Yankee Victor, who won this year's Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, has been retired from racing after suffering a slight injury to his right front ankle during the June 25 Hanshin Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington International Racecourse. Yankee Victor won the Hanshin as the odds-on favorite for his fourth consecutive victory.
“We could give him some time off and try to bring him back, but he already is a 4-year-old, and he is not Breeders' Cup eligible,” said trainer Carlos Morales. “There is no guarantee he would come back 100%.”
Yankee Victor is owned by a partnership that includes Enrique Llorente's Enllomar Stable, Moreton Binn, the Taylor family's Taylor Made Farm, and Central Kentucky bloodstock agent Omar Trevino. Yankee Victor, who had a testicle removed earlier this year, is with Morales in New York and is scheduled to be sent to Taylor Made near Nicholasville, Ky. Stud plans are undetermined; Yankee Victor's sire, Saint Ballado, stands at Taylor Made.
“We have received interest from Japanese breeders and from Kentucky horsemen,” Trevino said. “Right now, there is no intention of standing him in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Yankee Victor, who was produced from the Caro mare Highest Carol, was bred by Dr. R.G. Lundock, and was bought by Morales for Llorente for $75,000 at the 1998 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Yankee Victor initially raced for Llorente.
Yankee Victor's triumph in the Met Mile came in 1:34.64 over Honest Lady, Sir Bear, Richter Scale, and several others in his last start before the Hanshin. He won the Westchester Handicap (gr. III) in April, and took last year's Rushaway Stakes. He was retired with nine wins from 19 starts and earnings of $893,806.