01/22/2015 5:25PM

Champion Sky Classic pensioned


Sky Classic, a Canadian Hall of Famer, champion in the U.S., and sire of 1999 Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield, has been pensioned from stud duty at Pin Oak Stud in Versailles, Ky.

The 28-year-old son of Nijinsky II stood his entire career at Pin Oak Stud, retiring to the farm in 1993 after an on-track career that featured 15 wins in 29 starts for earnings of $3,329,398, at the time a record amount for a Canadian-bred colt.

Campaigned as a homebred for perennial leading Canadian operation Sam-Son Farms, Sky Classic was named Canada’s champion 2-year-old colt in 1989, then was named the country’s champion grass horse and older horse in 1991. He earned an Eclipse Award the following year as U.S. champion grass horse. Sky Classic was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.

He won a total of nine graded stakes races, including the Grade 1 Rothmans Ltd. International Stakes and the Turf Classic Invitational Stakes. Sky Classic also finished second by a nose to Fraise in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Turf, which would be his final start before retiring to stud.

“There are not many stallions who start and end their careers at the same farm,” said Clifford Barry, farm manager at Pin Oak stud “Sky Classic has been a special horse and we thank the Samuel family for entrusting us with his care for the majority of his lifetime.”

Sky Classic has sired 20 crops of racing age at Pin Oak, with 489 winners and combined progeny earnings of more than $50.4 million. In addition to Canadian Horse of the Year Thornfield, he has been represented at stud by Canadian champion Sky Conqueror, Turkish champion Texas Gal, Argentine champion Magnetic Eyes, and Grade 1 winners Nothing to Lose and Hyperbaric.

Sky Classic has several sons at stud, including Sky Conqueror, who stands at Mapleville Farms in Ontario.

Sky Classic is one of the most successful products of a prominent Sam-Son breeding line. He is out of the Canadian Hall of Famer No Class, by Nodouble, who was named Canada’s Outstanding Broodmare in 1985. Her seven foals to race were all winners, and six won in stakes company, including Canadian champion and Outstanding Broodmare Classy ‘n Smart, Canadian champions Grey Classic and Regal Classic, Grade 1 winner Always a Classic, and stakes winner Classic Reign.