02/27/2007 12:00AM

Stallion career finished for Runaway Groom


Vinery stallion Runaway Groom, Canada's champion 3-year-old in 1982 and the sire of 1994 champion sprinter Cherokee Run, has been pensioned from stud duty, the farm announced Tuesday. Runaway Groom had been standing at the Lexington, Ky., farm for $12,500 this year.

"Runaway Groom has been a fixture on the leading sire lists for two decades," Vinery's general manager Tom Ludt said of the 28-year-old Blushing Groom horse. "When it became apparent that his age was bothering him, we felt that we had to make the decision to retire him from stud duty."

Runaway Groom won two legs of Canada's Triple Crown in 1982, the Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes; he finished second in the other race, the Queen's Plate. He later captured the 1982 Travers Stakes, defeating the winners of that season's American Triple Crown races: Kentucky Derby winner Gato del Sol, Preakness victor Aloma's Ruler, and Belmont winner Conquistador Cielo. He is a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Cherokee Run, winner of the 1994 Breeders' Cup Sprint, is Runaway Groom's most famous runner. But he also sired Grade 1 winners Wekiva Springs and Down the Aisle; Austrian and Hungarian champion March Groom; and multiple stakes winners Najran, Joint Effort, Runaway Dancer, Groomstick, Doradoradora, and Regal Groom. To date, he has progeny earnings of $54,479,630 from 21 crops to race.

Runaway Groom is out of the Call the Witness stakes winner Yonnie Girl, who was named Canada's Broodmare of the Year in 1982. Runaway Groom is a half-brother to stakes winner Bold Enterprise and Tout Ou Rien.