04/01/2012 2:24PM

Grand Slam dies of heart failure at 17

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Grand Slam wins the 1997 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ashford Stud stallion Grand Slam died Saturday afternoon of heart failure, Ashford’s owner Coolmore Stud announced Sunday.

The Gone West horse was 17. It was the second major stallion loss recently for the Irish-based Coolmore, whose very successful stallion Montjeu died last week of septicemia.

Grand Slam, a Grade 1 winner, sired such runners as Canadian champion turf horse Grand Adventure, 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat, multiple graded winner Limehouse, and Grade 1 placed graded stakes winner Strong Hope. His 2012 stakes winners include  Millionreasonswhy, a Kentucky Oaks contender; and Kentucky Derby hopeful The Lumber Guy, who is pointing to the April 7 Wood Memorial.

“Grand Slam was a pleasure to have here, and he was very popular with breeders as he sired nearly 800 winners and has progeny earnings of over $64 million,” Ashford manager Dermot Ryan said. “It’s a sad day for the staff here who worked with him and for all the partners who were involved with the horse and who have always been fantastic to deal with.”

Robert and Christina Baker, William Mack, and David Cornstein raced Grand Slam, who won the 1997 Champagne and Futurity Stakes, both Grade 1s. He also captured the 1998 Peter Pan Stakes and was runner-up that year in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, among his six stakes placings. In 1997, he equaled Belmont’s track record of 1:03.06 for 5 1/2 furlongs, when winning his first start by 11 lengths.

Overbrook Farm bred Grand Slam from their El Gran Senor mare Bright Candles, a Grade 1 placed stakes winner. He was a half-brother to stakes winner Leestown.