Will Kalina, better known by his digital friends as Sanny Village, sadly passed away at the too young age of 38. He leaves behind his parents and sister and many many fond memories and friends. He lived in Valley Stream NY just a few miles from Belmont race track and like so many of us here at HRP had always dreamed of owning his own racehorse. That dream turned to reality when he bought Pumpernickel Basil, but tragically, he was never able to see her run. I believe his family are determined to race the horse, and I know we will all be cheering it on along with Sanny, who will be enjoying the ariel view.
I didn’t know Will personally, like so many we only knew him as Sanny Village, but he touched us all at some point in our time, and I have included some of the many tributes at the end of this piece.
Sanny Village first appeared on HRP in 2007 when, like most of us, he had a humble beginning netting 34 winners from 228 races. The first win came from a horse rather aptly named Burning Dreamz in a maiden at CBY, it never won again, but it began a career that lived up in every way to that first winners name.
By the end of that first season, Sanny Village had won their first graded stakes with a horse named By Any Means who took the grade 3 Hooper Handicap by a nose, and it was to be the first of 152 graded stakes wins over a career that spanned 11 years.
There are just too many great horses to mention, but like all of us, Sanny Village treasured those BC and TC races, and he took 4 BC titles and 2 TC races in his time. Cryptomagic would have undoubtedly been a huge high when he took the 2012 KYD from post 18, and whilst A one winning the Preakness was to be his only other TC success, who could forget the huge price tag he demanded after that and just how much success that horse had for his new owner.
Of the Breeders Cup wins, there was Blue Chipper taking down Forever Steel and Commanding in the 2014 BC Mile, which must have been a great feeling, but probably the most memorable BC winner was Bold Star, which took the 2013 BC Sprint and then defended the title successfully in 2014 the same year that Divine And Broke took the BC Juvenile. In amongst those great horses, Sanny Village shared the horse of the year title with Eastern Equine as A One took that in 2015 and had success in 5 other HRP end of year awards.
When Sanny Village was tragically taken from us, his record stood and will stand forever at 1165 wins for $85,924.220. He managed a 22% strike rate and a hugely impressive and enviable $16.220 EPR. He leaves behind the enigma that is Edwin Drood, a horse that has won over $2,500.000, but if it wasnt for Sanny’s failing health, almost surely would have provided him with another BC success. Irish Flu and Eastern Townships will never race again, but probably the saddest thing of all will be the stall occupied by Lane Frost. Sanny Village bought him at the beginning of this year for $210.000, once again trying for the dream of his second KYD win. That dream was taking steps towards reality as the colt finished second in the Davis Stakes and then won the Fountain Of Youth just a few weeks ago to qualify for the great race, and I know it would’ve given Sanny a great thrill to be amongst the runners again.
Sadly now those digital horses stand alone in their stable, a tribute to a man who touched our lives and graced the world with his humor, intelligence and fighting spirit. Rest In Peace Sanny Village, we will all meet again one day, and if there is an internet connection in heaven, then we may just play together again.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
― Shannon L. Alder
His heart may have given out, but the memory of him will live on forever in our hearts.
D J C Racing Stables
Messages from the community at HRP
Estero Farms – I am very sad to say that today we learned that our fellow horseman and all around great guy Sanny Village has passed away from a heart condition. I have not been here that long but Sanny was one of the first people I interacted with in the chat room and he would always go out of his way to give me advice. He had a unique sense of humor which always managed to lighten the mood when things got a bit intense and I know everyone thought highly of him.
Smokey Stover – That’s absolutely awful news. Sounds like it has been a struggle the last few years. Way too young. Condolences to his family and those at HRP that knew him better than I did.
Downwind Stables – what to say a very sad day i first met sanny in the old chat room with whitewater and jl stables and wynne.To hear that sanny passed away is so sad he was great friend many of nights i would be up chatting to him 2 3 4 am. We just talk and text last month about me coming to NY to see his horse run he so looked forward to that day/ my thought and prayers are with his family i will \those late night chat with you my friend my you find peace now i will miss your wit and your humor you were a around great friend
AER Stables – I am heartbroken, saddened and wish his family peace in their time of grief. He was a great guy and I will miss our talks and banter we always had over the years.
Lions Racing – I didn’t really know him but I did like his posts. My prayers go out to his family.
John Henry – Sanny was indeed a true competitor, and one who was always willing to help out. His sense of humor was a highlight in the chat room, and his knowledge was incredible. A great trainer, he could win a race from any PP. You could tell his horse, in RL was the highlight he was wanting, now he can look from above, and guide them to victory. God Bless.
