It's Over: A P Valentine Retired From Stud Duty

A P Valentine, who began his stallion career at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., with plenty of fanfare, has been taken out of stallion service because of fertility problems. The nursery, through its main headquarters at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, released a statement noting that "A P Valentine's fertility has not improved. Those mares first thought in foal in the early days have in fact proved to be not in foal. The horse has failed to impregnate any mares to date and has been retired from stud duties."

Coolmore bought the breeding rights in A P Valentine in October 2000 for an amount reported to be $16 million from Rick Pitino's Celtic Pride Stable. The Nick Zito-trained colt had just come off an impressive triumph in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and figured to be one of the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). A P Valentine instead ran last in the race in his final start of the year. At three, A P Valentine won just once in nine starts, but finished second behind Point Given in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I). A son of the celebrated stallion A.P. Indy out of the Alydar mare Twenty Eight Carat, A P Valentine began his stud career for $15,000.

Five years ago, Coolmore dealt with the infertility of Horse of the Year Cigar, who stood at Ashford. Coolmore had bought a three-quarter interest in Cigar from breeder/owner Allen Paulson in a deal that valued the Northern Dancer great-grandson at $25 million. Cigar failed to impregnate a single mare, and Coolmore and Paulson collected on the insurance policy taken out on the horse. Cigar later was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington, where he still resides.