Soft tissue injury forces retirement of Connect to Lane's End
Son of Curlin looked a top prospect for the big races this year
Last year's Cigar Mile hero Connect has been retired due to injury and will stand at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky from next year.
The four-year-old son of Curlin was trained by Chad Brown for Paul Pompa and broke his maiden on his three-year-old debut and won four of his next five starts, including three stakes races.
He defeated Gun Runner to win the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby in September, with Nyquist well in arrears, and saw off Divining Rod to land the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in November.
Connect returned this year to win the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes at Belmont by a wide margin, the race a prep for the Met Mile where he would likely have started favourite.
Unfortunately he suffered a soft tissue injury that has ruled him out of racing again this year.
“I’ve said it before but, of all the very good horses I’ve been fortunate to own, Connect is in another league,” said Pompa.
“Of course we’re all very disappointed that he won’t be able to run again, but I’m also looking forward to the next stage of his career.
"Lane’s End has an exceptional record and I’m confident that the outstanding syndicate that’s been put together will give him every chance for success.”
Connect retires the winner of six of his eight starts, finishing unplaced only once, having accrued $1.37 million in earnings.
He was bred by Fox Straus out of the unraced Holy Bull mare Bullville Belle and hails from the family of Pompa's Grade 1 Garden City winner Backseat Rhythm.
He was bought by Pompa for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale.
“He’s by a top class sire that’s one of the most commercially sought after stallions in the market," said Will Farish of Lane's End. "He will cross beautifully with A.P. Indy-line mares, with which Curlin has had so much success.
"He’s an outstanding physical, very much akin to the successful stallions on our roster today. Paul Pompa has had a major racing stable for many years and I’m very happy he’s entrusted us with the stallion career of Connect.”
A fee will be announced at a later date.