Keikowin Stables – He was a great player in this game. I didn’t get to know him but I’ve always respected his ability here and I also know he had alot of friends here.
Sanny is now free to go on to the other side. A winner.
Sending love to all this community and to his family.
T Boy Racing – Sanny was a great player and was planning on winning the KYD this year and excited to see his horse Pump run. RIP to a great player and a great guy
Riley Stable – Peace and comfort to the family and friends.
Spankys Barn – Very sad news , he will be missed.
Black Ice Racing – Sanny helped me out many years ago in the old chat room giving me advice about my HRP horses and making me laugh about how bad most of mine were. A truly good guy who will be missed. My prayers go out to his family.
Lemax Farms – Thoughts and prayers to his family.
Sccj Stables – Will was a friend and we talked often. He was all about taking care of his family and making sure his parents were in a position to enjoy life. He was only 38 years old. I was in shock when I found out earlier today. RIP buddy
Riggins Racing – Sad sad news. Rest in peace, my friend 😦
Patterson Stables – He randomly messaged me a few months ago talking about a horse he owned a piece of, but didn’t say much after that. I had no idea his health was poor. This is another reminder that our time on this planet is limited and we ought to be good to each other when we are able to do so.
Our Athletes – Condolences to his family and friends.
Second Chance Farms – Very sad news. 38 is waay to young. I didn’t know him personally, but he seemed like a nice human being and was certainly a factor in this game. Prayers for his family and condolences. Kinda puts the trivial bickering here in perspective, eh?
Jive Inc. – Wow. So sad. Sanny is one of the truly good ones on HRP. He’ll be missed and I wish his family the best.
Martyparty – Being newer here I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but it’s a great loss as so many have already commented. RIP
Mb Stables – This news comes as a shock to me. Will (Sanny) was one of the first people I really spoke to about the game when I first started playing. We’d frequently chat especially in the old chat room days and exchange our strategies and theories about the game. Spending nights arguing about instructions! To this day I fully believe he was the best player of this game that I ever spoke to and I had the utmost respect for him in that manner. So much of how I see the game can be attributed to these conversations. I’ll never forget that
Furthermore, he was a great guy. Honest, funny, clever, and humble. I was only able to get to know him through the game, but the glimpses I saw of him showed me the person he was. I feel for his friends and family and I wish them the best.
Gdp Inc – RIP Sanny, my condolences to his friends and family. I’ll remember him as an exciting person and awesome player!
La Canada Racehorses – Very sad to hear.
Joseph Racing – RIP Sanny- my thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He helped me out with some horses early in my career here which I always appreciated. Ill never forget the dead heat in the Shoemaker Mile a few years back between Silver Bullet and Irish Flu. I passed his horse and the stretch and he fought back for a dead heat in a big race. HRP will not be the same without him!!
Night Rider Stables – RIP Sanny
Joshua Stables – This is a crushing blow to the site. The game was better with Sanny in the Chat and with with those distinctive Sanny Village silks in the field for the biggest races. In my mind Sanny will forever be picking up speed at at the top of the stretch and barreling for home. I miss him already and I am sure we will miss him even more in the years to come.
Harrell Racing – Broken hearted as I sit here tonight. I can’t imagine what Dom and the other few that met them man are feeling tonight.
Sanny always was there to lend advice and encouragement. The one thing that always stood out to me, maybe others will agree with this, but he was always the same cool Sanny(Will), never too up or too down, just always the same guy.
MB mentioned Sanny’s HRP abilities. Sanny was a magician when it came to this game. Mad respect to MB for shedding light on that.
As with Wynnewood’s passing, the chat room will never be the same. HRP will never be the same for a lot of us.
Nobody knows what happens when the lights go off, but I really hope Sanny knew he left his mark with a group of us, and our lives will be a little less complete without him here.
Lastly, it’s times like this that remind us that the minor things don’t really matter. Everyone here has some kind of struggle in their life. Most of us are too proud to admit it publicly, but we’re all dealing with something.
I really hope that this community can become closer because of this, and learn to just be a place where everybody here has a friend they can talk to if they need it. Let’s not be at each others throats, let’s try and build each other up and be a place everyone can escape to and feel like they are at “home”.
Maxmillion Farm – RIP Sanny.
Dom, give his family my best.
