Champion Alysheba, 25, dies 5 months after homecoming

Just five months after returning to Kentucky from breeding in Saudi Arabia, Alysheba was euthanized after injuring a leg.

Alysheba, 25, won the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes then went on to take the Super Derby, in a year where he as named champion 3-year-old male. In 1987, Alysheba lost the Breeders’ Cup Classic to 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand by just a nose, but came back in 1988 to win the Classic by defeating Seeking the Gold.

Afterward, Alysheba was voted 1988 Horse of the Year and he retired with nine Grade 1 stakes victories and $6.6 million in earnings, which was an earnings record at the time.

Alysheba went to the breeding shed and was eventually bought by Saudi King Abdullah, who stood him for the last eight years at Janadria Farm in Saudi Arabia. Last October, King Abdullah announced that he would return Alysheba to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington as a gift to Alysheba’s  legion of fans.

But Alysheba had a chronic degenerative spinal condition that led to his instabilty, said Kathy Hopkins, the Kentucky Horse Park’s director of equine operations. He fell in his stall on Friday afternoon and a decision was made to euthanize him, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Below is a tribute to Alysheba from HRTV’s Inside Information series.

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