Hero's Tribute to Buck Pond

Hero's Tribute, a 6-year-old son of Sea Hero--Eastern Dawn, by Damascus, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2005 breeding season at Doug Arnold's Buck Pond Farm near Versailles, Ky. The three-time stakes winner, who arrived at the farm Sept. 11, will stand for a fee of $5,000.

Hero's Tribute raced for John C. Oxley and was trained by John T. Ward Jr. He recorded a 8-3-4 slate from 27 starts over five racing seasons and earned $862,950. He won or placed in nine stakes, and his stakes scores came in three different campaigns.

His biggest win came as a 3-year-old in the summer of 2001 when he defeated E Dubai in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, getting the 1 1/8 miles in the slop in 1:47.47. Earlier that year, he ran third in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II).

As a 4-year-old, Hero's Tribute won the Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park and was third in both the Kentucky Cup Classic and Clark Handicap (both gr. III). At 5 he won the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) and ran second in the Donn Handicap (gr. I).

Bred by Dr. and Mrs. Smiser West and Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie Miller, Hero's Tribute was a $150,000 Keeneland September sale yearling.

"He was a very fast horse," Arnold said of Heros' Tribute. "He ran a half in :44 and change, six furlongs in 1:08 and change, a mile in 1:33 and change, and seven furlongs in 1:21 and change."

Hero's Tribute is out of Eastern Dawn,, winner of the Prix d'Aumale (Fr-III). She is a half-sister to grade II winner Barkerville, and group winner Distingue.

"He's a complete outcross to Mr. Prospector and to Seattle Slew," Arnold said. "He's a big horse, but that doesn't mean he can't throw a precocious, good 2-year-old. He's got a classic pedigree and is from a good family."