Two Kentucky Derby Veterans Retire

Posted on: Jul 26, 2015

Two horses that ran in the 2014 and 2015 Kentucky Derby have been retired to stud. Carpe Diem has been retired due to a bone chip in his knee. 2014 Kentucky Derby runner Danza has been retired to stud as well, though it’s not evident that this was due to any injury.

Multiple Grade One winner Carpe Diem has been retired to stud after being diagnosed with a bone chip in his knee. He will stand at WinStar Farms in Kentucky starting in 2016. Carpe Diem has a very impressive career legacy–4 wins and a second place finish in six career races. Unfortunately, he never seemed to be able to reach the ‘next level’ and came up short in the biggest challenges of his career. He won the 2014 Breeders’ Futurity and took second in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. A win in the 2015 Blue Grass Stakes punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby where he ‘never fired’ and wound up in 10th place. He looked to be in a perfect position for a stretch run at the midway point but it never transpired.

On Saturday, former Kentucky Derby runner Danza’s retirement was announced and will stand at stud starting next year at Kentucky’s Spendthrift Farms. Danza finished third in the 2014 Kentucky Derby behind winner California Chrome and second place finisher Commanding Curve. Named for TV star Tony Danza, he won the Arkansas Derby and which got him in to the Kentucky Derby where he finished third. Oddly enough, he never raced again after that. In fact, a frequently heard comment after his retirement was announced was race fans thinking that he was ‘already retired’. No reason for the retirement was given but no injury was reported after the Kentucky Derby. For that matter, no one is really sure if Danza remained in training.

Danza will stand at Spendthrift Farms next year with a stud fee of $5500. Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes is exited to have him there: “We are excited about the opportunity to stand such a talented Grade 1 winner as Danza. Simply put, he was one of the best racehorses of his crop, and showed it at both 2 and 3. His tremendous looks match the ability, and I invite breeders to come out to the farm to see him.”

Danza was owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners during his racing career. Eclipse President Aaron Wellman remembered him fondly: “Danza was a sensationally gifted racehorse with the courage to match his natural talent, and he took our racing partners to the top of the mountain. He’s an imposing physical specimen, and we are delighted that Spendthrift has put their faith in him. The team at Spendthrift is second to none, and we have every confidence Danza will have a legitimate opportunity to succeed at stud in Kentucky.”