New York stallion Disco Rico was euthanized Dec. 18 after fighting a battle with laminitis for a couple years.
“He had such a will to live; it was amazing,” said owner Joe DiRico of the 17-year-old Disco Rico. The multiple graded stakes winner had repeated fought back from close calls with the disease particularly over the past year.
“I thought we would lose him three months ago, so I went to visit him and gave him peppermints and carrots, and we just hung out,” DiRico said. “When I got home, the vet called me and said he had improved and was walking much better.”
The son of Citidancer—Round It Off, by Apalachee, was deeply admired and respected by DiRico, who bought the colt with his father, Alfred, as a 2-year-old for $82,000 at the 1999 OBS March 2-year-olds in training sale.
Disco Rico would go on to win nine of his 17 starts and finish in the money 15 times. He won seven stakes, including the Maryland Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course and the Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park. He also placed second in the grade II General George Handicap and second in the grade III Amsterdam Stakes. The colt retired after three seasons of racing with $532,244 in earnings.
DiRico had Disco Rico enter stud in Maryland, where he had been bred by C. Oliver Goldsmith. He stood at Murmur Farm for six years, and then DiRico moved him to Keane Stud in New York in 2008 based on the growing state-bred program there. Out of 190 starters, Disco Rico sired 11 stakes winners and a total of 23 stakes horses.
His most successful progeny included multiple stakes winners At the Disco, who was his leading earner with $545,658, and six-time stakes winner Pure Disco. Both were homebreds raced by Patricia Generazio.
“The horse never owed me anything,” said DiRico. “He was a cool horse. He liked jelly donuts, and he liked to drink beer. My trainer could lie on his stomach when he was resting. They are all heartbroken at Keane.”