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Stallion was a beloved fixture on Korean racing scene.
Courtesy of the BloodHorse
By Mary LaRue
Dual grade 1 winner and sire Menifee died from an apparent heart attack June 13 at the age of 23, according to the website Horse Racing in Korea. The stallion stood in the Republic of Korea at the Korean Racing Association’s Jeju Stud Farm since 2007.
Menifee quickly rose to the top as a stallion in the country and became a fan favorite beloved by the Korean racing industry. He was the leading sire there from 2012-17.
“Menifee adapted to life in Korea well. Always intelligent, the saying ‘Menifee speaks Korean’ became something of a cliché at the Jeju Stud Farm, as he quickly learned to respond to Korean words and phrases,” Horse Racing in Korea reported, adding that when the stallion visited Seoul Racecourse, a “stampede of punters” came to view him in the parade ring.
Bred in Kentucky by Arthur B. Hancock, the son of Harlan out of U.S. Broodmare of the Year Anne Campbell was campaigned by his breeder and James Stone and trained by Elliott Walden. As a 2-year-old, Menifee won both of his outings, defeating the likes of Cat Thief and Lemon Drop Kid in his second start.
He continued to win the following year, finishing first or second in his first five starts, including a score in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and runner-up finishes in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) behind Charismatic.
After finishing off the board in the Belmont Stakes (G1), Menifee defeated Cat Thief again in the Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1) before placing third and second, respectively, in the Travers Stakes (G1) and Super Derby (G1).
Menifee was retired from racing after his 3-year-old season in 1999 and stood at Hancock’s Stone Farm for a fee of $15,000 from 2000-06, except in 2004 when it was raised to $20,000.
In 2006, Menifee was sold to the KRA, which made a “very good offer,” according to Hancock at the time.
From 18 crops, he sired five champions and six graded black-type winners. His star-studded progeny include Korean Triple Crown winner and 2017 Horse of the Year Power Blade, Korea’s 2014 champion 3-year-old filly Queen’s Blade, 2014 Korean Horse of the Year Gyeongbudaero, and U.S. grade 1 winner Game Face.
Game Face is the dam of San Vicente Stakes (G2) third-place finisher Coliseum.
According to the KRA stud book, Menifee covered a career-high 136 mares in 2018. He averaged 84 in his previous seasons.