(from Saratoga report)
Tracy Farmer’s two-time Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Commentator has been retired after finishing third in his quest for his third win in the important Saratoga event, trainer Nick Zito announced on the morning of Aug. 9.
“He’s officially retired. We’ll let him go out on a high note,” Zito said a day after Bullsbay upset the Whitney field. “It would have been wonderful for him to win. Physically, there’s nothing wrong with him other than his age. Considering what he has to do to run back in those grade I races, we thought this was the best thing to do.”
Commentator set a brisk pace in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney for jockey John Velazquez before being passed with a furlong to run. The gelded son of Distorted Humor tired to third, beaten by three lengths.
The 8-year-old New York-bred finishes his 24-race career with 14 wins, a second-place finish and four third-place finishes with earnings of $2,049,845. Commentator started his career as a 3-year-old with a five-race winning streak.
NYRA is planning to bring Commentator back on track for one final time before the close of the Saratoga meet to give fans an opportunity to show their appreciation for the amazing gelding. The details have not yet been finalized.
Commentator first made a name for himself in 2005 when he defeated Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) champion Saint Liam in the Whitney. Zito believes last year’s Whitney win and the Massachusetts Handicap — a race which he won easily by 14 lengths — also rank as highlights of Commentator’s career.
“When he was on, he was good as any horse in America. I think the Mass ‘Cap, last year, proved that,” Zito said. “You know his record — it’s fantastic. He earned over $2 million the hard way. He’s as gallant as he could be. He’s a real treasure.”