06/14/2013 4:06PM

Heavenly Prize, champion and prominent producer, dead at 22

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Heavenly Prize, a multiple Grade 1 winner and champion for Ogden Phipps who went on to become a successful broodmare, died earlier this year. The daughter of Seeking the Gold, who was boarded at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., was 22.

Heavenly Prize, who was trained by Shug McGaughey, won nine of 18 career starts, earning $1,825,940. She showed her prowess in her juvenile season, winning the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes before finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but truly blossomed as a 3-year-old. In 1994, Heavenly Prize earned a divisional Eclipse Award after capturing Grade 1 victories in the Alabama Stakes, Beldame Stakes, and Gazelle Stakes, as well as finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff by a neck to longshot One Dreamer.

Heavenly Prize went on to capture four more Grade 1 events as a 4-year-old, taking the Apple Blossom Handicap, John A. Morris Handicap, Go For Wand Stakes, and Hempstead Handicap, and again finishing second in the Distaff, this time to Phipps Stable stablemate Inside Information. She also ran creditably against males, finishing third in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap behind Cigar as a 5-year-old.

As a broodmare, Heavenly Prize produced seven winners from eight starters, including the multiple Grade 1-winning turf standout Good Reward. She is also the dam of Grade 2 winner and successful Kentucky sire Pure Prize.

Heavenly Prize also produced stakes winner Cosmic; stakes-placed Distinctively; and Just Reward, whose daughter Persistently upset Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign.

Out of the Nijinsky II mare Oh What a Dance, Heavenly Prize was a full sister to Grade 1 winner and stakes producer Oh What a Windfall; stakes-placed Dancinginmydreams, dam of Grade 1 winner Dancing Forever; and Grade 3-placed Hunting Hard. It is the family of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Dancing Spree, Grade 1 winner and producer Fantastic Find, and Grade 1 winner and stakes producer Furlough.

 

IndyOne More than 1 year ago
Was wondering when there was going to be an official statement. I assume that she died from foaling complications? Was this in May?
FrostyFeast More than 1 year ago
She'd been bred to Hard Spun in 2012, but no live foal listed so far so either she didn't get pregnant, did but lost it, or had the foal and they both passed. It's always possible that another illness like cancer or laminitis caused her to not have a successful pregnancy, and then she didn't survive it. You'd think if it was foaling complications, they'd just say that. Not sure why the information about her passing first started out as a rumor. Put out an announcement. It's not a state secret.