Owner Arnold Zetcher announced today that Firing Line – runner-up to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby – will stand the 2017 season at Crestwood Farm, near Lexington. The 4-year-old son of Line of David, also the 14 1/4-length winner of the G3 Sunland Derby in 2015, will stand for a fee of $5,000, according to bloodhorse.com.
“We had some offers to sell him outright or make other arrangements, but my wife and I talked it through. We love the horse and we think he's got some great potential, so we decided to retain ownership,” Zetcher said. “There are not a lot of horses that come around like this. Even though he had the injuries later, the way he ran, we feel he has the opportunity to be a successful stallion.”
Trained by Simon Callaghan, Firing Line first 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 Preakness, then was given the remainder of 2015 off. He returned to the races this 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 retires with earnings of $976,000 from eight starts, with two wins and four seconds over his career.
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