Obit press release:
GEORGETOWN, KY - FEBRUARY 26, 2015
Graded-stakes winner Williamstown has died.The 25-year-old son of Seattle Slew was euthanized on February 25 due to complications caused by the neurological disease EPM.
Williamstown had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, since 2007. Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement of his passing this morning.
As a racehorse, Williamstown (Seattle Slew - Winter Sparkle, Northjet) scored his biggest win in the 1993 Withers Stakes (GR2) at Belmont Park in track-record time of 1:32.79 for owner Peter W. Willmott. It was considered one of the fastest miles in racing history.
Williamstown's three-year career included wins in other stakes, and seconds in the Jerome Handicap (G1) and King's Bishop (G2), among others. In all, Williamstown won five of his 24 starts and earned $360,884. He was also successful as a stallion, siring 15 stakes winners, including graded winner Vinemeister.
Williamstown was pensioned from stud duty in 2007 after proving infertile. The Central Kentucky insurance firm Aubrey Insurance took possession of the horse and tried to place him in an equine program at University of Minnesota, but he did not fit their needs.Plans to euthanize Williamstown were underway when an employee at Aubrey decided to contact Blowen at Old Friends.
"I'll never forget the day, nearly eight years ago, when a woman named Lisa called from Frank Aubrey Insurance and asked us if we had room for a horse named Williamstown," recalled Blowen. "I was thrilled. I had visited Williamstown years earlier at Saratoga when Peter Vestal trained him. Over the years, his kind owner, Peter Willmott visited Williamstown many times and was a generous supporter.
"Like his sire, Seattle Slew, Williamstown knew he could be very imperious," Blowen added. "But he earned it, and he'll be missed."
This strikingly handsome, personable son of Seattle Slew ran one of the fastest miles in history. In the Withers Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park he set a track record of 1:32.79 in 1993, toting 124 pounds, 13 more than the previous record holder, Conquistador Cielo. His three year racing career included wins in other stakes, seconds in the Jerome H. (G1) and King’s Bishop (G2), among others.
After his racing career he first stood at Payson Stud in Kentucky before relocating to Silvernails Farm in New York. Williamstown sired 22 winners from 55 runners. In 2007 he moved to Iowa, but soon after became infertile. Plans to euthanize him were underway when Aubrey Insurance, which had taken possession of him, contacted Old Friends - a stroke of luck for us as well as “Willy.” The impressive nearly black son of Slew can now be seen, white face and legs flashing, eagle eyes sparkling as he enjoys a gallop across his paddock.
WILLIAMSTOWN 1990-2015's Info:
Bred in KY by Equus Breeders. Foaled March 8, 1990
24 Starts, 5 Wins, 5 Places, 5 Shows. Career Earnings: $361,276
Racing Owner: Virginia Croft Payson
Trainers: Peter M. Vestal, Mark Hennig
Regular Jockeys: P. Day, C. McCarron, D. Kutz
Set track record for a mile at Belmont (Withers S 1993)
Biggest wins: Withers S at Belmont in 1993, Youthful BCH at Thistledown 1992, Prevue S at Turfway Park 1992
Other notable races: 2nd in Jerome H (G1) at Belmont 1993, 2nd Kings Bishop (G2) at Saratoga 1993, 2nd Fort Springs S at Keeneland 1992, 3rd Arlington Classic (G2) 1993, 3rd Lafayette (G3) at Keeneland 1993, 3rd Bel Air H (G2) Hollywood Park 1994, 3rd Colin S at Belmont 1993
As a 2 year old, won against Wallenda at Saratoga
Stood at Metropolitan Stud, NY, and elsewhere
Sired Vinemeister (Salvatore Mile), Eze (Prebbles H), Ivars Big Peaceful (Restoration S), Town Queen (My Charmer S), Lexington Park (Sam Houston Turf Sprint) and other stakes horses
Joined Old Friends November 2007