Lucky Pulpit, Sire of ‘Chrome,’ Dead at 16

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Lucky Pulpit’s California Chrome | Gary Tasich

Lucky Pulpit (Pulpit–Lucky Soph, by Cozzene), sire of the two-time Horse of the Year and North America’s richest racehorse California Chrome, suffered an apparent heart attack Monday afternoon while covering his first broodmare of the 2017 breeding season.

Lucky Pulpit, a stakes-winning homebred for Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, stood his entire career at Harris Farms in California. The 16-year-old was slated to stand the 2017 season for a fee of $7,500.

Both farm manager David McGlothlin and stallion manager Raul Rosa were in the Harris Farms breeding shed with Lucky Pulpit when he collapsed coming off the mare.

“The California and national Thoroughbred racing industry, where Lucky Pulpit has ranked at the top of the sire lists year after year with world class performers, will still have another three crops from this stellar sire yet to race,” McGlothlin said. “Lucky Pulpit hit homerun after homerun with his offspring both in the sales ring and on the racetrack and from early on we had a glimpse of what he would become as a sire.”

Lucky Pulpit was California’s leading sire in three of the past four years. From seven crops of racing age, Lucky Pulpit is the sire of 148 winners and four winners of black-type. His 230 starters to date have amassed progeny earnings of $24.1 million. California Chrome, a seven-time Grade/Group 1 winner and earner of $14,752,650, stands his first season at stud for $40,000 at Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky.

Gary Hartunian of Rockingham Ranch announced Tuesday afternoon that he is offering a free season to his millionaire Finnegans Wake to all broodmares that were booked this season to Lucky Pulpit. Finnegans Wake, winner of the 2015 GI Woodford Reserve Turf Classic S., stands his first season at stud for $3,500 at Ballena Vista Farm in California.

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