No More Secrets

Pluck's dam dies aged 15

Photo attached of Secret Heart and her Kitten's Joy colt in April 2013 (photo:  Sara Fagan of Denali Stud)

Secret Heart and her Kitten’s Joy colt in April 2013 (photo: Sara Fagan of Denali Stud)

Secret Heart, the dam of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pluck for Team Valor International, died over the weekend at Denali Stud in Paris, Kentucky. She was found dead in her stall Saturday morning. A cause of death has not been determined.

The 15-year-old daughter of Fort Wood out of Secret Pact, by Bush Telegraph, was in foal to Point of Entry, and she leaves behind a colt foal by Medaglia d’Oro.

“She was the ideal mare,” said Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin, who imported Secret Heart from her native South Africa in 2004 and considered her to have the best pedigree in the stable’s band of 28 broodmares in the U.S., Ireland and South Africa. “She had speed, she had size, her pedigree improved every year and her first foal was sensational. This is a hard one to swallow.”

In South Africa, Secret Heart won a Listed stakes and placed in four Grade 1 races, including two classics. She placed twice in the U.S. and then was retired and bred to More Than Ready in the mating that produced Pluck. The nearly black colt captured the Grade 3 Summer Stakes at Woodbine before rallying from last to score comfortably from the outside post in the Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs after stumbling at the start and having to swerve to avoid a fallen rival in the first turn. Pluck now stands for Vinery in Australia.

For Team Valor, Secret Heart also produced the Graded-stakes placed filly Three Hearts, who is still racing, and the unraced Kitten’s Joy mare Gift of Life, who is in the broodmare band and is carrying her first foal, by Hat Trick. A 2-year-old full brother to Pluck sold for $210,785 in the Tattersalls breeze-up sale in Newmarket, England, in April.

Secret Heart was a half sister to South African Grade 1 winner Covenant and champion Promisefrommyheart, who has produced multiple Graded stakes winner and new stallion Master of My Fate.

(source:  Team Valor)

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