01/23/2014 12:33PM

Afleet, Canadian champion and sire, dies at 30

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Afleet, the Canadian Horse of the Year in 1987 and an influential sire, died Wednesday at the Breeders Stallion Station in Japan. He was 30. The death was first reported by Paca Paca Farm via Twitter.

Afleet, a son of Mr. Prospector, campaigned as an Ontario-foaled homebred for Richard Kennedy, trained by Phillip England. Out of the 1988 Canadian Broodmare of the Year Polite Lady, Afleet won seven of 15 starts during his racing career for earnings of $995,235.

Afleet’s most decorated season came in his Sovereign Award-winning 1987 campaign, in which he won five stakes races, including the Grade 1 Jerome Handicap and the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. He also won three stakes at Woodbine and posted a runner-up finish in the Queen’s Plate Stakes. The following year, he won the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap and finished in the money in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, Carter Handicap, and Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Taylor Made Farm bought an interest in Afleet during his racing career, and he was retired to stud at the Nicholasville, Ky., farm for the 1989 breeding season. Afleet was sold to stand in Japan in 1994 and sired 21 foal crops.

Afleet’s leading North American runners include Canadian champion A Fleets Dancer, Grade 1 winners Flat Fleet Feet and Twist Afleet, and Grade 2 winners Blu Tsunami, Top Secret, and Zuno Star.

However, his greatest influence is felt through the sire legacy of his Grade 2-winning son Northern Afleet. The 11-year-old has sired dual classic winner Afleet Alex, Breeders Cup Sprint winner Amazombie, and Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Big City Man, among several Grade/Group 1 winners. Northern Afleet stands at Taylor Made Stallions.