Longtime Shamrock Farm stallion Rock Slide was humanely euthanized on Feb. 8 from complications of old age. He was 25.
Rock Slide entered stud at Shamrock Farm in Woodbine in 2004 as a multiple stakes winner with an illustrious pedigree. A son of champion racehorse and sire A.P. Indy, he was out of the Mr. Prospector mare Prospectors Delite, a two-time Grade 1 winner and half-sister to six stakes winners, including champion Flagbird (Nureyev), Grade 1 winner Runup the Colors (A.P. Indy) and graded winner and sire Top Account (Private Account).
Prospectors Delite produced five stakes winners from five foals, led by Rock Slide’s full siblings Mineshaft, the 2003 Eclipse Award-winning Horse of the Year, and two-time Grade 1 winner and $1.2 million earner Tomisue’s Delight, who would later produce Grade 1 winner Mr. Sidney.
Rock Slide raced for his breeders, William Farish, James Eklins Jr. and Temple Webber Jr., and was trained by Neil Howard throughout his 23-race career. A four-time winner at 3, he captured Fair Grounds’ Tenacious Handicap at 4 and finished second in that year’s Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes-G3. The next year he scored in the Sea O Erin Breeders Cup Mile Handicap over the Arlington Park turf, defeating future Eclipse Award-winning turf horse Miesque’s Approval. He added a second in Laurel’s John D. Schapiro Memorial Breeders’ Cup Handicap that summer and retired with a career record of 9-4-4 and earnings of $442,500.
Rock Slide stood at Shamrock Farm for a year before being relocated to the newly-opened Maryland Stallion Station in Glyndon in 2005. He returned to Shamrock in 2009 and was pensioned in 2016.
From a dozen crops, Rock Slide has 12 stakes winners and the earners of more than $11.6 million. His most successful runner was Ariana D, a Pennsylvania-bred filly out of the Black Tie Affair (Ire) mare Derby Tie who sported a career record of 9-7-9 from 33 starts and earned $707,075. Ariana D was a multiple stakes winner at Woodbine and hit the board in eight graded stakes at Keeneland, Woodbine, Arlington and Presque Isle Downs, the latter in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes when missing by a neck to Musical Romance, who would go on to win that year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1 and the Eclipse Award.
Rock Slide sired three Maryland Million winners – Nicaradalic Rocks (2016 Sprint), Toboggan Slide (2009 Nursery) and Willy d’Rocket (2017 Turf Starter Handicap) – and has more than two dozen runners with earnings in the six figures. Nearly 80 percent of his foals started (222/282), and they earned an average of more than $52,000.