Kentucky Derby favourite retired

Pre-post Kentucky Derby favourite Eskendereya has been retired after tests revealed a soft tissue injury in his near foreleg.  The Giant’s Causeway colt was ruled out of the Run for the Roses after the injury didn’t respond to treatment.

Eskendereya is a younger half-brother to WA sire Balmont.  Shares in the colt have been sold to Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables who has campaigned Curlin and Rachel Alexandra to USA Horse of the Year awards in the last two years.  A release from Zayat Stables owner Ahmed Zayat on Friday afternoon said that he and Jackson are looking for the best stud farm for Eskendereya.

Eskendereya (3c Giant’s Causeway – Aldebaran Light by Seattle Slew) won an allowance at Gulfstream Park in January and then blitzed the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes by 8 lengths at the same Florida venue in February.  He did a similar demolition job on his rivals in the G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct wining by 9 lengths in a performance that confirmed his favouritism for the Kentucky Derby.  He retires with a 6: 4-1-0 career card and $725,700 in earnings.

Bred in Kentucky by Sanford Robertson, Eskendereya was a $250,000 buy at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale.  Besides Balmont, he has a 2YO half-sister named Wear Red (Henny Hughes), a yearling half-sister by First Samurai and a weanling half-brother by Henny Hughes.

Eskendereya’s family includes 1974 Kentucky Derby winner Cannonade (Bold Bidder) and G1 winner Halo (Hail to Reason), the sire of Kentucky Derby winners Sunny’s Halo and Sunday Silence.

Meanwhile, Balmont will relocate from Alwyn Park to Ted van Heemst’s Lynward Park this year.  The Jeremy Nosada trained colt was a 2YO winner of the 2003 G1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket and G2 Gimcrack Stakes at York.  He didn’t win again but was placed in the 2004 G1 July Cup behind Frizzante and the 2005 G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes won by Cape Of Good Hope.

Balmont (Stravinsky) will shuttle to his new Western Australian base from Tara Stud where he stands for a 7,000 euros (AUD 10,015) service fee.  His WA fee has been set at $7,150.