Undefeated Mastery Officially Retired To Claiborne Farm

by | 06.13.2017 | 12:14pm
Cheyenne Stable's Mastery and jockey Mike Smith win the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes

Undefeated Grade 1 winner Mastery made his much anticipated arrival at Claiborne Farm June 12. He has officially been retired from racing and will begin stud duty at the stallion farm in 2018, according to representative Bernie Sams.

The three-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG) was a perfect 4-for-4 in his racing career, including dominant victories in last year's Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (gr.I) and Bob Hope Stakes (gr.III), and this year's San Felipe (gr.II).

In the San Felipe Stakes, Mastery was again much the best, winning impressively by nearly 7 lengths and solidified his position as a top contender for this year's Triple Crown. The dominant victory in the San Felipe proved bittersweet, however, when Mastery pulled up following the race. Subsequent xrays unfortunately revealed a condylar fracture in his front left leg.

On March 13, Mastery underwent successful surgery, which trainer Bob Baffert said “went very well.”

Sams added, “He's on the path to full recovery. He's an impressive, powerful looking colt and arrived in great condition. We're honored to have him join our stallion roster.”

Owner Everett Dobson of Cheyenne Stables commented, “I want to commend the extraordinary effort by Bob Baffert and his team rehabbing Mastery in California and getting him back to this point. I'm very appreciative and extremely excited about his arrival at Claiborne Farm for the next chapter in his career.”

“He was just starting to mature,” said Baffert. “I'm still sick about him getting hurt. It's safe to say he was on the same path as American Pharoah, the way he was dominating his races.”

Mastery was bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm. He was purchased from the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by Cromwell Bloodstock for $425,000. He was undefeated in four starts with earnings of $511,200.

By Candy Ride (ARG) and out of the winning Old Trieste mare Steady Course, Mastery is a half-brother to stakes winner Clear Sailing. His dam is a half-sister to Jump Start, winner of the Champagne Stakes (gr.I) and now the perennial leading sire of the Mid-Atlantic region. His third dam is a full-sister to the great sire Miswaki.

Mastery will join a talented stallion roster at Claiborne Farm that includes top international sire War Front, Eclipse Champions Blame and Runhappy, Kentucky Derby winner Orb, Flatter, First Samurai, Data Link, Lea, Algorithms, Ironicus and Trappe Shot.

  • OopsyDaisy3

    I know it is not my nor was it any of our’s decisions, but this is a prudent and right decision for the horse. Had he healed and raced again for myself, i would have been concerned about a repeat injury. Thanks to Mastery for the memories. Live a long and happy life at Claiborne Farm. Linda in Texas

  • Jerry

    Yet another BAFFERT TRAINED HORSE that FORTUNATELY is being sent to the breeding shed

    • Erin Casseday

      And your point (or should I say “implication” ) is?

      • Michael Shea

        Baffert must be doing something right. His horses are valued enough that they are wanted for the breeding shed.

        • Erin Casseday

          I guess I am just suspect of his meaning because of the wording and the use of caps on certain words.

          • Michael Shea

            I always try to imagine the words as if they were spoken. Those were loud.

          • Erin Casseday

            Emphatically!

          • Michael Shea

            REALLY LOUD !

          • Erin Casseday

            LOL!!

  • Sharon Smith

    It’s too bad Mastery had such a short racing career, but I think he showed plenty. Claiborne is probably hoping that he’ll turn out to be like another lightly raced and unsound–but unbeaten–horse they took on for the 1981 breeding season. Name of Danzig.

    • Tinky

      “Hoping” being the operative word.

      • Erin Casseday

        In fact, isn’t that the operative word when any stallion (or mare) goes off to the breeding shed?

        • Tinky

          Not to the same extent as hoping for another Danzig…

        • Michael Shea

          Horse racing is never as much of a gamble as when they go to the breeding shed. I wish him better luck than he enjoyed on the track. In a spring of disappointments, his injury was the most heartbreaking for me. I went from the highest of highs as he crossed the finish line to the lowest of lows when it was recognized that something had happened. I can’t even imagine what the connections felt.

          • Erin Casseday

            Right there with you.

        • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

          Blah blah.

    • GoodnessMe

      Danzig didn’t even compete in a stakes race much less win three of them. And Mastery fractured an ankle, that does not mean he was inherently unsound. At least not more than 95% of them.

      • Michael Shea

        The saddest thing about his injury was that it appeared to be a simple misstep.

        • GoodnessMe

          It is a shame that he went wrong, but great that he recovered and will go on to live a good life. I think he was an immensely talented racehorse.

