Former Three Chimneys stallion Arazi is living out his first full year as a pensioner at Mike Becker's Independent Stallions in Victoria, Australia, Three Chimneys reported July 27.
"He's in great form, very bright and active," Becker said of the champion son of Blushing Groom. "He's cheeky, yet loves attention and is quite the character. He has a penchant for apples and will sniff through your pockets until he finds them and makes his displeasure known if you forget them. "
Arazi has been a globetrotter from day one. Bred in Kentucky by Ralph C. Wilson Jr. out of the Northern Dancer mare Danseur Fabuleux, he began his racing career in France, winning six of seven races before coming back to the U.S. and winning the 1991 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by five lengths for Allen Paulson and Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum.
He went back to France after the Breeders' Cup to prepare for a run in the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), where he finished eighth to Lil E. Tee. He raced four more times after that win, retiring as a four-time grade/group I winner with a record of 14-9-1-1 and earnings of just over $1.2 million. He earned titles of Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old in America, European champion 2-year-old male, and European Horse of the Year in 1991.
Arazi retired to stud originally at Sheikh Mohammed's Dalham Stud in England, and later Sheikh Mohammed relocated the stallion to Three Chimneys. His travels didn't end there. He moved to Breeders Stallion Station in Japan in 1997, then went to Gestut Sohrenhof in Switzerland in 2003 to stand for one season before moving to the Southern Hemisphere to Independent Stallion Station.
His fertility was on the decline and, at the end of the 2011 breeding season, the farm made the decision to call it a career and retire him from stud duty. Arazi's paddock is adjacent to another Independent Stallion Station pensioner, Brief Truce, a fellow Kentucky-bred turned international traveler. Arazi also has a pasture of mares in a second adjacent paddock and Becker said the only time Arazi gets upset is if his girlfriends go out of sight.
"We still get a whole lot of interest about Arazi from the U.S.," Becker remarked. "We've sent locks of his mane or tail, shoes, or bridles, and get e-mails almost weekly from people interested in his welfare. It's safe to say I've never had a stallion with a bigger, more widespread fan base. We're proud to have him. He has a home for life with us."