The 5-year-old son of Strategic Mission, out of Miss Alethia, by T.V. Commerical spent most of his early 3-year-old campaign lost in the shadow of stablemate Barbaro, but developed into one of the nation’s most exciting turf runners. He retires with seven victories from 10 starts for earnings of $1,660,500.
“He’s perfectly sound,” Tagg said. “He had a couple of little problems with his hind suspensory, but he’s 100% now. I have to admit I became very attached to him. Whatever you asked of him he did, and did it exceptionally well, on both grass and dirt. He was a very, very fast horse, but he could lay off the pace and give you that big run at the end. When he made his move he was like Adrian Peterson going through a hole. I truly think he’s one of the best horses I’ve ever trained.”
Bred in Kentucky by Nellie M. Cox' Rose Retreat Farm, Showing Up went through the sales ring three times in three years, and was purchased by Roy and Gretchen Jackson out of the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale at Timonium for $60,000.
Unraced at 2, he won his first two starts at 3, including an allowance race at Gulfstream, in which he blazed a mile in 1:34.05, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in only his second career start. In his next race, he captured the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) over a deep track at Keeneland. Despite having only three career starts, he ran two weeks later in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), along with Barbaro, and finished a respectable sixth, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths for second.
Tagg then put him on the grass, and Showing Up became an overnight star, coming from 17 lengths back to beat Kip Deville by 3 1/2 lengths in the Colonial Turf Cup, setting a course record, covering the 1 3/16 miles in 1:52.98. That was followed by a wire-to-wire victory in the 10-furlong Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) in 2:00.09. In his first try against older horses in the Man o’War Stakes (gr. IT), he made his move a bit too soon, but battled gamely to finish a close third behind Cacique and Go Deputy.
He roared back with a vengeance, easily winning the Jamaica Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) by 3 1/2 lengths before heading out to California, where he turned in a powerful stretch run to win the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) by 2 1/4 lengths in a blistering 1:59.35.
Out for nearly five months, he returned in the Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. Battling head and head nearly every step of the way, he dropped a neck decision to Kip Deville, who would go on to win the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT). That was to be his last start.
No stud plans have been made by the Jacksons, who have him on the market, with the intention of keeping part of him.