          • Michael Shea

            I agree. I’m rather surprised by the strong negatives.

          • GoodnessMe

            I’ve read few negatives. The resident PR Mastery of Snark doesn’t count;)
            Horse has everything going for him. Huge support from top farm, owner and agents, will be very selective book.

          • Tinky

            lololol at my skepticism that he was on his way to being a TC winner being “negative”.

          • GoodnessMe

            Tinky, we all know what the quote was about. We all know that it is hard to win it. As I recall you didn’t think AP deserved to win it even though he did just that with each race more impressive than the last. You knocked him, too. Now you want to remind us that it is hard to get through the preps and the three races, and stay sound and in form? Really? Who knew…..

          • Tinky

            I never suggested that AP didn’t “deserve” to win the TC. I simply pointed out that he was overrated, and explained why.

          • GoodnessMe

            Oh I see. He was able to thrive through the chase, ran negative splits in Belmont, sailed over the sudden slop on a track that had been harrowed open just before the rain, and gutted out the Derby….but you know, it is so hard to do….he was overrated. You should get back in the game and breed a mare to him, you can name the foal American Snark.

          • Tinky

            I’ve explained why he was overrated in detail. Feel free to check the archives.

          • GoodnessMe

            And I just explained why he wasn’t overrated. At all. You should be old enough to appreciate what he did and just how rare it is in this day and age to not only get through it sound of body and mind, but to improve in each race. And for an encore, continue on from there, and run three more good Gr. 1 races and dominate two of them. The horse made it look easy, and was the perfect incarnation of a racehorse in stride and many, many top horsemen with no reason to puff him up said so. Your self regard here seems to be the only thing overrated.

          • Tinky

            You obviously haven’t bothered to find my earlier, detailed arguments, and have provided nothing other than a superficial defense.

            I said many times that he was an outstanding horse, but a nuanced understanding of what he accomplished leads to a more nuanced conclusion of where he stands in a historical context.

          • GoodnessMe

            Ok, name that first foal American Nuance.

          • Tinky

            Reminds me of the Cowans, who, in one of their less inspired moments, named a foal by Danzig out of Hollywood Wildcat “Danzig Wildcat”.

            ;>)

          • Michael Shea

            I was there through the thirty seven year drought, believe me; I and everyone else knows how difficult it is. I just don’t understand the out of hand dismissal of Mastery. If I can’t know for sure that he was that good; how can you know for sure that he wasn’t?

          • Tinky

            I don’t know for sure, of course, but being really good is only one factor. Stamina and soundness are also required, and Mastery was a fast, free-runner, which wouldn’t have helped his chances.

          • Michael Shea

            I have come to the conclusion that as much as all of the things you mentioned, luck is needed. And Mastery sadly, lacked that.

          • Tinky

            Good point.

          • GoodnessMe

            Looked like he could carry his speed to me. And he could also stalk, he didn’t have to be on lead. He won his races as much the best.

          • Michael Shea

            He was improving and that is awfully important on the Derby trail.

          • Tinky

            He was clearly bred to be a miler, and was a fast, free-running horse. There was zero evidence that he was at all likely to stay 10, let alone 12 furlongs.

          • GoodnessMe

            “Milers” win the Derby almost every year. And he displayed more effortless domination in his races, and did not seem to me like he would not go on. And he would have only had to outrun this slow crop to do so. I do not think he would’ve held up through the series, though. Which is why I am reminded just how special that “overrated” horse was….

          • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

            Yep, he beat Irap by 7, wow.

          • GoodnessMe

            Yes he effortlessly beat the subsequent Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby winner. Good point.

          • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

            Who went on to finish 18th and 9th in the Derby and a distant 4th in the Belmont Stakes.

          • Gls

            Because you have to be in it to win it! Winners tell stories, losers cry deal.

          • Lily FaPootz

            Where have I heard this before …?

      • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

        But you’ve still heard of Danzig haven’t you? He was one of the top sires, and sire of sires, ever.

        • GoodnessMe

          Indeed. But this was a discussion about how he compared coming in to to his stallion career and there is no comparison. Danzig was a rare allowance winner given that chance (especially back then) based solely in his trainer Woody Stephens relationship and good word to Seth Hancock about the horse. In Mastery’s case, he is an undefeated Gr. 1 winner and top 2 yr old that was sought after by the farm to stand stud. I hope Mastery does half as well as the inimitable Danzig.

          • disqus_VDMOBiuPfw

            No, it was a discussion about how Claiborne might hope to have another Danzig-like stallion in Mastery but probably won’t.

          • GoodnessMe

            I think they probably have more reasonable expectations and professional perspective than is often exhibited in the comment section of trade sites.

