I didn't expect him to die.
Gone far too soon.
-- from japanracing.jp
Triple Crown legend Deep Impact dies at 17
Deep Impact, one of the most successful horses and stallions in the history of the JRA, died on Tuesday. He was 17.
By the legendary stallion, Sunday Silence, Deep Impact became just the second undefeated Triple Crown winner in 2005. He went on to win seven Grade 1 races in a 12-for-13 career record (not including the disqualification in the 2006 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), earning over 1.4 billion yen. His only defeat in Japan came in the 2005 Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), where he lost a heated battle to Heart’s Cry in the final stretch.
After an illustrious racing career, Deep Impact was stationed at Shadai Stallion Station and did not disappoint as a stallion, producing multiple Grade 1 winners and becoming the JRA leading sire for seven straight years from 2012-2018.
Following are comments from the connections of Deep Impact:
Shadai Stallion Station: “We had been treating Deep Impact's neck injury for some time and he underwent surgery on July 28. The operation was successful and was doing well after the operation. However, on the morning of July 29, he was unable to stand up and we had been giving him the maximum treatment possible. On the morning of July 30, we took an X-ray and found a fracture in his cervical spine. We decided that he did not have any chance of recovery. We are extremely shocked and in grief with the sudden turn of events.”
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., CEO, Makoto Kaneko, owner: “It was shocking to witness how easily he won the Triple Crown, and I am thankful for what he showed us. The most emotional moments were winning the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen consecutively, after his loss in the Arc. Not many horses become stallions after their 4-year-old season, but he was also extremely successful as a stud. He gave me two more Derby winners, Makahiki and Wagnerian. I am in tears hearing this sudden tragic news. May he rest in peace.”
Yasuo Ikee, trainer (retired): “I am in shock of the sudden news. I could not have asked for any more in the two years plus of his racing career. I just pray that he is resting in peace.”
Yutaka Take, jockey: “I knew he was not in good shape, but I am disappointed to hear of the news. He is a very special horse in my life. I am just appreciative for all that he gave me.”
Northern Farm (breeder) representative, Katsumi Yoshida: “He was, without a doubt, the finest racehorse that Northern Farm ever bred. It is just disappointing to see him go, as he was extremely successful as a stallion. I hope he is resting in peace.”
-- replay of the Japan Cup 2006 (English)