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Polish Navy (1984-2011)


Polish Navy passed away January 6, 2011.  Read Memorial.

Polish Navy is among the best sons of the illustrious Danzig. Racing for breeder Ogden Phipps, he propelled future Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey to the top. He immediately sailed into a four race streak culminating with a win over Java Gold in the Cowdin (G1) and a victory in the renowned Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. His first defeat, against one of the strongest Breeders' Cup Juvenile fields of all time, was followed by a discovery of bone chips in his knee.

Surgery delayed his three year old debut, but by July, Polish Navy again hit his stride. With Randy Romero up, he ran third against Gone West in the Dwyer (G1), won the Jim Dandy (G2) over Cryptoclearance, and got a third to Java Gold in the Travers (G1).

In the 1987 Woodward (G1), he patiently stalked Gone West, prevailed, then valiantly held off a furious drive by Gulch (fellow Old Friends retiree Wallenda's sire). Polish Navy was a strong contender for three year old champion, among one of the best crops in recent history. He won 7 of 12 starts, earning $1,118,076.

Entering stud at Claiborne Farm in 1988, along with fellow Old Friends resident Ogygian, Polish Navy achieved the highest single honor possible for a stallion, when his son Sea Hero won the 1993 Kentucky Derby (over two more future Old Friends horses, Bull in the Heather and Wallenda). Earlier that year, Polish Navy had been exported to Japan. After moderate success overseas, he returned to the US, standing at Wafare Farm in Kentucky.

Eventually pensioned at Richland Hills in Kentucky, he arrived at Old Friends in 2009, along with fellow pensioner Glitterman. "Polish" lost an eye early in his stud career, but his good eye says it all. Among the great ones, Polish Navy has always shone. He's one of our brightest stars.