'TDN Rising Star' Battle of Midway (Smart Strike–Rigoletta, by Concerto), upset winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar and also third in this year's GI Kentucky Derby, has been retired from racing and will take up stud duty in 2018 at WinStar Farm. His fee will be $20,000 S&N.
The $410,000 FTSAUG yearling graduate was acquired privately by Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm off Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms after finishing a close second in the GI Santa Anita Derby in the spring. He was trained throughout his career by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer.
“We are extremely proud of Battle of Midway and the tremendous performance he put forth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, passing such a fast horse as Sharp Azteca and doing so in such a fast time,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar President & CEO.
“His speed figures for that performance are off the charts across the board: negative two on Ragozin, negative four on Thoro-Graph, and 108 Beyer. It was an incredible race that affirmed the ability we always knew he had. Battle of Midway came out of the race in great shape, and it was a very bittersweet decision to make with our partners Don Alberto to retire this horse to stud. Ultimately, we both partnered on him in the first place because we thought he could be the last great son of Smart Strike to carry on that line at stud, so we are sticking to that plan. WinStar and Don Alberto are very committed to supporting Battle of Midway with world-class mares, because we both believe he possesses the pedigree, looks, conformation, and elite miler speed to become a very important sire.”
Added Don Alberto Stable's Carlos Heller: “Battle of Midway improved all year to culminate in one of the most exciting Breeders' Cup races on the entire weekend. We have assembled a very nice broodmare band and will support Battle of Midway with quality mares to give him the best chance of becoming the next great son of Smart Strike.”
The bay, out of 2010 GI Oak Leaf S. heroine Rigoletta, also captured this term's GIII Affirmed S. and was runner-up in the GIII Oklahoma Derby and third in the GII San Vicente S. Battle of Midway posted a record of 10-5-2-2 and earnings of $1,249,949. He was bred in Kentucky Thor-Bred Stables LLC.