Colonel John, one of only two 3-year-old colts to win as many as two grade I stakes in North America in 2008, has been retired from racing to stand at Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. A WinStar homebred, Colonel John will join his sire, Tiznow , at the farm. His fee will be announced later.
Colonel John’s two grade I wins last year came in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga and in the Santa Anita Derby. Subsequent champion Big Brown was the only other 3-year-old male in North America last year to win as many as two grade I events.
Colonel John served notice of his skill as a 2-year-old when he won at seven furlongs at Oak Tree at Santa Anita by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:21.47 in his second start. The time was the second-fastest for any 2-year-old at the Santa Anita meet. Colonel John made his stakes debut in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park in his next start and won in stakes-record time of 1:42.92. He closed out the year with a runner-up performance in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I).
In addition to winning the Travers and Santa Anita Derby at 3, Colonel John won the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita. He placed in that year’s Swaps Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
As a 4-year-old, Colonel John won the Wickerr Stakes at a mile on grass at Del Mar in a swift 1:32.77 in his first race of the year. He later missed winning the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) by a neck in a runner-up effort. In what would be his final start, he ran fifth in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Colonel John demonstrated his versatility, winning a grade I stakes on dirt and one on a synthetic track and scoring at distances from six furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. He also was a stakes winner in his only start on the turf.
Trained by Eoin Harty, Colonel John was retired with six wins from 15 starts and earnings of $1,779,012.
“I was around Colonel John’s sire Tiznow who was one of the most talented horses I have ever been around,” Harty said. “Colonel John has the same qualities as his sire, namely speed, class, and durability.”
“We wholeheartedly believe in Colonel John and intend to fully support him with our program," said WinStar president Doug Cauthen. “His resume is complete. He had 2-year-old speed, carried it going two turns, and is a multiple grade I winner. He's the most accomplished son of Tiznow to retire, and we are proud to bring him home. He's a big, athletic horse and has everything we are looking for in a classic sire prospect. We love his race record, pedigree, and physical (appearance). Colonel John should have commercial appeal like his sire Tiznow, who is having tremendous success in the sales ring and on the racetrack.”
Colonel John is out of the course-record-setting Turkoman mare Sweet Damsel and is a full brother to 2009 grade I stakes-placed Mr. Hot Stuff.
Colonel John has arrived at the farm and is available for inspection.