07/07/2009 11:00PM

Anabaa, top French sire, dies

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Leading French stallion Anabaa, the sire of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova, died following colic surgery in Normandy on Tuesday.

A 17-year-old son of Danzig out of Group 2 winner Balbonella, Anabaa contracted acute peritonitis after the operation.

Bred in Kentucky by the late Maktoum Al Maktoum, Anabaa was named champion European sprinter in 1996. He led the list of 2-year-old sires in France in 2000 and has been in the top 10 sires in France every year since then, getting top-class winners at all distances. He is the sire of 1 1/2-mile French Derby winner Anabaa Blue, 1 1/4-mile Prix d'Harcourt winner Loup Breton, one-mile Prix Jean Prat winner Rouvres, one-mile Prix Marcel Boussac winner Amonita, as well as Martillo, a six-time Group 2 winner at a mile.

In Australia, Anabaa is the sire of champion sprinter Yell and Australian Derby winner Headhunter. A half-brother to French 1000 Guineas winner Always Loyal, he stood the 2007 season at Castelton Lyons Stud in Kentucky, with the resulting foals now yearlings.

On Wednesday, a day after his death, Goldikova paid tribute to her sire by winning Newmarket's Group 1 Falmouth Stakes. Anabaa was ridden in all six of his career stakes victories by Goldikova's trainer, Freddie Head.