Pure Prize, a Grade 2 winner who had success at stud in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, died Saturday at Haras La Providencia in Argentina following complications from a stroke, the South American publication Turf Diario reports. He was 23.
A Phipps Stable homebred by Storm Cat, and out of the champion Heavenly Prize, Pure Prize raced for three seasons, and won five of 17 starts for earnings of $475,459. The Shug McGaughey trainee got better with age, earning his first graded stakes placing at four when he ran second in the Grade 3 Fourstardave Handicap. In his next and final start, he picked up his first graded stakes victory in the G2 Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap at Turfway Park.
Pure Prize retired to Vinery in Lexington, Ky., for the 2003 breeding season, and he remained there for every Northern Hemisphere season through 2012. He joined the rest of Vinery stallions in moving to WinStar Farm for the 2013 season. All the while, he shuttled to Argentina for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season, where he became a star.
Pure Prize was Argentina’s leading sire in 2012 and 2013, he relocated to the country permanently during his second championship season, moving to Haras Carampangue.
The stallion was a steady producer of champions in Argentina, siring 2015 Horse of the Year Hi Happy, and year-end honor-earners Winning Prize, Ollagua, Jumbalaya, Puerto Real, and Kononkop, as well as Peruvian champion Hija Rubia.
Despite leaving the country nearly a decade ago, Pure Prize remained a stallion of note in the U.S., with several Argentine-breds that shipped north and won major races.
Chief among them was Blue Prize, who won the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and promptly sold to Larry Best’s OXO Equine as a broodmare prospect for $5 million. After earning Argentina’s champion 2-year-old colt and champion miler honors in 2012, Winning Prize shipped to Southern California, where he won the G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita Park. Hi Happy came stateside after securing 2015 Horse of the Year honors and took a pair of graded stakes races, including the G1 Man O’War Stakes.
In terms of domestically-sired U.S. runners, Pure Prize’s record is led by Grade 1 winners Pure Clan and Pure Fun, Grade 2 winner Dothraki Queen, and Grade 3 winner Birdbirdistheword, Red Knight, Holy Nova, and Now I Know.
In total, Pure Prize has sired 13 crops of racing age, with 1,138 winners and combined progeny earnings in excess of $74.9 million. He was pensioned from stud duty in 2016 and relocated to Haras La Providencia to live out his remaining days.
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