The old warrior Evening Attire, a stakes winner at age 10 and earner of nearly $3 million, has been retired due to a suspensory injury, co-owners and breeders Tommy Kelly and Joseph and Mary Grant announced Sept. 28.
The son of Black Tie Affair – Concolour, by Our Native, retires with 15 victories, 16 seconds, and nine thirds from 69 starts for earnings of $2,977,130.
Trained by Kelly’s son Pat, Evening Attire’s best year was in 2002 when he captured the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), his first of two Saratoga Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) victories, and the Red Smith Handicap (gr. III). He also captured the Queens County Handicap (gr. III) twice, Discovery Handicap (gr. III), Aqueduct Stakes (gr. III), Stymie Handicap, and this year’s mile and a half Greenwood Cup, which followed a second in the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II). He placed in 17 stakes.
“We saw some swelling in his leg last week, and after some discussions with the vets and the owners, we decided, considering his age and what he’s done, it was in everyone’s best interest to retire Evening Attire and find a good home for him,” Pat Kelly said.
"We do this with a tear in our eye, but all good things come to an end and we want to do what's best for him," Joe Grant said.
Mary Grant added, “We feel so blessed not only to have a horse racing for eight years, but competing in stakes company. He brought our family so much excitement and has given us an opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the racing world. We’re amazed at his popularity. For years he’s received birthday cards from fans all over this country, as well as
“He was one of a kind,” Tommy Kelly said. “He had to be castrated early on because his testicles were up in his back and he couldn’t break from the gate. Still to this day, he didn’t break like any other racehorse. But at the final end when it counted, from the quarter pole to the wire, he always put in his run. I’ve never seen him back once. He might have finished second, third, fourth, or fifth, but he was always running at the end, where the best part of a racehorse manifests itself. We’re all going to miss him.”
Kelly said they will begin looking for a good home for Evening Attire.