Second-crop sire and graded stakes winner Suntracer has resurfaced in Kentucky and is standing stud at Scott Mallory's Mallory Farm near Lexington.
The 12-year-old son of Kitten's Joy had been standing at Richard Haisfield's Stonewall's Prestige Stallions near Ocala, Fla., since 2016, but was relocated when Haisfield suddenly shut down his farm. Haisfield, now 80, told BloodHorse the farm closed because he was retiring from breeding and racing. The sudden closure back in May, however, left dozens of horses in need of new homes. A handful of Ocala-area horsemen put out the word through social media, which caught Mallory's attention.
"On Facebook I read about these horses that needed to be rescued and saw one of them was Suntracer," said Mallory, who had consigned the horse as a stallion prospect at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, where he'd been bought back on a final bid of $7,000.
Bred and raced by Team Block, the stallion was eventually sold privately to Haisfield.
"At the time, we thought Florida would be a good place for him," Mallory recalled. "When I saw him on Facebook, my first thought was to get a truck and trailer and get him out of there. Fortunately I had a client who was shipping there and was able to bring him back."
Suntracer is out of the Prized mare and multiple stakes winner Taxable Deduction, who David and Patricia Block bought for $210,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November sale. The mare produced three graded stakes winners: Free Fighter, Suntracer, and Leading Astray, all of which were campaigned by Team Block either alone or with partners.
Raced from 2 to 6, Suntracer won or placed in 13 black-type stakes. His three black-type stakes victories came in the Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3T), Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap, and Woodchopper Stakes. He was runner-up in four graded stakes, including the American Derby (G2T), Hawthorne Derby (G3T), Stars and Stripes Stakes (G3T), and Louisville Handicap (G3T). Suntracer retired with a 7-7-4 record out of 36 starts and earned $812,736.
As a stallion, Suntracer had limited opportunities. He has eight foals of racing age and one starter to date, a daughter named Galway Star, who finished third in a maiden claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs in her second lifetime start. He also has a son named Empty Holster, who has been working steadily since December at Nelson Jones Farm and Training Center near Ocala, and another son named Leading the Charge, who worked most recently Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, where he went four furlongs in :49 3/5.
"This year I'll breed a few mares to him and David Block may breed a few but because of the circumstances he is a private treaty deal," Mallory said. "He's got some horses coming up on the track so we'll see how they do and next year we'll promote him because he was a heck of a racehorse. I wasn't planning on standing a stallion, but I needed to get him out of a bad situation. The important thing now is that he's alive and well."