LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Sharp Cat, who won seven Grade 1 races between 1996 and 1998, died on April 21 after complications from foaling an A. P. Indy colt.
The 14-year-old Storm Cat mare was euthanized at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, according to Dan Pride of Darley, which had owned the mare since 2003. Darley, the global Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation owned by Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, purchased Sharp Cat for $3.1 million in 2003 at the Keeneland November sale.
Bred by the late John Franks's Franks Farm, Sharp Cat joined the racing stable of the late Ahmed bin Salman when he bought her in 1996 for $900,000 at the Barretts March select juvenile sale.
Trained by D. Wayne Lukas for her first 18 starts and Wally Dollase for her last four, Sharp Cat raced for Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp. Sharp Cat finished sixth in her 1996 debut at Hollywood Park but then reeled off three wins in a row. Those included victories in the Grade 2 Debutante and the Grade 1 Matron. She would go on to win 12 more races in her career, and by the time she retired in 1998 her Grade 1 tally also included scores in the 1996 Hollywood Starlet, the 1997 Las Virgenes, Santa Anita Oaks, and Acorn Stakes, and the 1998 Ruffian and Beldame. In the last of those, she earned a 119 Beyer Speed Figure, one of only a handful of fillies to earn a figure so high. One of her Grade 2 wins, in the 1997 Bayakoa Handicap, came in a walkover.
She won 14 stakes races overall and earned $2,032,575 from 22 lifetime starts. Salman died in July of 2002, resulting in the sale of many of his horses, including Sharp Cat. By the time she went through the ring in 2003, when Darley bought her, she already had produced a pair of fillies: Saywaan, by Fusaichi Pegasus, a winner in England, and a Point Given daughter named Think Sharp who is unraced.
For Darley, she produced the 2004 Gone West filly La Dolce, a winner in France; Impressive Attire, a 2005 Seeking the Gold filly who is unraced; and an unnamed 2006 Cherokee Run filly, also unraced to date.
"She was a wonderful mare," Pride, Darley's chief operating officer, said. "We didn't race her, but she made a huge impression. Seven Grade 1 wins is a great legacy. We were fortunate to have her while we did, and we have several foals out of her. We're confident her legacy will live on."
Sharp Cat was buried at Darley's Jonabell Farm in Lexington.