Top racehorse, stallion Dragon Again dies at 22
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Dragon Again, a winner of more than $2.3 million on the racetrack and the sire of the winners of more than $122.7 million, including the $7.5 million-winner Foiled Again, the sport's all-time richest racehorse, was euthanized Wednesday afternoon, April 19, at Sugar Valley Farm in Ohio, where he had stood stallion duty since 2014.
Dragon Again's death comes one week after Sugar Valley Farm announced the retirement of the 22-year-old son of Dragon's Lair. In making that announcement, Sugar Valley Farm co-owner Joe McLead said Dragon Again had a fused right ankle that was ailing him.
"He's had that fused right ankle the last 14 years and in the last day or so the ankle became just too much for him to deal with. It had begun to take its toll on the rest of his body," McLead said on Thursday morning.
Dragon Again was bred by Andray Farm and was purchased as a yearling for $40,000 by Ohioan Ed Mullinax. Mullinax owned Dragon Again his entire racing career and is still the majority shareholder in the Dragon Again Syndicate.
Dragon Again won 29 of 70 starts, with his biggest victory coming in the $450,000 Hoosier Cup in 1998 at Hoosier Park. Other big wins for Dragon Again included the $350,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack and the $250,000 Prix d'Autumn at Hippodrome de Montreal in 1999, and the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie in 1999 at Northfield Park.
Dragon Again's career best of 1:48.3 came on June 17, 2000, when he won the $87,600 Pacing Classic at Woodbine. At the time the mile was the fastest ever paced in Canada.
Dragon Again was retired following his 5-year-old season in 2000, going on to a stud career at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. He stood at Hanover for 13 years before moving to Sugar Valley in 2014, where the size of his books were 116, 107 and 82 in years 2014-16. Dragon Again bred some mares this season, with a few already pronounced in foal.
In addition to Foiled Again, Dragon Again's other $1-million-plus performers include My Little Dragon ($2.3 million); Atochia ($1.8 million); Aracache Hanover ($1.7 million); Wakizashi Hanover ($1.3 million); Versado ($1.2 million); and Tidewaterdragonfly ($1 million).
Overall, Dragon Again sired 334 lifetime $100,000 winners from 940 performers. From those performers, 562 took marks of 1:55 or better. His fastest progeny were 1:48 winners Foiled Again, Wakizashi Hanover and Vlos.
McLead said Dragon Again was buried on the farm near his paddock by the Sugar Valley office.
"We have a pond near his paddock and there are two oak trees at the back of the pond, and we buried him between those two trees so he can see all the broodmares and his paddock," said McLead.