Freedom Hill – he always took my Sanny the Tranny jokes in stride…
live your life while he have the chance…trust me on that one
Lion King Stables – RIP Sanny Village…
Eastern Equine – He was a great great player but one who I knew almost exclusively through a horse purchase that seemed to work out very well for us both.
Had no idea of his youthful age or his debilitating health.
Always stunned to realize how eagerly life seems to pass many by here.
I was his age when I made so many life-altering health decisions which have held me in good stead for decades.
It’s never too late (or too early) gentlemen and ladies.
RIP young man.
Jerry Garcia Racing – See you on the other side Sanny.
Blushing Meadows – The first time I spoke to Sanny was in the old chat room along with Bill I can even remember the decent one horse he had at the time and when that horse was coming to its racing career he was thinking about leaving. Good news he did not leave the bad news he then proceeded to destroy us for the next 5 seasons.
It may only be a game but a game he loved and hated at times but don’t we all. Did not know him all that well and could count on one hand how many times we exchanged emails but to see a fellow player pass on is always a sad day for the game and such a player who has been here since the year dot to many of the old guard on here a sad loss of a friend.
Rousse – Terrible news. He was one of my best friends here at HRP. I am so sad to hear this. I knew he had been in bad health for a few years but I didn’t know it was that serious. Prayers and condolences to Will’s family. I’ll be thinking of you Sanny !!
Boomtown – Shocked beyond words. Thoughts and prayers go out to a great guy and his family.
Jader Stable – just terrible, was always willing to answer any question i had in the chatroom, and was a very nice guy. RIP Sanny
Mo Mentum Farm – My condolences to his family and friends.
May you rest in peace.
TwinTowersRacing – What awful news.Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.RIP Sanny.
Cherrytree Hill Farm – So, so sad. My heartfelt condolences to all connections.
First Flight Stables – Super nice guy… he will be missed!!
Dew 22 – Awful, awful news.
Crocker Cgs – I’ve always heard great things about Sanny, but regretfully never had a chance to know him myself. I was looking forward to meeting him in Saratoga this summer. The wonderful words of condolences in this thread really drives home that he was indeed the type of respected and honourable person that we should all strive to be. RIP Sanny.
Unreal Racing – Very sad news. RIP Sanny.
Whitewater Stables – Will was one of the most generous people around. He hated to sell horses because he felt bad if they did not run well for the owner. If they didn’t run well you would usually get a few vouchers from him to off set your pain. That was Will in real life as well. He will be sorely missed
I will see you at Heaven’s Downs my friend.
Big Jd Racing – This place just got a little smaller. He loved the ponies, ours as well as the real life ones. Post Time in Paradise. RIP Sanny…
Alabarda Stables – Very sad. And we aren’t getting any younger. Sorry to hear about Sanny, this year is terrible. I have personally lost my aunt in January, my cousin (at 39) in March and my mother passed away in Italy last Saturday.
It seems that lately this is all I hear.
Oquinn Farm – Just getting this news, so sad and gone way to soon. True gentleman on here RIP Sanny.
YME Stable – Shocked and saddened. Offering my thoughts and well-wishes to Will’s family and friends.
Paradise Stable – Like so many of us who regularly attended the old chat, I spent many late nights chatting with Will, and mostly it was just that….chatting. Person to person, friend to friend. Never anything earth shattering, just spending time with someone because you like him.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned guessing what he was having for dinner. : ) He used to keep us occupied for hours with ideas like that, and with stories of life adventures that were often hilarious.
Drabfantasy – Just went into chat and saw some posts which led me to look here. Sad news indeed. Nice guy
Brh Stables – Never really knew him but he had a unique charisma about him , I always liked the guy. I’m very sad , 38 ?? Life is so precious …RIP. Hrp brother!
The Sidley Stud – very sad to hear and at such a young age.
RIP Sanny Village
Northern Trader Stable – Very sad to hear. From what little I knew of him, he was one of the most competitive players here.
Sizing Eurpe Lodge – RIP Sanny.
Sad news indeed, thoughts & prayers with his Family & Friends. Will light a candle in Memory.
Never chatted to the man but he was one of the players I admired on here.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Tinkey – I never knew Sanny but one day in 2014 I received and email from him, he asked me if I had any horses to sell he said his were going bad I told him any horse he wanted, so he picked out 3 of them, I told him you took my best are you trying to ruin my stable but he knew I was kidding him, He even said he was sorry I said no problem. That’s what I remember about Sanny I write this with tears in eyes I just wish I knew him better. God bless you Sanny and RIP.