Smiling Tiger, a multiple grade I winner and millionaire, has been retired from racing. The 6-year-old son of Hold That Tiger will stand at Premier Equine Center near Oakdale, Calif., for 2014. His fee will be $5,000. Bloodstock agent Mersad Metanovic will handle the stallion's book.
Smiling Tiger's second start after his six-length debut score at Golden Gate Park was a romp there in the Lost in the Fog Stakes, which he won by eight lengths. Thereafter he made 21 more starts, all graded stakes with the exception of the 2009 Harry Hansen Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.
In the money in 16 of 20 graded stakes, Smiling Tiger won three grade I events: the Ancient Title and Bing Crosby in 2010, and the Triple Bend Handicap in 2011. Among his other grade I efforts are third-place finishes both the 2010 and 2012 runnings of the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
In his last start the Jeff Bonde trainee recorded a victory in the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) Dec. 2, 2012, at Hollywood Park. A foot bruise early in 2013 took the chestnut horse away from the action for a while, but had he returned to training, recording two workouts at Pleasanton in June.
Owners Philip Lebherz and Alan Klein made the decision to retire Smiling Tiger so as not to risk any future injuries. According to Metanovic, Lebherz recently purchased the Premier Equine Center property, which may be renamed in the future.
Smiling Tiger was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Rodney Orr. He is out of the stakes-winning Cahill Road mare Shandra Smiles. Smiling Tiger is the only stakes winner for his dam, who has produced four winners from six starters.
Through the sale ring twice as a yearling, Smiling Tiger was a $32,000 RNA at the 2008 Keeneland January sale where he was consigned by Katalpa Farm, as agent. Later in the year agent Halvorson Bloodstock Services consigned him to the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders' Association summer yearling sale where he was acquired by Bonde, as agent, for $40,000.
Smiling Tiger recorded nine wins, two seconds, and eight thirds from 23 starts and earned $1,480,704.