06/12/2014 10:15AM

Commendable, 2000 Belmont winner, dies in Korea


Commendable, winner of the 2000 Belmont Stakes, died in Korea on April 10 due to complications from colic.

The website Horse Racing in Korea reports that the 17-year-old son of Gone West suffered a “strangulation of the small intestine,” leading to his death. He had been standing at Korea Racing Authority’s Jangsu Stud Farm in the Jeolla province.

Bred in Kentucky by Edward, Gregory, and Michael Kelly, Commendable sold to Robert and Beverly Lewis for $575,000 at the 1998 Keeneland July yearling sale. He was put into training with D. Wayne Lukas and won his maiden in his first start by four lengths at Del Mar.

Commendable qualified for the 2000 Kentucky Derby with fourth-place finishes in the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity, San Rafael Stakes, San Felipe Stakes, and Lexington Stakes. He finished 17th at Churchill Downs to Fusaichi Pegasus.

Commendable pointed for the Belmont Stakes for his following start, where he left the gate at odds of 19-1. He assumed the lead in the middle of the final turn and continued on to defeat post -time favorite Aptitude by 1 1/2 lengths under jockey Pat Day.

The Belmont was Commendable’s lone stakes win. He later finished in the money in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and Super Derby. Commendable retired at the end of his 3-year-old season with two wins in 12 starts for earnings of $907,470.

Commendable debuted at stud at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky., for the 2001 breeding season. He was sold to the Korea Racing Authority in January 2005 and arrived in Korea in March of that year. He stood at the KRA’s Jeju Stud Farm until 2011 when he was relocated to Jangsu Stud Farm.

Commendable has sired 10 crops of racing age, led in the U.S. by stakes winner Illybilly and stakes-placed runners Raspberry Rumble, Tootie’s Gal, Fancy Princess, Bubba Sly, Class of Fifty, and Extraordinary Girl.