Pluck, a sensational last-to-first winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, will enter stud at Vinery Australia for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere breeding season. Standing alongside his sire, More Than Ready, he will serve for a fee of A$11,000, including GST (goods and services tax).
A Team Valor International homebred, Pluck relished the switch to turf to break his maiden in his second career start. The Todd Pletcher pupil crossed the wire in a dead-heat second in the Continental Mile, only to be disqualified and placed fourth for interference.
Pluck came right back to take the Grade 3 Summer Stakes at Woodbine, securing a spot in the Breeders' Cup, where he endured a troubled passage. After stumbling at the start, he had to avoid the fatally-stricken Rough Sailing entering the first turn, and thus found himself at the rear of the field. Pluck conjured up an explosive turn of foot down the stretch to inhale the field and won going away by a length. The Juvenile Turf form would later be flattered by his beaten rivals, including Soldat, Willcox Inn, Banned, Master of Hounds and Air Support.
Plans called for Pluck to ship to Europe for the Group 1 Irish or French Two Thousand Guineas for new trainer Graham Motion, but unfortunately, his classic hopes were thwarted. Following a pair of subpar outings at three, he was diagnosed with cannon bone bruising. Pluck attempted to mount a comeback in the Grade 3 Comonwealth Turf in November, but a serious health issue forced his withdrawal. He had to undergo emergency surgery for a twisted colon, and ended up never racing again.
Pluck retires with $727,290 in earnings from his 7-3-0-1 record. The Kentucky-bred is out of multiple Group 1-placed stakes heroine Secret Heart, a daughter of successful Sadler's Wells stallion Fort Wood. Secret Heart is a half-sister to Promisefrommyheart, a co-champion filly in her native South Africa, as well as Group 1 victress Covenant.
Pluck's second dam, multiple Group 1-placed Secret Pact, is in turn a full sister to two-time South African Horse of the Year London News. Other Group 1 winners in the family are Lady Brompton and her son, co-champion stayer Kings Gambit.
"Pluck is a very exciting prospect to have standing here at Vinery," Peter Orton said. "He is a magnificent looking horse with such great depth of pedigree and possessed an extraordinary turn of foot, the most important elements we look for in any potential stallion. He sustained an injury in his three year old year preventing him from racing on which was a great disappointment, especially with the plans the stable had to take him to Europe for the classics."