09/22/2011 3:44PM

Rahy, influential stallion, dies at 26


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three Chimneys flagship stallion Rahy, whose 91 stakes-winners included Hall of Famer Serena’s Song, has died at age 26.

Three Chimneys announced Thursday that Rahy, a Blushing Groom horse, died Thursday “due to the infirmities of old age,” according to a farm release. He had been a pensioner at the Midway, Ky., farm since 2009, when he was retired from stud duty because of declining fertility.

A $2 million yearling, Rahy raced for Sheikh Maktoum al-Maktoum. He started his career in England, where he won the 1987 Sirenia Stakes, finished second in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, and ran third in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes. Sent to the United States, at 4 he won the Grade 2 Bel Air Handicap and was runner-up twice, in the Grade 3 Goodwood and Harold C. Ramser, Sr., Handicaps.

But Rahy had his best success at stud. He began his career at Three Chimneys in 1990, standing initially for $15,000. That fee later peaked at $100,000 as his potential as an international sire – and, later, as a broodmare sire – became apparent.

In addition to Serena’s Song, Rahy’s leading progeny also include North America’s 2001 champions grass horse and international Grade/Group 1 winner Fantastic Light, 2006 champion juvenile filly Dreaming of Anna, international champions Noverre and Lady of the Desert, and such Grade 1 winners as Tranquility Lake, Tates Creek, Early Pioneer, and others.

Three Chimneys currently stands Rahy’s track record-setting son, Lewis Michael.

Rahy also has sired the dams of more than 100 stakes-winners, including multiple graded winner Mariah’s Storm, who produced Giant’s Causeway. Rahy also is the broodmare sire of 2010 Beldame and Ogden Phipps winner Life At Ten and millionaire Grade 1 winner Rutherienne, among others.

Three Chimneys had purchased a 50-percent interest in Rahy upon his retirement and stood him in partnership with the Maktoum family.

“Rahy is one of the most important stallions we’ve had,” Three Chimneys president Case Clay said. “As a stallion, he had a profound and lasting impact on the breed and was integral to the development and success of Three Chimneys. He was truly a world-class international sire.”

Stallion manager Sandy Hatfield said Rahy “kicked harder and faster than any of the other stallions, but that definitely wasn’t a reason not to love him. I have so much respect for that horse. We’ll miss him a lot.”

◗ England’s Racing Post reported on Thursday that Slip Anchor, winner of the 1985 Epsom Derby, has died at age 29. Lord Howard de Walden bred and campaigned Slip Anchor. Trained by Henry Cecil, Slip Anchor helped American jockey Steve Cauthen to become the only jockey to win both the Kentucky Derby and Epsom Derby. Cauthen won the 1978 Kentucky Derby aboard eventual Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Slip Anchor went on to sire Epsom Oaks and St. Leger winner User Friendly.