Koji Maeda's grade II-winning Sunday Break has been retired and will take up stud duty in 2004 at Graham Beck's Gainesway Farm near Lexington. Sunday Break, bred in Japan by North Hill Management, is a 4-year-old son of Forty Niner out of the Storm Cat mare Catequil.
He will stand for a partnership of Dennis Narlinger and Gainesway. A fee for 2004 has not been announced.
On the track, Sunday Break won four of 13 starts with one second and four thirds and earned $451,220 while under the care of Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale.
Sunday Break's biggest score came in last year's Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) while prepping for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). His score came by one length over recent Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Puzzlement. He next finished third behind Sarava and Medaglia d'Oro in the Belmont (gr. I), the third leg of the Triple Crown. Earlier in his 3-year-old campaign, he was third, beaten just a half-length, the Wood Memorial (gr. I).
At four, Sunday Break placed in the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT)in April. He finished fourth in his last start, the American Handicap (gr. IIT) on July 4.
Sunday Break is a half-brother to Phalaenopsis, a two-time champion in her native Japan. A daughter of Brian's Time, Phalaenopsis was champion 3-year-old filly and champion older mare while earning $3,825,449. She won three grade I races.
Sunday Break's second dam, the grade I stakes-winning Pacific Princess, was bred in Kentucky by Mereworth Farm.
Forty Niner, who now stands in Japan, was champion 2-year-old in 1987. Currently, three of his sons are among the top 20 sires in North America: Distorted Humor, sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner Funny Cide and the leading first-crop sire of 2002; End Sweep; and Jules, sire of Peace Rules, a two-time grade I-winning 3-year-old this year and favorite for the Travers Stakes (gr. I). Distorted Humor is also among the leading sires of 2-year-olds in 2003.