Battle Of Midway back in training after proving subfertile at stud
Son of Smart Strike was retired to WinStar Farm this year
Mare owners' loss is set to be racing fans' gain as last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero Battle Of Midway has returned to training after being found to be subfertile during his first season at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
The four-year-old son of Smart Strike was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer to finish second in the Santa Anita Derby and third in the Kentucky Derby early in his Classic season and enjoyed his moment in the sun later in the year when dropped back in trip to defeat Sharp Azteca by half a length at the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar.
WinStar Farm president and chief executive Elliott Walden reported that Battle Of Midway had managed to impregnate only five of 60 mares sent to him.
He told Daily Racing Form that the horse was found to be missing a gene, which has negatively affected the process by which his sperm should fertilise a female's egg.
Battle Of Midway was the subject of a successful claim against his insurers for subfertility and has been bought back from the insurer by WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Farm, who owned him before he was syndicated as a stallion.
He is currently in training at Keeneland with Rodolphe Brisset but will return to Hollendorfer to pick up his racing career in around a month.
Battle Of Midway is a big loss to bloodlines, as not only was he a top-class horse, but he is also by former North American champion sire Smart Strike, whose other sons Curlin, English Channel and Lookin At Lucky have fared well as stallions.
Moreover, he is out of the Grade 1-winning mare Rigoletta, from the family of Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance.
A $410,000 price-tag at the Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sale attested to his good looks as well.
He had been intended to command a fee of $20,000 at WinStar this year.
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