Mastery was 4-for-4 and Leading Kentucky Derby Favorite before Injury
One-time Kentucky Derby hopeful Mastery, who was 4-for-4 in his racing career before being sidelined with a condylar fracture in his front left leg, was retired from racing to Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky on Monday.
The farm announced in a news release today that Mastery will begin stud duty in 2018.
Mastery’s final race was in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) March 11 at Santa Anita. Trained by Bob Baffert, who was left without a Kentucky Derby horse this year, Mastery won the San Felipe by nearly 7 lengths. But after crossing the finish line about 10 jumps after the wire, jockey Mick Smith felt something off in Mastery’s left hind. Smith hopped off the horse as soon as he could pull him up. Mastery had trouble putting weight on his back leg. He was able to walk onto an ambulance and taken off the track.
Following the race, Smith raved about Mastery.
“This is a really talented horse. The power…it’s endless with this guy,” Smith said. “He’s some kind of strong. He was hitting gears every time I asked him to. Gear down one, gear up two, gear down one. Everything seemed to come easy for him. That was a pretty impressive race.”
Mastery earned the top Beyer Speed Figure (105) in the San Felipe – the best of any sophomore male at the time. He was on his way to being the Kentucky Derby favorite until the unfortunate career-ending injury.
“He was just starting to mature,” Baffert said. “I’m still sick about him getting hurt. It’s safe to say he was on the same path as American Pharoah, the way he was dominating his races.”
Mastery underwent surgery two days after the race, and has been rehabbing since. He still has another 30 days or rehab ahead of him.
“He’s on the path to full recovery,” bloodstock manger Bernie Sams said. “He’s an impressive, powerful-looking colt and arrived in great condition. We’re honored to have him join our stallion roster.”
Claiborne Farm’s stallion roster also includes top international sire War Front, Eclipse champions Blame and Runhappy, Kentucky Derby winner Orb, Flatter, First Samurai, Data Link, Lea, Algorithms, Ironicus and Trappe Shot.
Mastery was bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm. He was purchased from the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by Cromwell Bloodstock for $425,000. He was undefeated in four starts with earnings of $511,200.