Calumet Farm's leading sire English Channel (Smart Strike) has been diagnosed with multiple health issues and is unlikely to cover mares during the upcoming 2022 breeding season, the farm announced Wednesday morning.
“This is an unfortunate blow for a stallion that was rising to the peak of his career and finally getting the respect he deserved,” said a representative of Calumet in the press release. “However we, at Calumet, strive to provide the best care for all our horses and will always put the horse's health, safety, and well-being first. We are going to be monitoring English Channel on a daily basis but at this time, it does not look like English Channel will breed in the upcoming season.”
Currently ranked second on the leading turf sires list for stallions standing in North America and 17th on the general sires list, again for North American-based stallions, English Channel was the 2007 Eclipse champion grass horse and tallied six Grade I wins during his racing career, highlighted by victory in the 2007 GI Breeders' Cup Turf.
The 19-year-old stallion has produced six Canadian champions during his sire career, as well as the 2020 Eclipse champion turf male Channel Maker. His 11 crops of racing age include 62 Northern Hemisphere black-type winners and 32 graded winners, including 2021 Grade I winners War Like Goddess, Two Emmys, and Channel Cat.