Millionaire Benny the Bull, a grade/group I winner and one of the nation’s top sprinters, has been retired from racing after suffering an ankle chip. Breeding plans are being decided.
On Aug. 26, the day after a six-furlong workout at Aqueduct in preparation for the seven-furlong Forego, Benny the Bull developed a filling in the right front ankle and x-rays revealed the chip. The colt last raced in the July 12 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) at Calder Race Course, and went out a winner for IEAH Stables, Greg James, Andrew I. Cohen, Pegasus Holding Group, and Sanford H. Robbins. It marked his fifth consecutive win.
The son of Lucky Lionelhad started the streak with a victory in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) at Laurel last November. His other three wins this year came in the Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), True North Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park, and Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park. He recorded a 115 Beyer Speed Figure in the last-named in a 1:08.48 win at six furlongs.
Benny the Bull registered the second-highest Beyer up to a mile last year. He achieved a 119 in a runner-up effort to subsequent champion sprinter Midnight Lute in the Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Benny the Bull was being aimed for this year’s Forego, scheduled for Aug. 30.
Benny the Bull raced solely for James until last summer. In his last race for him, he took the six-furlong Iowa Sprint Handicap in 1:08.48. Right before that was a 1:07.66 triumph at Churchill Downs.
A 5-year-old, Benny the Bull retired with nine wins and three placings from 17 starts and earnings of $2,221,630. He was trained the second half of his career by Richard Dutrow Jr.
Bred in Florida by Tomoka Farms, Benny the Bull is the first foal from stakes winner Comet Cat (by Birdonthewire).