Eldaafer, winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon (gr. III), has been retired to Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky.
The 9-year-old gelding, who suffered a career-ending suspensory injury in November, arrived at the Central Kentucky Thoroughbred retirement facility June 2 along with his inseparable companions, the goats Google and Yahoo.
Bred by Shadwell Farm by A.P. Indy, out of multiple grade I winner Habibti, by Tabasco Cat, Eldaafer lived up to his name, which translates as "the victorious."
Campaigned by several owners throughout his career, Eldaafer had developed a reputation early on for being very difficult. But he began to live up to his potential when he came under the patient eye of trainer Diane Alvarado. In his first start out of her barn, Eldaafer earned his first graded stakes win in the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), going a mile-and-a-half on the dirt. He went on to make his first Breeders' Cup Marathon appearance later that year at Santa Anita Park where he finished seventh.
In 2010, a victory on the Polytrack in the Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) guaranteed the gelding a second chance in the Marathon. He sailed smoothly to a 1 3/4-length victory in a tumultuous race at Churchill Downs that was memorable for the televised post-race row between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano.
Eldaafer retired with earnings of $1,031,835 from 13 wins, three seconds, and seven thirds in 46 starts.
"Eldaafer is a sturdy throwback to a time when stamina and strength were valued," said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. "We're very grateful that his connections trust Old Friends to take care of his well-deserved retirement."