Three fairly prominent racehorses have been retired within the last 48 hours. Former Breeders' Cup Mile winner, Kip Deville, has had his career ended by a bout with colic. Kip Deville is a horse I am personally familiar with since I called a stakes win of his during my tenure at Sam Houston Race Park. Oddly enough, that victory came over the dirt track in Houston. Kip Deville earned over $3,000,000 in purses and won ten total stakes races in his career.
Colonel John's career has also ended with his run in the Breeders' Cup Classic last Saturday. His two most famous wins came on opposite ends of the country. He won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in a prep for the 2008 Kentucky Derby, where he finished sixth as the second choice in the wagering. He also won a memorable photo finish in what was maybe the best race of 2008, the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, just beating Mambo In Seattle by the narrowest of margins. Colonel John earned just over $1,700,000 in purses, winning six of fifteen lifetime starts.
Finally, Mastercraftsman, the 2008 European Juvenile Champion, was retired to stud following his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Mastercraftsman's poor result in the Dirt Mile might be the result of a poor trip or a poor ride by John Murtagh. Whatever it was, the horse clearly had the rail and the opportunity to run down the horses in front of him and he couldn't get the job done. Mastercraftsman won seven of twelve starts and also earned just over $1,700,000 in purse money.
Colonel John will perform stud duty at WinStar, Mastercraftsman will do the same at Coolmore in Ireland. Stud plans have not been announced for Kip Deville as the connections are waiting until after the colic problem has been settled.
Off day on Thursday, so tune in on Friday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!