The 20-year-old gelding had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, KY., since 2008.
A son of Pioneering, out of the Grey Dawn II mare Stay With Bruce, Danthebluegrassman
--named after raconteur Dan Chandler, son of former Kentucky governor A.B. "Happy" Chandler--was campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owner Michael E. Pegram.
As a 2 year old the flashy chestnut won the Gold Rush Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion. A year later, he punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby trail with a win in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby and a close 2nd in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby.
A long shot nevertheless, on Derby day he was installed at 50-1 morning line odds, but then later scratched after he "tied up" following a routine gallop at Churchill Downs. In June of that year he went on to another victory in the Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Claimed in in 2005, Dan eventually fell down the ranks and was retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2008 after a career boasting 47 Starts and 8 wins with earnings of $423,794.
"Dan was the man--tough but gentle," said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. "We were fortunate to know him for more than a decade, and he will be missed by all of us. Special thanks to Dr. Bryan Waldrige and everyone at Park Equine for doing the best for Dan when he needed it most."