Champion North American 3YO Summer Bird has died in Japan. The seven year-old stallion succumbed to colic at Shizunai Stallion Station in Hokkaido.
Summer Bird (Birdstone) emulated his own sire to win the G1 Belmont Stakes in 2009. That kick-started a powerful summer campaign that included wins in the G1 Travers Stakes and G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
He was also runner-up in the G1 Haskell Invitational Stakes and a fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was overwhelmingly voted champion 3YO Colt.
A fractured cannon-bone in the lead-up to the 2010 Japan Cup Dirt ultimately ended his career.
Summer Bird (Birdstone – Hong Kong Squall by Summer Squall) was retired to Pauls Mill in Kentucky for the 2011 breeding season and his first crop of 93 foals will be 2YOs in 2014.
He was acquired by WinStar Farm for 2012 in a deal that also included stallions Bellamy Road, Artie Schiller and U S Ranger prior to a further sale to Japan for the following season.