Strong Mandate entered the 2014 racing season as a hot 3 year old prospect but was unable to race in the Triple Crown events due to injury. Now he’s been retired to stud at Kentucky’s Three Chimneys Farm.
Strong Mandate was in the words of Three Chimneys executive Doug Cauthen ‘bred to win the Kentucky Derby’. While he never got to realize his destiny the hope is that his progeny will. Strong Mandate’s career got off to a strong start with a victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga in just his third race. A respectable third place finish in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile put him on the ‘short list’ of likely 2014 Kentucky Derby contenders.
It didn’t quite work out that way. Strong Mandate began his 2014 three year old campaign with a second place run in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes but things started to ‘go south’ from that point. He finished 4th in the Rebel Stakes and 8th in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby–a race that many ‘wise guys’ thought he could win. At that point Strong Mandate’s lackluster form had everyone scratching their head. He had the pedigree of a champion but was running like a $10,000 claimer.
He didn’t qualify for the Kentucky Derby and shortly thereafter trainer D. Wayne Lukas ruled him out of the Preakness Stakes as well as the Woody Stephens at Belmont. At the time his plan was to ‘wait until Saratoga’ but it never reached that point. He was retired from racing in late May following the discovery of a knee chip. He ended his career with lifetime earnings of $529,566.
His financial upside is certain to grow at the breeding shed. He’s the son of Tiznow and has a very impressive female lineage including his mare, Clear Mandate. Clear Mandate was a three time Grade 1 winner with more than $1 million in earnings and the rest of the female side of his pedigree has also enjoyed considerable success at the track. Three Chimneys’ Cauthen thinks this makes him a very attractive stud candidate with ‘four generations of Grade 1 winners’ in his background. He expects Strong Mandate to continue that legacy of success: “Strong Mandate’s precocity, brilliance, striking good looks, and his amazing female family make him an extremely attractive stallion prospect.”