Robert N. Clay and Satish Sanan announced that prominent North American sprinter and miler Pico Central has been retired from racing to stand at Padua Stables near Summerfield, Fla. Trained by Paulo Lobo, Pico Central was being aimed to the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
"Paulo Lobo informed us that Pico Central has inflammation in the left carpal sheath and will not, as a result, make the Breeders' Cup next month," Clay said about the 7-year-old Brazilian-bred who won the Metropolitan (gr. I) and Carter (gr. I) Handicaps and the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) in New York.
"It's a minor injury, but this will prevent him from participating in the Vosburgh, and he would not be 100% for the Breeders' Cup Sprint," Lobo said. "He's been a grand horse to train, but retirement now is the best thing."
Padua, owned by Satish and Anne Sanan, and Clay's Three Chimneys purchased a 50% interest in the breeding rights of Pico Central in late May.
"We would have loved to see him run in Breeders' Cup Sprint," said Sanan, "but we are thrilled to have him coming to Padua. Pico Central will be the first Metropolitan Mile winner since Fappiano to stand in Florida, and that makes him a tremendous opportunity for Florida breeders. His stud fee will be $10,000 live foal, stands and nurse."
Nadia Sanan Briggs, Padua general manager, said there has been tremendous interest in Pico Central. "A lot of people have been inquiring about him, and we're pleased to announce a fee that we believe will be very attractive," she said. "He will arrive at the farm in the next week to 10 days.
Pico Central (Spend a Buck--Sheila Purple, by Purple Mountain) raced in North America for Gary Tanaka and, in 2004, became the only horse in history to win the Carter, Metropolitan, and Vosburgh all in the same year. Pico Central was the co-top-weighted sprinter with Australia's Silent Witness on the 2004 International Classifications and was runner-up in Eclipse Award balloting for best sprinter.
Pico Central won nine of 17 starts and earned $1,283,145. In Brazil, he was a Horse of the Year and champion sprinter and a two-time group I winner.
Pico Central, who began his North American career in January of 2004, also won the San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) and ran third in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) and Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup (gr. II) Handicaps. His fourth-place finish in this year's Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) was the first time he had been off the board since leaving his native country. In what would be his final race, Pico Central ran unplaced in the July 31 Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) at Del Mar.