Paul Pompa’s 2016 GI Cigar Mile hero Connect (Curlin–Bullville Belle, by Holy Bull) has been retired to Lane’s End and will stand at stud for the 2018 season. The 4-year-old has suffered a soft tissue injury that would prevent him from racing again this season.
Trained by Chad Brown, the $150,000 FTKJUL buy broke his maiden at second asking in May of 2016 and followed suit with wins in a Belmont allowance and the Curlin S. at Saratoga. Sixth behind a record-shattering performance from Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) in the GI Travers S., the bay returned to winning ways in the GII Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 24.
Defeating his elders with a victory in the GI Cigar Mile Nov. 26, Connect was last seen winning Belmont’s GIII Westchester S. May 6. He retires with a record of 8-6-0-1 and earnings of $1,370,000.
“I’ve said it before, but of all the very good horses I’ve been fortunate to own Connect is in another league,” said Pompa. “Of course we’re all very disappointed that he won’t be able to run again, but I’m also looking forward to the next stage of his career. Lane’s End has an exceptional record and I’m confident that the outstanding syndicate that’s been put together will give him every chance for success.”
Out of the unraced Holy Bull mare Bullville Belle, Connect is a half-brother to MSW Tani Maru (Cherokee Run). His second dam is MSW Bakerville Belle (Ruthie’s Native) and he also traces his lineage back to Pompa’s GISW Backseat Rhythm (El Corredor).
“He’s by a top class sire that’s one of the most commercially sought after stallions in the market,” said Lane’s End’s Will Farish. “He will cross beautifully with A.P. Indy line mares, with which Curlin has had so much success with. He’s an outstanding physical, very much akin to the successful stallions on our roster today. Paul Pompa has had a major racing stable for many years and I’m very happy he’s entrusted us with the stallion career of Connect.”