West Point Thoroughbreds, St. Elias Stable, and Get Grounded Stable announced March 29 that multiple stakes winner Ground Transport has been retired from racing after compiling a record of 5-6-1 from 25 starts and earnings of $337,490.
According to the announcement, the 6-year-old Big Brown gelding retired sound following a sixth-place finish March 18 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He has been shipped to Illinois and will begin retraining for a second career.
"We had Ground Transport in the barn for nearly four years and he will be missed," trainer Mike Stidham said. "He has battled feet problems his entire career and just hasn't been the same since his 4-year-old campaign. I applaud the owners for doing the right thing and not letting him fall to the bottom of the claiming ranks."
Ground Transport won the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes at Laurel Park and the Drosselmeyer Stakes at Belmont Park and placed in the Cornhusker Stakes (gr. III), Michael J. Schaefer Memorial Stakes, and Tenacious Handicap.
"Ground Transport ran 25 times at 12 different tracks around the country," West Point Thoroughbreds president Terry Finley said. "Many friendships were forged over the past three years of owning him. Sincere thanks to Mike Stidham and his team for their flexibility and creativity. They're so creative, we somehow ended up at Arapahoe Park in Colorado."
Bred in Kentucky by River Bend Farm, Ground Transport is out of the Broad Brush mare Extry. Second dam Prospector's Fire has produced graded stakes winners Fire the Groom, Stravinsky, and Moscow Ballet.
Initially purchased by E.J. Sipus Jr. for $40,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, Ground Transport was a $75,000 RNA at the 2012 Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale before being purchased by Jeffrey Yingling, Martin Nixon, Frank Carl Calabrese, and Marrette Farrell.