Surf Cat, who triumphed six times in grade II events and earned $1,045,420, has been retired from racing, according to a Daily Racing Form report. The 7-year-old son of Sir Cat will begin his stallion career at Old English Rancho near Sanger, Calif., his trainer, Bruce Headley, told the publication Jan. 9.
Headley and Marsha Naify were listed as Surf Cat’s owners for his first race in 2005, but the horse ran the remainder of his career for Headley’s wife, Aase, and Naify. Surf Cat won nine of his 23 races, finished second seven times, and was third twice.
Surf Cat scored in the 2006 and 2008 editions of both the Mervyn Leroy (gr. II) and San Carlos (gr. II) Handicaps. He also captured the 2005 Swaps Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. II) and the 2006 Potrero Grande Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II). He was second or third seven times in added-money events, with those efforts including runner-up finishes in the 2007 Triple Bend Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and the 2008 Potrero Grande.
The final start of Surf Cat’s career was in last October’s TVG Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He finished last in the field of 12 runners after encountering traffic problems in both turns.
Bred in Kentucky by William Taylor Nicholls and Gainesway Farm, Surf Cat was consigned, as a yearling, to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February mixed sale in 2003 by Gainesway, as agent. Drumkenny Farm purchased him for $25,000. Later the same year, Surf Cat was bought back for $45,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction when consigned by Paramount Sales, as agent.
Surf Cat, who raced his entire career in Southern California, is out of the Centrust mare Trust Greta.