02/16/2016 11:27AM

Vicar dies in Korea at 20

Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography
Vicar was the broodmare sire of Grade 2 winner Vicar's in Trouble, shown winning the 2014 Super Derby.

Vicar, a Grade 1 winner and prominent sire in Korea, died in that country on Jan. 24.

The 20-year-old son of Wild Again stood at the Korean Racing Authority’s Jeju Stud Farm in the southwest corner of the country. His listed cause of death was a throat obstruction, as reported by the Racing in Korea website.

Bred in Kentucky by John Meriwether and Richard Leahy, Vicar won four of 17 career starts during his career for earnings of $835,142.

Vicar raced for owner Jim Tafel, and began his career in the barn of Carl Nafzger, winning his first two starts as a juvenile, then finishing second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes to finish his campaign. He returned at three to make noise on the Kentucky Derby trail with wins in the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby and a third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes. He struggled to find his form after those prep races, however, losing to Charismatic by double-digit lengths in the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Vicar came back for a summer and fall campaign, and lost by a head to Doneraile Court in the Grade 2 Jerome Handicap. He then finished third by a neck in the non-graded Phoenix Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Keeneland before finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Gulfstream Park.

The horse was moved to Bill Mott for an abbreviated 4-year-old campaign, which was highlighted by a third-place finish in a Gulfstream allowance.

Vicar was retired to Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky., for the 2001 breeding season, and saw modest success at stud, led by Grade 2 winners R Lady Joy and Rite Moment, as well as Grade 3 winners Vesterey Lady, Vicarage, and City Attraction. He was also the broodmare sire of stakes runners such as multiple Grade 2 winner Vicar’s in Trouble.

Vicar was relocated to Korea in 2006, and quickly became one of the country’s most prominent sires, finishing third in the general standings by progeny earnings each year from 2011 to 2014. He was fifth last year, and currently sits second behind perennial leader Menifee in the 2016 standings.

Vicar’s top Korean runners include 2011 Korean Derby winner Gwangyajeil, Group 2 winner Dongseo Jeongbeol, and Group 3 winners Seungniuihamseong and Joy Lucky. He has two sons at stud in Korea -- Gwangyajeil and stakes winner Vicar Love.