The sturdy Behrens, a multiple grade I winner and graded winner in three of the four years he raced, has been retired and will take up stud duty for the 2001 season at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington. The 6-year-old's stud fee will be $20,000.
Behrens, bred in Kentucky by Joanne Nor and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Rudder's Rudlein Stable and William J. Clifton Jr., won nine of 27 starts in his career, placing in 11 more, and earned $4,563,500. Trained by James Bond, the son of Pleasant Colony -- Hot Novel, by Mari's Book, won or placed in 18 stakes, all of them graded events. He was a $225,000 Keeneland July sale yearling.
Unraced at two, Behrens burst onto the racing scene at three in 1997, winning the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) and Buick Pegasus Handicap (gr. II) and just missing by a nose to Deputy Commander in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Behrens struggled at 4 after a trip to Dubai for the World Cup (UAE-I) and was unplaced in four starts in 1998, but rebounded in 1999 to win or place second in eight of nine starts and earn $1,735,000. His victories included the Oaklawn and Gulfstream Park Handicaps (both gr. I), and MassCap and Suburban (both gr. II). Again, it was a loss at Saratoga that was perhaps his grittiest effort, losing a nose decision to Victory Gallop in the Whitney H. (gr. I). He was a leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors until his lone unplaced effort came in his season finale: the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) run at Gulfstream Park. Behrens did finish second to Victory Gallop in the voting for champion older male.
At six in 2000, Behrens had but one win, a repeat in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, but traveled half-way around the world again to finish second to Dubai Millennium in the World Cup and staged a memorable battle with Lemon Drop Kid in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont, where he lost by a head in the 1 1/8-mile race.