World champion Sheer Desire, 12, dies

Columbus, OH — On Saturday (Nov. 10) world champion Sheer Desire, 12, was euthanized after suffering from a severe infection. The Kentucky-bred son of Real Desire-Carolache co-held the world record time of 1:49.3 for 2-year-old pacers on a mile track with two-time Dan Patch and Nova Award winner Somebeachsomewhere until Sportswriter paced in 1:49.2 in the 2009 edition of the Metro Pace.

Purchased for $60,000 from the 2007 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale by D’Elegance Stable IX, Noel Daley and Sampson Street Stables, he was trained by Mickey Burke during his freshman campaign. He was then owned by Burke Racing Stable, Randy Ringer, JJK Stables, and Lawrence Karr until 2011 and was trained by Ron Burke. The gelding competed for different ownership until being acquired by Rory Coolbaugh in January 2017.

Sheer Desire, a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion, was an elite performer during his 2-and 3-year-old seasons and banked $852,477 from 209 trips to the post.

“He was just such a nice horse,” Coolbaugh said. “He would come right up to you and put his head on your shoulder to be petted. I was going to retire him down in Florida this winter after one more start. He really just loved to race.”

Although Coolbaugh did not own Sheer Desire for as long as he would have liked, he recalled a highlight of the short time they spent together.

“A guy from New Zealand (Mike Maynard) drove him to a win in the New Zealand vs. U.S. amateur competition at Monticello Raceway last year,” he said. “I will never forget how happy that driver was with him, and credited him for turning things around for the New Zealand team to win. He really was a special horse.”

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