Raven’s Pass, surprise winner of the Oct. 25 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley and the sheikh’s wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, has been retired from racing for stallion duty at Sheikh Mohammed’s Kildangan Stud in County Kildare, Ireland.
The stud fee for the 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality, who stands at Darley near Lexington, is €40,000 (about $51,000).
John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock advisor, said, “Raven's Pass will stand at Kildangan, but I’m sure we'll be encouraging mares from Kentucky to County Kildare. A horse with genuine global appeal, he'll give top breeders the opportunity to sell his offspring either in Europe or the USA.”
Trained by John Gosden in England, Raven’s Pass went into the Classic at Oak Tree at Santa Anita with a question mark about his ability to get the 1 1/4-mile distance because his longest win had come at a mile. The extra distance proved to be no problem as he took command in the stretch after racing near the back and won by 1 3/4 lengths over another European miler, Henrythenavigator, in Princess Haya’s silks, with defending Horse of the Year and odds-on favorite Curlin finishing fourth. The victory came in track-record time of 1:59.27.
Raven’s Pass was bred in Kentucky by Robert and Janice McNair’s Stonerside Stable and raced for the outfit before Sheikh Mohammed bought a half-interest in him last year. In early September this year, the sheikh purchased all but one of the Stonerside horses and took over full ownership of Raven’s Pass.
Raven’s Pass, who is out of the graded stakes-winning Lord At War mare Ascutney, won or placed in 11 of dozen races and earned $3,658,556. He captured four English stakes, including the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) in September. Raven’s Pass is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Gigawatt.