Thoroughbred Stallion Unbridled's Song Euthanized

The rare horse who made headlines in the sales ring, on the track, and as a stallion, Unbridled's Song died July 26 at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Ky.

The 20-year-old stallion was euthanized after a rapid decline in his health as a result of a large mass present in multiple sinus cavities and around the optic nerves. He began exhibiting acute neurologic signs of the morning of July 25 and was transported to Rood & Riddle. Based on the results of an MRI, veterinarians determined the mass was invasive and aggressive in nature and deemed it inoperable.

Unbridled's Song had completed his 17th season at Taylor Made Stallions in Nicholasville, Ky., where he stood for $60,000.

"Unbridled's Song was majestic from the beginning," said Taylor Made president Duncan Taylor. "Rarely are there horses that are supposed to be great from the beginning and actually are. Unbridled's Song was one of those great horses. He had it all—looks, pedigree, speed, and presence.

"Our team loved him from the beginning," he continued. "I appreciate and am proud of the job our team did with the management of this magnificent horse. I would also like to thank the breeders and owners who supported and helped him become a great stallion."

Unbridled's Song burst on the scene in 1995 when he sold for $1.4 million at the Barretts March sale, a world-record price for a horse at a 2-year-olds in training sale. But buyer Hiroshi Fujita would back out of the sale because he said his veterinarian detected a bone chip in the colt's left front ankle. Seller Ernie Paragallo and consignor Taylor Made would dispute that diagnosis, but Paragallo also would say he welcomed the opportunity to race the promising son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled.

Paragallo, working with bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, landed Unbridled's Song for $200,000 at the 1994 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling select sale.

On the track, Unbridled's Song would quickly deliver, winning the 1995 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park. He would continue that success at 3, winning the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial Stakes before finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby, where he raced with a sore left front foot.

Trained by Jim Ryerson for most of his career, he then finished second in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park and skipped the final two Triple Crown legs. Unbridled's Song made his final two career starts for trainer Nick Zito, going out with a victory in the 1997 Olympic Handicap at Gulfstream Park. That race was supposed to serve as a prep for the Donn Handicap but the colt suffered a career-ending injury training for the Donn.

Bred in Kentucky by Mandysland Farm, Unbridled Song was out of the Caro mare Trolley Song. He retired with a record of 5-4-0 from 12 starts and earnings of $1,311,800.

His next career move would prove just as successful when he joined Taylor Made as a stallion. He is the sire of 2008 champion 2-year-old colt Midshipman as well as Embur's Song, Canada's 2011 champion older mare. His Breeders' Cup successes include Ladies' Classic winners Unrivaled Belle and Unbridled Elaine, and 2008 Juvenile winner Midshipman.

From 14 crops to race to date, Unbridled's Song has sired 730 winners from just over 1,000 lifetime starters, with nearly $90 million in career progeny earnings.

While Unbridled's Song failed to make the Donn, his son Graydar won this year's edition of the Gulfstream Park race to become Unbridled's Song's 100th stakes winner. After the milestone, reached by only 26 other North American-based stallions, Taylor Made Stallions vice president Ben Taylor talked about the stallion's career.

"Unbridled's Song has been such a great sire, and our entire team at Taylor Made could not be more proud of him for accomplishing such a landmark of 100 stakes winners for a sire," he said.

In the sales ring, Unbridled's Song has had 26 yearlings surpass $1 million from his first 14 crops. Sons of Unbridled's Song at stud already include sires of grade I winners in Even the Score and First Defence, and his daughters have ranked him among the top broodmare sires, having produced many grade or group I winners internationally.

Originally published on

About the Author

Frank Angst

Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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