Sunriver, a grade I winner in 2007 and a full brother to champion Ashado, will enter stud at Empire Stud near Hudson, N.Y. The 5-year-old son of Saint Ballado will stand for $15,000.
Sunriver raced as a homebred for Aaron and Marie Jones, who later sold the horse to a syndicate led by Jeffrey Tucker. The Joneses have retained an interest in the Kentucky-bred horse. Their adviser, the Taylor family's Taylor Made Farm, has purchased an interest in Sunriver.
“We feel this horse ticks all the boxes and then some," said Empire president Jamie LaMonica. "He’s a Kentucky-quality horse starting his career in New York, and he’s owned by an outstanding group of owner/breeders. His full sister (Ashado) was a grade I winner at 2, a champion 3-year-old, and a champion older mare. His full brother (Saint Stephen) was a grade III winner on a synthetic surface. He’s an excellent outcross to the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer lines of mares that dominate the marketplace today.”
A successful 3-year-old on dirt, Sunriver reinvented himself as a 4-year-old in 2007, turning into one of the year's best turf runners. He registered two of the year's highest Beyer Speed Figures on grass at that age. He recorded a 108 in winning the Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes (gr. IT) in his final start and a like number in a close runner-up effort in the Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Sunriver also won that year's Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) and came within a length of the winner in a fourth-place finish in the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT).
As a 3-year-old, Sunriver finished third to Barbaro in the Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. He next won the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont and then finished third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Sunriver won or placed in a dozen of 17 races and earned $816,414.
Sunriver is out of the stakes-winning Mari's Book mare Goulash, whose first five foals are either stakes winners or stakes-placed.