Mark Stanley's millionaire Ecton Park, whose defeated foes included Menifee and Lemon Drop Kid, has been retired from racing after re-aggravating an injury and will begin his stallion career at Wintergreen Stallion Station near Midway, Ky. Named for a Lexington park where Stanley coached his children in Little League baseball, Ecton Park won six of 23 races and earned $1,503,825.
Ecton Park's richest win came in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles in 1999 by two lengths over the highly regarded Menifee. "There wasn't a 3-year-old in the country that day who could have beaten Ecton Park," said the horse's trainer, W. Elliott Walden, who also conditioned the runner-up for rival owners.
Two months earlier, Ecton Park captured the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga over Lemon Drop Kid, who was voted champion older male the following year. Ecton Park also won the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds over champion Answer Lively in the winter of 1999. His other career added-money win came in the 2000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico, two months after a fifth-place effort to Dubai Millennium in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). In addition to his four stakes wins, Ecton Park placed in seven stakes, including the Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) and Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II).
Ecton Park suffered an injury in the 2000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) last September and was sidelined until this spring. In his second race back, the May 19 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II), he reaggravated the injury and the decision was made to retire him.
Ecton Park is from the last North American crop of foals sired by champion Forty Niner. "He has the stamina to go 1 1/4 miles along with the speed of the Forty Niner line," Walden said.
Wintergreen Stallion Station is owned by John Greely IV and his brother Beau. The brothers purchased an interest in Ecton Park for breeding purposes and plan to sell shares in him. Stanley will retain several shares. "I've known them (the Greelys) a long time, and it's a good chance to become associated with the Wintergreen name," he said about the sons of Wintergreen Farm owner John J. Greely III.
Ecton Park, who was bred by Edward A. Cox Jr., was produced from the Danzig mare Daring Danzig.