Proud Spell, a finalist for an Eclipse Award as 2008’s champion 3-year-old filly, soon will be returned to training in preparation for a 2009 racing campaign.
“She’s waiting for a van to go to (conditioner) Larry Jones,” said Proud’s Spell’s owner and breeder, Brereton C. Jones, Jan. 16. “It should be within the next day or two.”
Proud Spell, an earner of $2,123,610, has not raced since finishing second in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park last September. Prior to that effort in 2008, she scored in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), and the Kentucky (gr. I), Alabama (gr. I), and Fair Grounds (gr. II) Oaks.
“We brought her home (to Airdrie Stud in Kentucky) because she had had a long season,” Jones said. “She had run every month from February through September, and we decided to give her a rest. While she was certainly willing to give it her best, her coat looked a little dull and it just looked like she needed to come home for a while.”
Proud Spell, who is by Airdrie stallion Proud Citizen, has a career record of seven victories, three seconds, and two thirds in 12 races. As a 2-year-old, she captured the Matron (gr. II) and White Clay Creek Stakes. She ended her 2007 campaign with a runner-up finish to Indian Blessing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Indian Blessing, by Airdie stallion Indian Charlie, later was voted 2007’s champion 2-year-old filly.
“I thought about whether to retire Proud Spell, but she’s totally sound,” Jones said. “I just kind of watched to see how she reacted to being back on the farm, and she actually seems happier at the track than at the farm. Because she’s so sound – knock on wood – we decided to go ahead and send her back to the track.
"She loves to run, and we love to watch her run. That’s what she’s bred to do. Obviously, we would never run her if she wasn’t 100%; we’re not going to try to run her if she’s 95%. Larry Jones will be the one to make that decision (to run or not).”