01/31/2013 11:10AM

Variety Road, Grade 1 winner and sire, dies at 30


California-bred Variety Road, winner of the 1987 San Fernando Stakes and a top-level runner on the California circuit during the late 1980s whose career was interrupted by stud duty several times, was euthanized on Jan. 14 at age 30 due to the infirmities of old age, according to the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

By Kennedy Road and out of the Macarthur Park mare Variety Queen, Variety Road was campaigned by breeder Kjell Qvale. He won 17 of 59 starts and earned $964,540 in seven seasons on the track. He competed against the best of his generation as a 3- and 4-year-old when trained by Bruce Headley, defeating 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand and 1986 Preakness Stakes winner Snow Chief, as well as Broad Brush, in the Grade 1 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. He also won the San Felipe Stakes and San Rafael Stakes in 1986, defeating Ferdinand in the latter, but did not compete in the Triple Crown races.

After his 4-year-old campaign, Variety Road was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and spent time at stud in 1988, 1990 and 1991 before retiring for good. Overall, he won 12 stakes races.

From 14 crops of racing age, Variety Road sired 82 winners and eight stakes winners, with progeny earnings of more than $2.8 million. His leading earner was the gelding Jan Alta, who won the 1996 Canadian Derby and earned $344,816. Variety Road did not sire any graded stakes winners. He stood at several farms before being pensioned, and was in the care of Roger and Shirley Hansen at their farm in Idaho at the time of his death.