Hay Jude, the dam of 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike, died of an apparent heart attack at Old Friends Equine Retirement’s annex farm, the farm announced Monday. She was 26.
The Illinois-bred daughter of Wavering Monarch raced as a homebred for Long Meadow Stables, competing exclusively in her home state and becoming a multiple allowance winner. She retired with five wins in 30 starts over five seasons of racing for earnings of $113,152.
After her racing career, Hay Jude entered the Florida broodmare band of horseman Carlo Vaccarezza, and her second foal was the Tiger Ridge gelding Little Nick, who became a three-time stakes winner in Florida and New York.
Her most notable work as a broodmare came with her fourth foal, the Spanish Steps gelding Little Mike, who earned over $3.5 million on the racetrack, with Grade 1 wins in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Arlington Million, and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes in 2012, and another top-shelf victory in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes a year later.
Like Hay Jude, Little Mike was retired to Old Friends, and he currently resides at the farm.
After the success of Little Mike’s 2013 campaign, Hay Jude was offered at that year’s Fasig-Tipton November Sale in foal to Distorted Humor, but she was kept by Vaccarezza, finishing under her reserve with a final bid of $235,000.
Hay Jude was pensioned from her broodmare career after delivering the Liam’s Map filly Little Jewel in 2016. In total, she produced 12 foals, with eight winners from 10 starters.
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