Ralph and Lauren Evans' two-time Grade 1 winning New York-bred millionaire Diversify has been retired due to a suspensory injury.
A wire-to-wire winner of the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney Handicap last year at Saratoga Race Course, Diversify was voted the 2018 New York-bred Horse of the Year.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Bellamy Road, who had been training at Belmont Park and eyeing a return to action, exited Saturday morning's work with the injury.
Originally trained by the late Rick Violette, Jr., who passed away in October of 2018, Diversify was transferred to the care of Jonathan Thomas to prepare for his 2019 campaign. He had not raced since finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in October, a race that he won the year prior.
“He was an amazing horse and an absolute blessing for us in Rick's stable so we can never be upset about him retiring happy,” said Melissa Cohen, who served as the assistant to Violette and now works as the assistant to Thomas. “He's comfortable and he's happy, so that's all we can ask of him. He gave us more than we could have ever asked for when we needed it the most.
“He was a big ham, everybody loved him and he was special,” Cohen continued. “We're going to miss him dearly. I don't know what Ralph has arranged as far as retirement goes or what he'll do, but he'll find the absolute best place for him.”
Diversify made his last year on track his best one, winning 3-of-5 starts while banking $1,190,000 in purse earnings. On May 28, 2018, he captured the Commentator against fellow state-breds before winning the Grade 2 Suburban by six lengths, earning a career-best 111 Beyer Speed Figure.
In August, in an emotional renewal of the Whitney, Diversify set a quick early tempo over a sloppy and sealed Saratoga main track to best 2017 New York-bred Horse of the Year Mind Your Biscuits by 3 1/2 lengths.
Diversify, bred in New York by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding, won 10 of his 16 career starts, including a wire-to-wire victory in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2017 and retires with $1,989,425 in earnings.
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