08/31/2010 10:58AM

Lomitas, German champ and sire, dies at 22

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – German Horse of the Year and leading sire Lomitas has died at age 22.

The Racing Post has reported the Niniski horse was euthanized in Germany due to failing health, ending one of the most eventful equine lives in racing.

During his 3-year-old season in 1991, Lomitas required the intervention of “horse whisperer” Monty Roberts to overcome his apparent fear of the starting gate. Before his retraining by Roberts, Lomitas – already Germany’s champion juvenile – became so fractious before the German 2,000 Guineas that he reared and then threw himself on the ground rather than load in the gate.

He came back to win three German Group 1 races that year and was runner-up in the German Derby.

At 4, he was the subject of death threats, and his connections in fact believed he had been poisoned after running badly when favored in a race at Dusseldorf; they attributed later hoof problems to that incident. Under police escort, he was shipped secretly from Germany to England, where Susan Piggott trained him under the name of Pirelli before sending him on to Charlie Whittingham in California. In the U.S., he placed in the Grade 2 Shoemaker and Bowling Green handicaps in 1993.

Lomitas returned to owner Walther Jacobs’s Gestut Fahrhof for stud and also stood for several years at Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s Dalham Hall in England after Maktoum bought an interest in him. He is the sire of 2001 Arlington Million winner Silvano, German classic winner Sumitas, and German Derby winner Belenus, among numerous European champions.

Lomitas was out of the German champion La Colorada.