Champion, Stakes Producer Epitome Dead at Age 19

Epitome, who staged a stirring stretch drive to win the 1987 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) by a nose, has died at age 19. The mare died Nov. 12 after suffering a ruptured artery. She was boarded at John and Benny Williams' Elmwood Farm in Woodford County, Ky.

Bred by Benny Bell Williams and her sister Jessica Bell Nicholson, Epitome was sired by Jonabell stallion Summing, a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner raised at the farm, and was produced from Honest and True, a homebred stakes winner for Jessica G. Bell, the mother of Epitome's breeders.

Consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky summer yearling sale, Epitome was bought back by John A. Bell III when she did not "bring as much as we had hoped," according to a statement from the Bell family.

Trained by Phil Hauswald, Epitome won three of eight starts, including the Juvenile Fillies and Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs, and was voted champion 2-year-old filly of 1987. The following year, she had two victories from six starts, was second in two stakes including the Falls City Handicap (gr. III), and was retired with five wins, five seconds, and one third, and earnings of $631,755.

As a broodmare, Epitome produced 11 foals, including Essence of Dubai, winner of the Super Derby (gr. II) and Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) and the earner of $2,001,058. She was also the dam of Churchill Downs Turf Sprint winner Danjur and Faltaat, a champion in the United Arab Emirates.

Epitome, who was buried at Elmwood Farm next to Hall of Famer and champion Flawlessly, has a yearling filly by Old Trieste, her last foal. At the time of her death, Epitome was in foal to Pulpit.

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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