(March 28, 2001-June 27, 2022)
Among the sons of the great Unbridled, Mustanfar made his mark as a racehorse with two graded stakes wins, seconds in prestious stakes at Saratoga, Arlington, and Woodbine, and participation in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf. He stood at Shadwell Farm in Kentucky and was pensioned there. After the death of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shadwell entrusted Old Friends with the care of Mustanfar and five other retired stallions. Shadwell’s commitment to its homebreds and the excellent care they received shows in the venerable ages of Dumaani (31), Swain (30) and Intidab (29). Mustanfar, 21, benefitted from the same wonderful care, but for some time Mustanfar’s health had not been good and it continued declining through this spring and summer. The autopsy report has not yet arrived, but kidney and bladder deterioration were the reasons why, by June 27, euthanasia was the kindest thing that Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital could do for him.
We will always regret that he wasn’t with us long enough for us to really get to know him, and for more of his fans to get to visit him. I have a strong memory of Mustanfar. It comes from another time. On the clear, bright Sunday afternoon of October 9, 2004 my mother, my sister and I were enjoying at the races at Keeneland. Though not much of a bettor, I made a win bet in the Sycamore Stakes because the fiery, spirited attitude of a muscular chestnut named Mustanfar caught my eye.
The gate opened. Mustanfar broke well but settled into a run at the back of the pack. It was a distance race, a mile and a half on the turf. Most of the way around he continued to run nearly last. Then they came around the final turn, and Mustanfar and Jose Santos made their move. What a powerful move it was, that coppery flash of a horse passing them all with every flying, determined stride, red mane and tail flaming as if he were a comet. Space opened between him and all the rest as Mustanfar passed the finish post. He strutted into the winner’s circle all out but head high and proud, ears pricked, owning the place.
That was Mustanfar in his glory. These photos of Laura’s capture him well as he was at the end of his life, but I wish I had words to express anything like as clearly the beauty and spirit of Mustanfar on that youthful, victorious day.