Smile Politely

Where Are They Now?

Nothing says “The End of the Year” quite like the Breeders’ Cup World Championships… except maybe seeing this year’s Kentucky Derby winner enter stud duty. After the big dance is over, some horses are retired and some merely take it easy until next year begins. To sift through which is which, and who to be looking for next year, I’ve compiled a list of horses to give you the heads up on where the game stands presently.

Big Brown: The dual-classic winner was retired from a foot injury during a workout for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Wednesday, Mr. Big debuted at Three Chimneys Farm in Lexington, Kentucky for a breeders open house. He is standing for $65,000, a figure that reflects the economy’s pinch on the industry. Smarty Jones debuted with a fee of $100,000 in 2004.

Ginger Punch: The winner of the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Eclipse Award for Older Female was retired after finishing 6th in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. She will be a broodmare at owner Frank Stronach’s farm, where she was foaled. Ginger Punch won 12 of 22 starts and earned over $3 million in her career.

Hystericalady: The runaway winner of the Delaware, Fleur de Lis, and Molly Pitcher Handicap has been sold during the Fasig-Tipton sales for $3 million to Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum. It is not yet said whether she will be retired for breeding or will race again next year, though retirement looks likely. Hystericalady finished 5th in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Her record stands at 11 wins in 23 starts with $2.2 million in earnings.

Midnight Lute: The first horse ever to win back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Sprints has been retired to Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Kentucky. The record-setting son of Real Quiet finished his career with six wins in 13 starts, earning over $2 million.

Henrythenavigator: The 2nd place finisher of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic has ended his rivalry with Raven’s Pass, with the record standing at Henry three for five challenges against the Breeders’ Cup winner. Henry has been retired to stand at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky for 2009, with a career record of six for 11 and earnings of $2.7 million.

Raven’s Pass: No word yet on whether or not the winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic will remain in training for a four-year-old campaign. Raven is owned by Princess Haya of Jordon and trained by John Godsen for Darley Stable; Godsen says if Raven runs next season, he will likely be pointed toward the Dubai World Cup.

Cocoa Beach and Music Note: After finishing 2–3 in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, these two talented fillies, owned by Godolphin Stable, lost no class to Zenyatta and will most likely be coming back for four-year-old campaigns next year.

Zenyatta: The California Colossus is resting after her resounding victory in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. According to her trainer, John Sheriffs, the mare will return to the track next year with her first start at Santa Anita. A shoe in for the 2008 Eclipse Award for Best Older Female, her admirers are pondering, “2008 Horse of the Year?”

Stardom Bound “Zenyatta Junior,” the talented gray winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, will enter training for next year’s season. She has been sold at the Fasig-Tipton auction for $5.7 million. Her buyer: IEAH Stables. Her new trainer: One Rick Dutrow. Just when you think the drama is over…

Midshipman A new star is born. After winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the Baffert trainee has earned the moniker as the early favorite for the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable, it’s unclear whether or not the colt will stay in America or be shipped to Dubai after his recent victory; also up in the air is whether or not Bob Baffert will continue to train him.

Square Eddie: The runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is going to be racing on dirt in his next start. Trained by Doug O’Neill and owned by Paul Reddam, the colt has run his best races on synthetics in his six-race career and will be starting a dirt campaign to prove his legitimacy as a Kentucky Derby contender next year.

Vineyard Haven The much-hyped gray 2-year-old has been purchased by the Godolphin Stable from owner/trainer Bobby Frankel and has been shipped to Dubai. A winner of three of four starts, including the Grade I Champagne Stakes and Grade I Hopeful, Vineyard Haven would be a top contender for the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

Commentator: After skipping the Breeders’ Cup, the champion seven-year-old gelding will be making his next start at Churchill Downs in the Clark Handicap on November 28. His recent winning streak has trainer Nick Zito confident about the race, though Rick Dutrow is sending a couple of rabbits at him for his contender, Arson Squad.

Colonel John: The lucky winner of the Travers will be coming back for a four-year-old campaign. The Colonel finished 6th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic; his records stands at five for ten.

Pyro: After finishing 6th In the Breeders’ Cup Mile (did I tell you so or what?), the fate of Pyro is in the hands of his new ownership, Darley Stable, owned by Sheikh Mohammed. No word yet on whether his connections will race him again, or send him to stud.

Curlin: No word yet from Camp Curlin on what’s going on for the 2007 Horse of the Year. He did not have his customary Monday workout, so one might assume his 2008 racing season is over. It is highly unlikely he will return for a 5-year-old campaign, so we may have seen the last race of our golden boy. Curlin received a standing ovation after finishing fourth in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

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