It takes an incredible horse to become a multiple Grade 1 winner, and it takes one with an iron constitution to survive a bout of laminitis. The fact that Bal a Bali did the former after surviving the latter makes him practically one-of-a-kind.
In this edition of In The Stud, Jak Knelman of Calumet Farm discusses the South American-born star Bal a Bali, what makes him appealing for potential breeders, and how the 9-year-old son of Put It Back is doing several years on from conquering his life-threatening illness.
Bal a Bali was a force in his native Brazil, where he won the country's Triple Crown in 2014 and was named its Horse of the Year. He was purchased by Fox Hill Farm and Siena Farm following his championship campaign and brought to the U.S., but his career was derailed when a scrape found on his hind leg got infected and eventually developed into laminitis.
The horse didn't race for nearly a year while he fought the illness, but when he came back, he came back with a purpose. His first U.S. start was a victory in the Grade 3 American Stakes at Santa Anita Park, and the coming years would see him add the G1 Frank E. Kilroe Stakes and Shoemaker Mile Stakes to his mantle. Both of those wins came for Calumet Farm, which purchased the horse prior to his final season of racing in 2017. Bal a Bali retired with 15 wins in 26 starts for earnings of $1,258,268.
The In The Stud series, put together by our friends at EquiSport Photos, features up-and-coming names in the stallion ranks, with a focus on those whose first foals are weanlings of 2019. Paulick Report bloodstock editor Joe Nevills interviews farm staff about the stallion's appealing qualities and what mares might work best with him, while giving viewers and potential breeders a chance to see the stallion on the walk and on the racetrack.
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