USA Champion 2YO Midshipman has been retired and will stand his first season at Darley Jonabell in Kentucky next year.
Midshipman (Unbridled’s Song) was voted the 2008 Eclipse Award winner following an outstanding season which saw him capture the G1 Del Mar Futurity and G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He defeated Mine That Bird (Birdstone) and Pioneerof the Nile in the Breeders Cup and the placegetters went to fill the quinella in the following year’s Kentucky Derby.
At three, he recorded a solid victory at Belmont before finishing a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He returned this year to win his final start at Meydan to cap an 8-5-1-1 scorecard.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable, Midshipman is by Unbridled’s Song who stood at Arrowfield Stud for three seasons in the late 1990s. He sired 105 individual winners at an astounding 78% winners to runners in Australian and NZ.
Arrowfield chairman John Messara was keen to keep him shuttling to the Hunter Valley, however, it was deemed uneconomical to bring the horse down here at a fraction of his $100,000 Kentucky fee.
Darley will explore all the options but it would seem likely Midshipman will shuttle to one of its Australian bases.
“Midshipman defeated the best of his generation as a juvenile,” Darley’s Oliver Tait said. “We couldn’t be more excited to have a champion two-year-old with his kind of looks and pedigree joining our roster in 2011.”
Midshipman is out of G2 winner Fleet Lady (Avenue of Flags) and he is a half-brother to G2 Cotillion Hcp winner Fast Cookie (Deputy Minister).
Coolmore has also tapped into the Unbridled’s Song with the recent announcement Dunkirk would retire to its Kentucky base at Ashford Stud. He was runner-up to Quality Road in the G1 Florida Derby and to Summer Bird in the G1 Belmont Stakes but fractured a cannon bone in the latter.
Dunkirk is a son of Unbridled’s Song and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Status. He was the most expensive yearling sold at auction in 2007 when purchased by Demi O’Byrne for US$3.7 million at the Keeneland September sale.