06/25/2017 6:27PM

Multiple Grade 2 winner and sire Benchmark, 26, euthanized

Email
Horsephotos
Benchmark sired 15 crops with 436 winners.

Benchmark, a multiple Grade 2 winner and California sire, was euthanized Friday due to the infirmities of old age. He was 26.

The son of Alydar resided as a pensioner at Ballena Vista Farm in Ramona, Calif., and covered his final book of mares in 2014.

Bred in Kentucky by North Central Bloodstock, Benchmark was a $475,000 weanling purchase by Pam and Martin Wygod at the 1991 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, and was later put into training with Ron Ellis.

He took time to get rolling, breaking his maiden in July of his 4-year-old season, and forgoing stakes competition until his 6-year-old campaign in 1997.

Benchmark made up for lost time by winning his stakes debut, the Grade 3 San Bernardino Handicap. He finished the 1997 season with victories in the Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Handicap and Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap.

Benchmark raced one more season, and earned two additional graded placings. He retired with seven wins in 16 starts for earnings of $636,707.

Benchmark retired to the Wygods’ River Edge Farm for the 1999 breeding season, and resided there until the end of the 2010 season, when his owners announced the closure of their breeding operation. He was purchased by Ballena Vista Farm and relocated to Ramona.

In total, Benchmark sired 15 crops with 436 winners and combined progeny earnings in excess of $35.1 million.

His biggest successes at stud were Points Offthebench, the champion sprinter of 2013, and multiple Grade 1 winner Brother Derek. Other runners of note include Grade 1 winners Idiot Proof and Silent Sighs, Grade 2 winners A to the Z and Proposed, and Grade 3 winner Bench Points.

Sons of Benchmark standing domestically include Idiot Proof, Grazen, and Don’tsellmeshort, all in California, while his international sons at stud include Brother Derek in Saudi Arabia and Bench the Judge in Alberta.

He is represented as a broodmare sire by Grade 3 winner Clear Attempt and four-time Indiana stakes winner Success Is Racing.