By Katie Ritz
LEXINGTON,KY– Just over 12 hours after the trio's contention for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, Improbable (City Zip), Global Campaign (Curlin) and Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) made the short trip from Keeneland to WinStar Farm, where they will soon take up stud duty for the 2021 breeding season.
“We're really excited with Improbable, Global Campaign and Tom's d'Etat coming to the stallion barn,” said WinStar's Elliott Walden. “They all look good-their color was good, they didn't look too drawn up and they got off the van and acted like they'd been here their whole life.”
One member of the trio-Global Campaign-may not yet be done with his racetrack career, as Walden hinted he could be pointed for the January 23 $3 million GI Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.
“We're considering running him back in the Pegasus,” he said. “We're going to leave him here for 10 days and evaluate him. I felt like he ran well enough in the Classic to merit that and add a bit more to his resume. So we're going to watch for 10 days and we might send him back to [trainer] Stanley [Hough] and run him in the Pegasus.”
Global Campaign is a homebred for WinStar Farm out of the A.P. Indy mare Globe Trot. He's been campaigned by WinStar in partnership with Sagamore Farm over his two-year career, and scored graded stakes wins in the GIII Monmouth Cup S. and the GI Woodward H.
“He's a horse that we raised out of a great mare that is also the dam of Grade I winner Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro) and stakes winner Sonic Mule (Distorted Humor),” Walden said. “His race record has a high winning percentage, and to win the Woodward this year is really exciting as well.”
Global Campaign ran third in the Breeders' Cup grand finale, while Improbable ran second behind his Bob Baffert stablemate Authentic (Into Mischief). Tom's d'Etat could not overcome a troubled start and finished ninth.
“It didn't quite turn out the way we wanted, but we're very proud of Improbable and Global Campaign's efforts,” Walden said. “I think Tom's d'Etat may have been just a little bit over the top at age seven, but we're excited about the next chapter for all of them.”
The seven-year-old Tom's d'Etat has been a winner each year of his five-year career for trainer Al Stall, and this season the veteran won the Oaklawn Mile S. and the GII Stephen Foster S.
“Tom's d'Etat is a very high-class horse by Smart Strike out of the family of Candy Ride (Arg). His numbers over the last three years, every time we looked at stallion prospects, his numbers would stand out. He is a phenomenal specimen, good length and great movement. I loved the way he moved on the racetrack, loved the way he is so level and could change gears and get there in a hurry. When we made the offer to buy him, [current WinStar stallions] Distorted Humor and Speightstown came to mind. Distorted Humor came to stud at age six and Speightstown was seven. So if he can turn out to be half of what they are, we'll be in great shape.”
Improbable had a stand-out four-year-old season in 2020, collecting three consecutive Grade I races in the Hollywood Gold Cup S., Whitney S., and Awesome Again S.
“We're really excited about Improbable,” Walden said. “The balance and size that he has is going to make him a really great fit for a lot of mares. He's full of quality and he has great motion. All of those things that I think are important as we think about soundness and consistency, Improbable had all of that.”
Improbable's stud fee is currently set at $40,000, although subject to change, while Tom's d'Etat and Global Campaign's stud fees have not yet been announced.
The trio will join Grade I-winning millionaire Promises Fulfilled (Shackleford) as WinStar's freshman sires for the upcoming season.
“We're really excited with all three of them,” Walden said. “To add them to Promises Fulfilled, who we retired earlier in the year, we couldn't be more excited by our stallions we're bringing to WinStar this year.”