Afleet Express , tenacious winner of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga against a stellar field, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2011 season at the Beck family’s Gainesway Farm near Lexington. A fee will be announced later.
Also winner of the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) and third in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), 3-year-old Afleet Express is the leading money earner by Gainesway stallion Afleet Alex .
“Afleet Express exemplifies the very best qualities in the Thoroughbred race horse, and of the Afleet Alex progeny in particular,” said Gainesway president and CEO Antony Beck. “The Travers victory, at the American classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, when Afleet Express just would not be denied, showed his class and courage under fire. But he also won his 2-year-old debut in New York going away at six furlongs. And equally important, around the barn he has a tremendously calm temperament and demeanor, which is representative of his sire’s progeny. We are very excited to be standing this outstanding stud prospect."
Racing for Gainesway and Martin Cherry, Afleet Express nosed out Fly Down in the Travers in what turned out to be his final start. Others in the beaten field included Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Super Saver , First Dude , Afleet Again, A Little Warm, and Ice Box .
McMillin Brothers and James Devaney are the breeders of Kentucky-bred Afleet Express, who is a half brother to stakes winner Reporting for Duty and is out of the stakes-placed Distant View mare Expanse.
Afleet Express was retired with four wins and two placings from seven starts and earnings of $835,140 while trained by James Jerkens.