10/10/2016 9:45PM

Leading California sire Unusual Heat pensioned


Unusual Heat, California’s all-time leading sire by progeny earnings, has been pensioned from stud duty at age 26.

The son of Nureyev will reside as a pensioner at Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif., where he most recently stood.

Unusual Heat has sired 16 crops of racing age, with 399 winners and progeny earnings in excess of $42.4 million. He was California’s leading sire by earnings every year from 2008 to 2013, and finished atop the standings by turf earnings in each of the past 12 years.

The stallion’s most successful runner and highest earner was Acclamation, a six-time Grade 1 winner who was named champion older male of 2011 and retired with earnings of $1,958,048.

Unusual Heat’s 13 graded stakes winners also include Grade 1 winners The Usual Q. T., Golden Doc A, and Unusual Suspect, Grade 2 winners Lethal Heat, Tucked Away, and Gervinho, and Grade 3 winner Lightmyfirebaby.

“It is with great emotion that we have to announce the retirement of Unusual Heat”, said Harris Auerbach, managing partner of M. Auerbach, LLC. “He’s been remarkable and even in his final season at stud in 2016 managed to get 25 of 30 bred mares in foal. It’s been an amazing run and I’m happy that ‘Heat’ can now just relax and enjoy the rest of his days just being a horse.”

Bred in Kentucky by John T. L. Jones, Unusual Heat is out of the Danish-bred Glacial mare Rossard, who was Sweden’s Horse of the Year in 1983, a champion in her native Denmark, and a Grade 1 winner in the U.S.

Unusual Heat began his on-track career in Ireland, where he was a Group 3-placed multiple stakes winner before relocating to the U.S. for his 6-year-old campaign for owner Thomas Liang and trainer Richard Mandella. He was later claimed for $80,000 by a partnership involving Madeline and James Auerbach, trainer Barry Abrams, Andy Hilias, and Russell Wolkoff. The horse retired with six wins in 16 starts for earnings of $142,605.

Unusual Heat stood his first year at stud in 1998 at Walter Greenman’s farm in Hemet, Calif., siring just 15 foals in his debut season, and was later relocated to Old English Rancho in Sanger, Calif. He moved to Harris Farms in 2010.

“He’s been the perennial leading sire in California for over a decade and his influence on California breeding and racing through his sons and daughters will be prevalent for years to come,” said Doug Burge, president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.