Sealy Hill, the 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year, died Feb. 23 at Bonne Chance Farm near Versailles, Ky., from infirmities as she advanced in age, said Bonne Chance Farm bloodstock and office manager Leah Alessandroni. The Point Given mare was 17.
Alessandroni said Sealy Hill had not been bred the last couple of years after producing Eleven Central, an unraced 3-year-old Into Mischief colt, in 2018, and "basically she told us this morning it was time to go."
The mare will be buried at the farm.
A five-time stakes winner, Sealy Hill won seven of 18 races and earned more than $1.74 million, highlighted by a sophomore campaign in 2007 in which she captured the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park and was a Canadian Triple Tiara champion by winning the Labatt Woodbine Oaks, Bison City Stakes, and Wonder Where Stakes, all at Woodbine. For her accomplishments that year, she was honored as Canadian champion 3-year-old filly, Canadian champion female turf horse, and Horse of the Year.
A homebred for Eugene Melnyk of Melynk Racing Stables, the Ontario-foaled mare trained by Mark Casse became a winner in her second start and went on to win the Glorious Song Stakes at 2. During her 4-year-old campaign, she placed in a couple of grade 1s, including a runner-up finish to Forever Together in that fall's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) at Santa Anita Park in her last start. She was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2013.
She was twice sold at public auction following her retirement from racing, selling for $590,000 to Regis Farms from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale in 2013 with a newborn Distorted Humor filly. Roughly 2 1/2 years later, she sold to F. T. I. for $750,000 from the Three Chimneys Farm consignment at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale while in foal to Medaglia d'Oro , the mating that produced Cambier Parc.
Bonne Chance Farm acquired Regis Farms, retaining its management staff, and Sealy Hill was one of two mares Bonne Chance bought back from the Regis Farms dispersal in 2015, according to Alessandroni.
"To have a mare like that produce Cambier Parc, who we bought her in foal to, and have her do what she did, I mean it kind of put us on the map very, very early," Alessandroni said. "She was one of those mares that opened so many doors. Monumental would be a good word to use in terms of the effect she had on our program."