05/24/2013 2:32PM

In Excess, Grade 1 winner and leading California sire, dead at 26

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In Excess, a four-time Grade 1 winner who went on to become a dominant California sire, died last week at the age of 26, Vessels Stallion Farm announced Thursday. He had been a pensioner at the Bonsall, Calif., farm since 2011.

In Excess sired Grade 1 winners Romance is Diane, a track record-setter at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita, and Musical Chimes, who also was a French classic winner. Among In Excess’s other graded stakes winners were Excessivepleasure, Above Perfection, Romanceishope, and Icantgoforthat. He also sired millionaires Texcess and Valentine Dancer.

In Excess’s notable sons at stud include Grade 1 winner Indian Charlie, who died in 2011, and Grade 2 winner Notional, now standing at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky.

In Excess, a son of Siberian Express, entered stud at Rancho Why Worry in 1993 and quickly rose to the top of the Golden State’s standings. He was California’s leading juvenile sire with his first crop in 1996, and he claimed that title again in 2000, 2002, and 2004. He also was the state’s leading general sire in 2002 and 2003. From 18 crops of racing age, his progeny have earned $44,272,889 to date.

Bred in Ireland by Ahmed Foustok, In Excess won the 1991 Woodward Stakes and Metropolitan, Whitney, and Suburban Handicaps. In the last of those, he also set a track record when he went 1 1/4 miles in 1:58.33. In addition to those Grade 1 wins, In Excess also won three of six starts in England early in his career and had three additional graded stakes wins and three Grade 1 placings in the United States. He retired from the track with 11 wins from 25 starts, as well as two seconds and three thirds, for a total bankroll of $1,736,733.

Jack Munari raced In Excess in the United States with trainer Bruce Jackson.

In Excess was buried in a grave alongside that of another well-known Vessels stallion, three-time Grade 1 winner Free House.

“He was an old man, and he’s in a better place,” Vessels farm manager Kevin Dickson said in a release posted to the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association website. “The last couple of weeks, he just didn’t look like himself.”