Sprint Specialist Munnings to Ashford
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Munnings will stand the 2011 breeding season at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
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Munnings  , a seven-furlong sprint specialist, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2011 breeding season at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. A fee will be announced later.

A three-time grade II winner and earner of $742,640, Munnings cut a figure early as a $1.7 million sale 2-year-old at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-olds in training sale. Consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent, the ticket was signed by Coolmore agent Demi O’Byrne.

Munnings is by Speightstown  , out of the Holy Bull mare La Comete.

On the racetrack for Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Munnings won first time out as a 2-year-old at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher in the fastest six furlongs by a 2-year-old at the meet (1:09.84). He then ran third in Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and second in the one-mile Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

At 3, he won the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes undercard, taking the seven-furlong race in 1:20.63 and drawing off by 5 1/4 lengths. He followed that with a score against older horses in the Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II), also at seven panels. In the Top Fool he recorded a 111 Beyer Speed Figure.

Stretched out to nine furlongs, Munnings set the pace in Monmouth's Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) before tiring to finish third behind eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and champion 3-year-old male Summer BIrd. Munnings finished up his 3-year-old campaign with grade I-placings in the King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I)  and Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I).

At 4, he was sharp right out of the box, winning Gulfstream Park’s Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. II). He also placed in the Carter Handicap (gr. I).

In all, he won four times, ran second twice, and third five times in 14 starts. He was bred in Kentucky by Dan Tayloe and Glencrest Farm.

“Munnings is a terrific-looking individual who showed brilliant speed on the track and had an explosive kick at the end of his races,” said Ashford Stud manager Dermot Ryan. “He’s already here at Ashford, looking a million dollars, and is available for inspection.”

Speightstown, champion sprinter of 2004 following his win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), is currently ranked eighth on the North America leading sires list by progeny earnings and is represented by Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Haynesfield  . A son of the influential stallion Gone West, Speightstown stands at WinStar Farm in Kentucky. His 2010 fee was $35,000.

Unraced La Comete is a daughter of La Gueriere, winner of the 1991 edition of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT). La Comete is also a half sister to graded winners Icon Project (by Empire Maker) and Lasting Approval (by With Approval).

Lady Winborne, the third dam of Munnings, produced four other stakes winners including millionaire Al Mamoon, sire Lost Soldier, and Austrian champion Born Wild. Lady Winborne is also the dam of Lady Lochinvar, the dam of grade II winner Master Command.
 

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