Posse, Zavata Ready For Stud; Best of the Rest Might Race Once More

Grade II winners Posse and Zavata, whose stallion plans were announced during the second half of 2003, closed out their racing careers in the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day at Santa Anita. Posse will take up stud duty for $10,000 at Tom Simon's Vinery near Lexington. Zavata will stand for $7,500 at John T.L. Jones Jr.'s Walmac International near Lexington.

Posse, who finished unplaced in the Malibu, retired with seven wins and four stakes-placings from 18 starts and earnings of $662,841. As a 3-year-old in 2003, he captured the Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II), Lafayette (gr. III), and Matt Winn Stakes, plus the Thanksgiving Handicap, in which he set a track record of :57.35 for five furlongs at Fair Grounds.
Posse (Silver Deputy-Raska, by Rahy) placed in the 2003 Vosburgh (gr. I) and Swale (gr. III) Stakes and was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

Zavata, a son of Phone Trick out of the Cox's Ridge mare Pert Lady, won the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) as a 3-year-old in 2003. The previous year, he took the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and Tremont (gr. III) Stakes, and placed in the Hopeful (gr. I) and Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes. Unplaced in the Malibu, Zavata retired with five wins from 13 starts and earnings of $346,533.

Best of the Rest, who has earned $1,407,796, might race once more, in the $1-million Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 24 at Santa Anita, before taking up stallion duty at Michael Sherman's Farnsworth Farms near Ocala, Fla. Best of the Rest, who won the 2003 Sunshine Millions feature at age eight when the race was contested at Gulfstream Park and named the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. Classic Stakes, is coming off a runner-up effort in the Dec. 27 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course.

Best of the Rest, by Skip Trial out of the Valid Appeal mare Obstinacy, has won 16 races and placed in 10 others from 32 starts. Thirteen of his wins have come in stakes, including the 2003 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) and the previous year's Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III). Best of the Rest will stand for $3,500.