The Thoroughbred Retirement Farm 'Old Friends'
announced the death of an Eclipse Award Turf Champion.
It said 'Sunshine Forever' was found dead in his paddock early Tuesday morning.
Old Friends said a necropsy will be done to determine how the 29-year-old stallion died.
Sunshine Forever had been at Old Friends since 2004 when he returned to the US from stud duty in Japan.
Old Friends Founder and President Michael Blowen said, "Our foundation stallion, the Eclipse Award winner who we brought home after his breeding career was over, is dead, and there's nothing much more to be said...I don't think I've ever been sadder."
As a 3-year-old in 1988, Sunshine Forever won five graded-stakes.
They included a trio of back-to-back Grade 1 victories in the Turf Classic, the Man O' War and the Budweiser International.
A favorite in that year's Breeder's Cup Turf, he narrowly missed the win, coming in second to Great Communicator.
Sunshine Forever went on to be named 1988's Eclipse Turf Champion.
The bay colt ended his career in 1989 with eight wins from 23 starts and track earnings of over $2 million.
"I want to thank everyone who ever fed him a carrot or petted him or bet on him or bred to him or just smiled when they saw him. You are the ones who had the privilege of knowing how extra special he was in a very special place," said Blowen.
is a non-profit group in Georgetown that works to provide a dignified retirement to Thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end.