Mighty stallion Beach Towel dies

11:51 AM 25 Mar 2009 NZDT
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The legendary Beach Towel, the 1990 Harness Horse of the Year, and the broodmare sire of 2008 Harness Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere, died on Saturday following a severe attack of colic. The news was reported by Dr. Andrew Grierson of Woodlands Stud in New Zealand, where Beach Towel had stood for several years, and had been in retirement since 2007. Dr. Grierson said that the 22 year-old stallion had been in excellent health prior to the onset of colic.

Beach Towel had an illustrious racing career that included victories in all the top races, such as the Little Brown Jug, Meadowlands Pace, Breeders Crown, Tattersalls Pace, Adios, Prix d'Ete and many others, and he established 3 world records and numerous stakes and track records.After leaving the track, his successful siring career included the 3-time Breeders Crown winner and world champion Jenna's Beach Boy, and his progeny have now earned over $46 million to date. But Beach Towel's most lasting legacy may be as a broodmare sire. His daughters have already produced the winners of over $33,000,000.00, including the sensational Somebeachsomewhere, who electrified the harness world during the past two seasons and was named Horse of the Year in both the United States and Canada for 2008.

Beach Towel was bred in Kentucky by Norman Woolworth and Alice Johnston's Stoner Creek Stud, and was purchased as a yearling for $22,000 by then 22-year-old Seth Rosenfeld on behalf of Uptown Stable. As a two-year-old, Beach Towel won 11 of 13 starts, and set a stakes, track or season's record with every victory. As a three-year-old, he won 18 of 23 starts and virtually all the major stakes, and established himself as the richest single season Standardbred of all time ($2,091,86000), a record now held by his grandson Somebeachsomewhere.

The Remmen brothers, Ray, Larry, and Gord, trained Beach Towel throughout his career, and he was driven by Ray in every start, including the Little Brown Jug, where Ray also entered the history books as the last person to both train and drive the winner.

After his retirement from racing, Beach Towel began his stallion career at the Meirs family's Walnridge Farm, in Cream Ridge, New Jersey, after Walnridge bought an interest in the stallion in a deal arranged by David Meirs III and Seth Rosenfeld. In 1998 David James of David James Bloodstock Ltd purchased an interest in the stallion and oversaw his down-under breeding career on behalf of Uptown Stable and the Meirs Family, a breeding career that was highlighted by the top filly Copper Beach and several other stakes winners.

In 2005, Beach Towel was inducted into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. During the induction ceremony, owner Seth Rosenfeld said that Beach Towel's careers in both racing and breeding were unusual in that they were marked by harmonious long-lasting relationships between all the people involved- from the owners, breeders, trainers, driver, caretakers, and the farms where he stood, to the members of the media and others in the harness racing community. Beach Towel was a beloved member of the racing world, and he will never be forgotten, particularly because his physical grace and powerare still with us today, in Somebeachsomewhere, and his other descendants.

Woodlands Stud

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