WinStar Farm release:
Gemologist, winner of this year’s Grade I Wood Memorial, has been retired and will enter stud at WinStar Farm for the 2013 breeding season.
The son of Tiznow encountered a minor setback in his training last month and was sent to the Versailles-based farm for rehab. After it was determined he wouldn’t make it back to any big races on the remainder of the 2012 racing calendar, the decision was made for him to retire.
“Gemologist is one of the most talented horses WinStar has ever had the privilege to be a part of,” said Elliott Walden, President & CEO at WinStar, which campaigned the colt through his racing career. “He’s a grand-looking individual and displayed the speed, class and determination of Tiznow, who we believe is on his way to becoming a great sire of sires.
“It was a tough decision to retire him because he could have come back and raced at four. Our core business is stallions, and Gemologist follows in the path of Super Saver and Drosselmeyer – two other top 3-year-olds that we were fortunate to race and bring home to stud. Both of those stallions have had overwhelmingly positive starts to their respective stallion careers, and we believe breeders will love Gemologist just as much.”
A $310,000 weanling purchase, Gemologist was undefeated at two including a marquee victory in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, vaulting him to one of the early-book favorites for the Kentucky Derby. This year as a 3-year-old, Gemologist returned to capture a Gulfstream allowance race by seven lengths over Grade I winner Currency Swap, running a one-turn mile in 1:35 4/5.
On just three weeks rest, Gemologist went on to validate himself as a top contender in the Derby by shipping to New York and winning the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, proceeding to Louisville with a perfect 5-for-5 record.
Gemologist bruised a foot in the Derby and subsequently suffered his first career defeat. “When I led Gemologist over that day, I thought I had a great chance to get my second Kentucky Derby win,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who won his first Derby in 2010 with WinStar’s Super Saver. “I could not have been more confident.”
Gemologist, who retires with 5 wins from 7 starts and earnings of $794,855, hails from the multiple stakes-producing Mr. Prospector mare, Crystal Shard. He joins fellow Grade I winners Bodemeister and Take Charge Indy as future WinStar stallions from a vintage 2012 crop of 3-year-olds. A stud fee for Gemologist will be announced at a later date.