Third-crop sire Danza died suddenly from an apparent heart attack June 23, according to Spendthrift Farm, which owned the stallion, and Fair Winds Farm in Ohio, which had been leasing the grade 1 winner for a couple of years. Danza was 10.
The son of Street Boss out of the stakes-placed French Deputy mare Champagne Royale entered stud at Spendthrift Farm in 2016. His first season at Fair Winds was in 2020.
Though Danza only raced five times for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trainer Todd Pletcher, he made an impact on the racetrack straight out of the gate and was never off the board. He debuted in July of his 2-year-old year at Belmont Park and won at first asking before finishing a close third in the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2). He made three starts as a sophomore, topped by a 4 3/4-length score in the Arkansas Derby (G1). His last start came in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), in which he finished third after a troubled trip. He earned $866,428 during his racing career.
Eclipse purchased Danza for $105,000 out of Brandywine Farm's consignment to the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The chestnut was bred in Kentucky by Brandywine and Liberation Farm and his pedigree improved significantly after his trip through the sale ring. His half brother Majestic Harbor won the 2014 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and made nearly $1.3 million before retiring to stud, his winning half sister Totally Tucker produced grade 3 winners Totally Boss and Super Steed, and another half sister, Tickled Pink, was stakes-placed.
Through July 18, Danza has sired 48 winners from 95 starters in three crops of racing age. His top performers are Cruise and Danze, winner of the 2020 Ruthless Stakes, and Baila, a multiple stakes winner in Panama. He has also sired black-type-placed winners Pitching Ari, Irish Danzing, and Walkinthewalk. On July 10, his 2-year-old daughter Expect the Boss finished second in the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity's fillies division at Lone Star Park.
Danza is the fourth-leading sire in Ohio by progeny earnings and is tied as the second-leading sire by number of winners with Sky Kingdom at 19 apiece.