Millionaire California-bred Men's Exclusive, who made a one-race comeback at age 11 after languishing in retirement for about a year, has been retired for good, trainer Wesley Ward and owner Debbie Reed said.
"We tried to retire him before but he just wasn't happy being away from the track," Ward said of the dark bay gelding. "He was like a man who had worked at a job he enjoyed for 30 years, then had to retire. He didn't know what else to do. He loved to race and loved to be at the track. I know, because I've had him ever since he was a baby.
Men's Exclusive, a son of Exclusive Ribot-Men's Number, by Meneval, ran his last race at Fairplex Park on Sept. 15, finishing fourth as the 6-5 favorite in a $40,000 claiming race.
"He was turned out at my parents' ranch in Corona the first time we retired him," said Debbie Reed, 47, the daughter of H.E. (Gene) Reed, who bred, owned and raced Men's Exclusive until he died at 83 last year. "He might have continued to race but we didn't want to cheapen him. The decision to retire him was very emotional."
Men's Exclusive, who had persistent foot problems throughout his career, has been returned to the Reeds' ranch in Corona. He had an 11-18-4 record from 48 career starts with earnings of $1,451,120. He earned $200,000 for finishing second in the Golden Shaheen as an 8-year-old in 2001 and won the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park in 2000 and 2001.