Stay Thirsty , who ran a tough second in the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 29, will enter stud in 2013 at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. Plans call for the 4-year-old son of Bernardini to race once more.
Stay Thirsty, who races for Mike Repole, will be joining former stablemate Uncle Mo at Ashford. Uncle Mo won the 2010 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and was voted champion 2-year-old male for Repole. Todd Pletcher, who trained Uncle Mo, conditions Stay Thirsty.
"There was a lot of interest from a lot of Kentucky farms," Repole said Oct. 1. "The Uncle Mo factor definitely played a role in the final decision.
"These horses are once-in-a-lifetime horses," he continued. "They came into the barn together. They raced against one another. I would go out and watch them work together. They were always next to each other in the stalls. So to know that both of them will be stallions at a great farm like Ashford stud is the best. I'm blessed." He said Ashford has assured him the two horses will be in stalls next to one another.
Repole said he bred six mares to Uncle Mo earlier this year and plans on breeding six mares to Stay Thirsty next year. He added that he has retained a "significant minority interest" in Stay Thirsty as a stallion, as he did with Uncle Mo.
Stay Thirsty finished a head behind Flat Out in the Gold Cup, earning a 109 Beyer Speed Figure.
"He ran super and came out of the race well, and we're kicking around some ideas of where to run him next," Pletcher said. "We're thinking of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I), the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), or the Cigar Mile (gr. I)."
Stay Thirsty enjoyed his best season at 3, winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I), the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) and finishing second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. As a 2-year-old, he broke his maiden at Saratoga and finished second in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. II). In that year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he finished fifth.
Stay Thirsty was retired with a record of 4-5-1 from 16 starts and earnings of $1,726,000.
"I know some people will be disappointed he's being retired, but he's raced three solid years, totally sound," Repole said. "He deserves a great retirement and that is what I want to give him."
Bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther and John Darren Gunther, Stay Thirsty is out of the winning Storm Bird mare Marozia and is a half brother to graded stakes winner Andromeda's Hero and additional stakes winner Superfly.