Champion and sire Dayjur euthanized at age 26

European champion and sire Dayjur was euthanized Wednesday at Shadwell Farm in Lexington due to the infirmities of old age, the operation announced.  The son of Danzig was 26 and had been pensioned since 2010.

Bred in Kentucky by Georgia Hofmann, Dayjur was out of champion sprinter Gold Beauty and was purchased at the 1988 Keeneland July yearling sale by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum for $1.65 million.  He went to renowned trainer Major R. W. (Dick) Hern and won seven races and finished second three times from 11 starts including a runner-up effort in the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Sprint when he jumped a shadow in deep stretch.


Dayjur was the Horse of the Year, Champion Sprinter, and Champion 3-Year-Old in England in 1990, and was the Top Weight in Europe and Champion 3-Year-Old in France.

“Dayjur was one great racehorse. He gave Sheikh Hamdan, and all of us at Shadwell, many great thrills –including his shadow-jumping antics in the Breeders’ Cup,” said Shadwell Vice President Rick Nichols.  “He was the cornerstone of our stallion operation, and he was a wonderful horse to be around.  He will be deeply missed.”

Dayjur set a course record winning the Group I Keeneland Nunthorpe Stakes, won the Group I Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp  by daylight under 137 pounds and went wire-to-wire in the Group I Ladbroke Sprint Cup.

Dayjur was retired to stud at Shadwell Farm in 1991.  During his career he sired three champions, some 30 stakes winners, over 60 stakes horses, and is the broodmare sire of a number of major stakes winners as well.