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Marquetry dies at age 26

Marquetry and Old Friends founder Michael Blowen (Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos)
Multiple Grade 1-winning sire Marquetry died on Friday at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility near Georgetown, Kentucky.

The 26-year-old stallion suffered an accident in his stall and had to be humanely euthanized. Veterinarians from Hagyard Equine Medical Institute attended to him, and a full necropsy report is expected in a few days.

"We have, and will, retire many great horses," said Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends. "But none will ever take his place.

"If there is just a glimmer of good in all this it is that (assistant farm manager) Kent Ralstin discovered his injury early and, because of his quick thinking, Marquetry didn't suffer." 

By 1982 Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo and out of the multiple stakes-placed Vice Regent mare Regent's Walk, Marquetry compiled a record of 36-10-9-4 and retired with more than $2.8 million in earnings.

The Kentucky-bred Marquetry originally raced in England, where he placed in the 1989 Washington Singer Stakes for trainer Guy Harwood. He was repatriated in 1990, and the following year, developed into an outstanding older horse.

Trained by the late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, Marquetry was a Grade 1 winner on both dirt and turf, registering victories in the 1991 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap, 1992 Eddie Read Handicap and 1993 Meadowlands Cup Handicap. He won four other stakes, including the Grade 2 San Antonio, Bel Air and Mervyn LeRoy Handicaps in 1993, and placed in 10 graded events.

The flashy chestnut retired at age six to Ben. P. Walden Jr.'s Vinery near Midway, Kentucky, but subsequently stood at Stonewall Farms' Ocala, Florida, division where he was pensioned in 2010 due to declining fertility.

Although Marquetry won at up to 1 1/4 miles, he had the speed to equal a course record for about 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's downhill turf. He passed on that brilliance to his two best sons -- Breeders' Cup Sprint winners and Eclipse champions Artax (1999) and Squirtle Squirt (2001).

For more information about Marquetry or any of the retirees at Old Friends, contact the farm at (502) 863-1775.


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