Snow Chief

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Snow Chief
Sire Reflected Glory
Grandsire Jester
Dam Miss Snowflake
Damsire Snow Sporting
Sex Male
Foaled 1983
Country United States
Colour Black
Breeder Blue Diamond Ranch (Carl F. Grinstead)
Owner Carl Grinstead & Ben Rochelle
Trainer Melvin F. Stute
Record 24: 13-3-5
Earnings $3,383,210
Major wins

Hollywood Futurity (1985)
Norfolk Stakes (1985)
California Breeders' Champion Stakes (1986)
El Camino Real Derby (1986)
Florida Derby (1986)
Santa Anita Derby (1986)
Jersey Derby (1986)
Charles H. Strub Stakes (1987)
Oaklawn Handicap (1987)

American Classic Race wins:
Preakness Stakes (1986)
California Horse of the Year (1985, 1986, 1987)
American Champion 3-Year-Old Male Horse (1986)
Last updated on September 27, 2008

Snow Chief (March 17, 1983, California – May 18, 2010) was an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.


Snow Chief was bred by Carl Grinstead. In 1984, retired vaudevillian and successful real estate investor Ben Rochelle bought a fifty percent interest in Grinstead's Blue Diamond Ranch, thus becoming a half owner of the yearling. Snow Chief was one of several winners produced by the mare Miss Snowflake: the others included Mujaazif, who won the Royal Lodge Stakes in 1990.

Racing career[edit]

1985: two-year-old season[edit]

Conditioned by veteran California trainer Mel Stute, Snow Chief made nine starts at age two, winning five, including the Norfolk Stakes and the Hollywood Futurity. His 1985 performances earned him California Horse of the Year honors, but Tasso, the 1985 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, was voted the Eclipse Award for American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.

1986: three-year-old season[edit]

As a three-year-old, Snow Chief made a further nine starts. In California, he won two stakes races, then was sent to Florida, where he won the important Florida Derby. Back in California, he established himself as the solid Kentucky Derby favorite with a win in that state's most important race for three-year-olds, the Santa Anita Derby.

Snow Chief was sent off at even money as the bettors' choice in the Kentucky Derby but in a sixteen-horse field, he finished eleventh to winner Ferdinand. However, Snow Chief returned to form in the Preakness Stakes, defeating runner-up Ferdinand by four lengths.

His handlers chose not to run him in the 1½ mile Belmont Stakes. Instead they later sent him to Garden State Park, where he won the Jersey Derby. For his performances in 1986, Snow Chief was named California Horse of the Year for the second straight year and was voted American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.

1987: four-year-old season[edit]

Snow Chief returned to racing as a four-year-old in 1987. From six starts, he won two and earned three seconds. His wins came in the Charles H. Strub Stakes at Santa Anita Racetrack in California and the Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Arkansas. He was voted California Horse of the Year for the third time.

Stud career[edit]

He was retired to stud duty, producing offspring that have met with modest success. He stood at Diane Rochelle's Eagle Oak Ranch in Paso Robles, California, and died due to an apparent heart attack on the morning of May 18, 2010.


Pedigree of Snow Chief
Reflected Glory 1964


bay 1955

Tom Fool Menow
Golden Apple Eight Thirty
Thorn Apple

gray 1954

Palestinian Sun Again
Dolly Whisk
Jaconda Belfonds
Miss Snowflake

bay 1978

Snow Sporting 1966

Snow Cat Arctic Prince
Extatica Claro
Bold Jewel

ch. 1973

Any Time Now Nigromante
Time to Khal
Bold Contessa Bold Combatant
Fleet Contessa