Circular Quay, who is out of the grade I-winning Belong to Me mare Circle of Life, won graded stakes in all three years in training for trainer Todd Pletcher. Racing for Michael and Doreen Tabor, he won five of 13 starts and earned $1,505,434.
At 2, he broke his maiden first time out and took the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. He shipped to Saratoga to win the seven-furlong Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), then proved to be among the top of the crop with a runner-up performance behind champion Street Sense in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. He finished ahead of Street Sense while running second to Great Hunter in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) over the Polytrack at Keeneland. He was the co-third high weight at 122 pounds on that year’s Experimental Free Handicap.
At 3, Circular Quay cruised to victory in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds and ran in both the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I). He returned at 4 to capture the nine-furlong New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), defeating Travers (gr. I) runner-up Grasshopper.
“Circular Quay is the entire package,” Brent Fernung said. “He is by a champion sire out of a grade I winner, and was a spectacular 2-year-old. He fits Florida perfectly and helps to fill a spot in the Florida market that has been recently depleted.”
Dual classic winner and champion Thunder Gulch, North America’s leading sire of 2001, stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. His 2008 fee was $20,000. Circle of Life, the 11-year-old dam of Circular Quay, won the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga at 2 and placed in three other graded stakes. She is also the dam of graded stakes-placed The Roundhouse (by Fusaichi Pegasus ).