Kentucky Derby Runner-up Firing Line Retired

by | 11.29.2016 | 7:11pm
Firing Line set a track record in the 2015 Sunland Park Derby before finishing second to American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby

Owner Arnold Zetcher announced today that Firing Line – runner-up to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby – has been retired.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Firing Line – a 4-year-old bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms and by the Lion Heart stallion Line of David – served notice of his ability when he broke his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths as a 2-year-old at Del Mar. He validated his quality in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity where he finished second, beaten a head by Dortmund.

Second in his 3-year-old debut in the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, beaten once again by Dortmund by a head, Firing Line enjoyed a somewhat meteoric rise after his victory in the G3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby, where he set a track record for 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.39, with a visually stunning 14 1/4-length victory.

On the first Saturday in May, Firing Line finished a valiant second, beaten a length by American Pharaoh after a memorable stretch duel in the Kentucky Derby. After dueling for much of the way, he finished two lengths in front of Dortmund, who was suffering his first defeat after six consecutive wins.

Firing Line finished seventh two weeks later in the G1 Prekness, then was given the remainder of 2015 off. He returned to the races last July in a Santa Anita allowance race, then was entered and scratched from the Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar in August. He recorded four works from late October until Nov. 18, the date of his most recent breeze.

“Firing Line was by far the best horse I've ever owned,” said Arnold Zetcher. “He gave us the thrill of a lifetime.”

Stud arrangements have not been made for Firing Line.

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