Nashwan) in February at age 25.