  • Ida Lee

    This kid would have given my Irish and the rest of his 3-year-old peers a really hard time…he was one of the best of his crop….but unfortunately he had 2 screws put in his leg….I know if he was mine, I would not take a chance and race him again…..so I’m very happy that he was given the best care possible and that he’s been retired to Claiborne with an excellent future ahead of him….thanks for the memories Pretty Boy Mastery…I wish we could have known you better…

    • Flying J

      Very nicely said.

  • WriteSocially Social Media

    Excellent. He is an undefeated G1SW. No need to race him again. He has a bright future ahead of him as a stallion.

  • Tinky

    “It’s safe to say he was on the same path as American Pharoah…”

    Good to know that Baffert can fall back on a second career as a stand-up comedian, if necessary.

    • Erin Casseday

      Why is that funny?

      • Tinky

        Because it is ludicrous to suggest that Mastery was likely to become a Triple Crown winner.

        • GoodnessMe

          Yeah, you’d know better than a guy that has been through four of them, and won one. Yep. For sure.

          • Tinky

            Apparently you are blissfully unaware of the fact that he has a very valuable vested interest in promoting the horse.

          • GoodnessMe

            I’m actually well aware of stallion marketing. It is so common to get the trainer quote that I have no idea why you would parse his quote vs. any other. But he also said exactly that about thinking he was looking at Pharoah right after the San Felipe, before he even knew the extent of the injury. Can’t wait for your snark when Arrogate retires….

          • Tinky

            If you are comparing Mastery to Arrogate, then you must be drinking the Kool-Aid.

          • GoodnessMe

            No, I wasn’t.

          • Michael Shea

            I’m in Chicago where we are going through a streak of ninety degree days. I could use some of that Kool Aid.

          • Michael Shea

            I appreciate honesty but I would have some concerns about him if he said, “Well, he was okay, but nothing special.”

          • Tinky

            Sure, it would be perfectly reasonable for him to speak highly of the horse. Suggesting that he was on his way to being a Triple Crown winner is transparent hyperbole.

          • Michael Shea

            No harm in it. I loved the colt and was looking forward to his Triple Crown races, too. I’m sure the connections of every good looking three year old feel the same way. The tragedy of the injury is that we’ll never know.

          • Lily FaPootz

            Kinda like comparing a current horse to Secretariat; at a certain point, the sane and rational stop taking his words at face value

          • Lily FaPootz

            Perhaps she has a valuable vested interest in defending the man

        • Erin Casseday

          Why? He had ( before is injury) as good a chance as any, probably better chance than some.

          • Tinky

            Are you really not aware of the history of the TC, and how difficult it is to win all three races?

            Saying that he would have had a better chance than some is a long, long way from being “on the same path” as one that did win them all.

          • Erin Casseday

            No, I have no idea how hard it is. Why don’t you explain it to me. 😉

          • Michael Shea

            I’m sure I’m mistaken, but that almost sounded like sarcasm.

          • Erin Casseday

            You, sir, are very intuitive! 😊

          • Michael Shea

            Well, it took some very careful reading between the lines, but I deciphered your true meaning.

          • Lily FaPootz

            Careful …

    • the buzz23

      Thanks for sharing your load of positivity today.

      • Tinky

        Ah, yet another person who confuses realism with negativity. It’s an all too common affliction, and especially in the U.S.

    • Lily FaPootz

      He has made enough on agent fees alone to retire without any backup at all…

  • Mary (M.R.) Perdue

    I think he was trying to say Mastery would have dominated this year’s crop if he’d stayed healthy. Not really that hard to believe . Division would have been a lot different with him and Not This Time in the mix IMO.

    • Michael Shea

      Boy, are you right about that. I hate to admit that I had forgotten about Not This Time. His performance in the Breeders Cup Juvenile had me looking forward to the Derby.

  • Gotchagold

    loved this colt from his very start. I’m sure he will have a great life ahead of him and hopefully he will carry on his great sire line. Can’t wait to see his babies on the track.

  • Ron Bailey

    After visiting Clairborne farm last week, Mastery is a great addition to the stallion barn. Even though his race career was cut short because of injury, he will make a name for himself as a breeding stallion joining the other greats that they have. Mare owners need to book their mares to Mastery as soon as possible to be able to get his bloodline into their new crop of foals.

  • Meydan Rocks

    He “was” and that’s where the journey ended. I wouldn’t get my panties all up in a bunch over trainer’s choice of marketing prose. :-)

  • Lily FaPootz

    Goodness me, glad the trainer finally got the horse to the farm, where he should have been for the last three months.

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