06/05/2014 12:33PM

Wekiva Springs, Grade 1 winner and pensioned sire, dies at 23


Multiple Grade 1 winner and pensioned Florida sire Wekiva Springs was euthanized at Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Fla., on June 2 due to the presence of cancerous melanoma tumors. The son of Runaway Groom was 23.

Wekiva Springs was pensioned in 2013 and has sired 14 crops of racing age, with nearly $14 million in progeny earnings through June 4. The gray horse began his stud career in Kentucky before moving to Double Diamond Farm for the 2002 breeding season.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss,” Roger Brand, general manager of Double Diamond Farm, said. “He was a brilliant horse, and he delivered many memorable performances on the racetrack that made us all proud. He will be missed.”

Florida-bred Wekiva Springs was campaigned by his breeder, Donald Dizney, and was trained early in his racing career by Robert Hess before being transferred to Bill Mott. All told, Wekiva Springs won 10 of 21 starts and earned over $1.5 million. He captured two Grade 1 stakes in 1996 – the Suburban Handicap and the Gulfstream Park Handicap – and won three other graded stakes from 1994 to 1996.

As a sire, Wekiva Springs is represented by 15 stakes winners, led by $200,000 earners Appalachian Thunder and Silversider. He was also the broodmare sire of the late Grade 1 winner and millionaire Turallure.