Mendelssohn, who finished fourth as the favorite in Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, has been retired from racing and will stand at stud at Coolmore America’s Ashford Stud, it was announced Sunday morning.
He will stand for a fee of $35,000, and join a roster that includes Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify.
Mendelssohn, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is a half-brother to the champion mare Beholder and Grade 1 stakes winner turned super-sire Into Mischief. Mendelssohn, a son of Scat Daddy, at $3 million was the Keeneland September sale topper in 2016.
At age 2, Mendelssohn won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf as part of 2-for-5 campaign.
He earned his way to the Kentucky Derby with an 18 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2 UAE Derby at Meydan.
He was well backed at 6-1 in the Kentucky Derby, but found the sloppy Churchill Downs track and the fast-paced nature of the race too much to handle and finished last.
O’Brien wanted to keep him on dirt and sent him to the U.S. five more times after the Derby. He finished third in the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont, second in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga, third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill before Saturday’s Cigar Mile.
T.J. Comerford on Sunday morning told the New York Racing Association publicity department that Mendelssohn’s long campaign likely caught up to him in the Cigar. His connections had been considering a run in the $9 million Pegasus at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26.
“I was a little disappointed, but he’s had a long year and I guess it’s to be expected,” Comerford said. “It’s probably the latest we’ve ever run a horse after campaigning all the time in America. He was showing signs up to the race of being fresh, but I suppose it took its toll on the day.”
Mendelssohn retires with a record of 4-2-2 from 13 starts with earnings of $2,542,137.
“Being by our own Scat Daddy and a half-brother to Into Mischief and Beholder, you couldn’t ask for a better pedigree and he showed real brilliance when wining the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar and the UAE Derby by a street, recording a new track record,” Dermot Ryan, Coolmore America manager, said in a press release announcing the colt’s retirement.
“He also ran some excellent races in defeat this fall, notably in the Travers and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. We have already had a huge number of inquiries about him and I have no doubt that he will prove extremely popular.”
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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