08/23/2013 3:33PM

Fastness, two-time Eddie Read winner and sire, dies at age 23


Grade 1 winner and sire Fastness died in July from the infirmities of old age at Timber Ridge Farm near Felton, Pa., BloodHorse reports.

The 23-year-old son of Rousillon was bred in Ireland by Lord Weinstock’s Ballymacoll Stud Farm and began his racing career in France, where he became a Group 2-placed stakes winner. He was sold during his 3-year-old season to Evergreen Farm and brought to North America, where he became one of the West Coast’s elite turf horses, winning consecutive editions of the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap in 1995 and 1996.

Fastness also won the Grade 2 Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Citation Handicap, in which he set the Hollywood Park turf course record for one mile and equaled the mark for 1 1/8 miles, respectively. He also finished second to Ridgewood Pearl in the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Belmont.

Fastness retired with earnings of $1,518,156 from nine wins in 24 career starts, including six stakes victories.

After stints at stud at farms including Gainesway in Kentucky and Fox Tale Stud in Pennsylvania, Fastness moved to Timber Ridge Farm for the 2009 breeding season. He has sired 14 crops of racing age, with 175 winners, led by Le Cinquieme Essai, Canada’s champion 3-year-old colt of 2002. He also sired stakes winners Make the Bend and Multiplicity.

Fastness was out of the stakes-winning Troy mare City Fortress, making him a half-brother to multiple Hong Kong champion Desert Boy and multiple stakes-placed steeplechaser City Hall.