Out of Place (ch h, May 28, 1987 – Jan. 20, 2010) by Cox’s Ridge x Arabian Dancer, by Damascus

A big, rangy chestnut stallion who once appeared to be a major sire of classic contenders, Out of Place was euthanized at Claiborne Farm on Jan. 20. Born there 23 years ago, Out of Place had a very Claiborne pedigree, with his sire and broodmare sire both having been important sires at Claiborne and his female family having been there for generations.

He was one of the best racing sons of Metropolitan Handicap winner Cox’s Ridge, and overall, Out of Place would have to rank as his sire’s best stallion son.

Bred by Cynthia Phipps and raced in the old Wheatley Stable colors, Out of Place was another good horse born in May, and as such the chestnut son of Cox’s Ridge was not started at 2 but won five of nine at 3, with the remaining four all in the money.

Although his only stakes performance that year was a third in the G3 Discovery Handicap, Out of Place rose onto my handicap with some salty efforts against strong allowance company. At 4, Out of Place proved himself one of Shug McGaughey’s continually improving projects, winning the G3 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs at the end of the season. The following year at 5, Out of Place never managed to win a stakes but ran second in a trio of G1s (Donn, Iselin, and Whitney) and third in a fourth (Woodward).

Of his eight starts in 1992, Out of Place ran Beyer Speed Figures of 103 or higher in seven, including a pair of 112s in his final two starts: a nose second to Sultry Song (also by Cox’s Ridge) in the Whitney and a 1 3/4 length loss to that rival and Pleasant Tap (by a head) in the Woodward.

A fast, powerful, and highly talented horse who had proven difficult even for McGaughey to keep sound and one who never quite hit the brass ring at the racetrack, Out of Place was sent to stand at stud in Florida in 1993.

The big, rangy, rather late-maturing stallion sired horses who had speed and some of whom made good juveniles in training. From the second crop by Out of Place, Orville N Wilbur’s won the G2 San Rafael early at 3 in 1998, and his third-crop son Certain won the G2 Arkansas Derby in 1999. With apparent classic potential popping up regularly among his racers, Out of Place returned to Kentucky to stand at his birthplace in 2000.

He has proven an amazingly consistent sire of tough, raceable horses. From 15 crops of racing age 3 or older, Out of Place is the sire of 395 winners (59 percent) and 39 stakes winners (6 percent) that have earned more than $31.7 million.

But in looking back at the record of his stock, the most amazing thing about Out of Place is the durability and athleticism of his runners. The percentage of runners to foals from his crops older than 5 is greater than 80 percent, some crops reaching more than 90 percent starters. That is serious racehorse siring. And from that extraordinary percentage of runners, Out of Place gets more than 60 percent winners. From his first, third, and eighth crops (the first in Kentucky), he sired 79, 78, and 78 percent winners from foals.

Utterly amazing. The old boy has represented some of the best value in Kentucky for home breeders the last few years, and he will be missed.