Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Yaupon (Uncle Mo–Modification, by Vindication), who became his sire's ninth Grade I winner with a tenacious victory in the Forego S. at Saratoga Aug. 28, suffered an injury while training towards the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Friday morning and has been retired from racing. It was previously announced that the 4-year-old would be entering stud at Spendthrift Farm for the 2022 breeding season.
Daily Racing Form was first to report the news.
Bred in Kentucky by the partnership of Betz, Lamantia, CoCo Equine, Magers and Burns and trained by Steve Asmussen, Yaupon ran the table through the first four starts of his career, including Saratoga's GII Amsterdam S., clocking 1:08.50 for the six furlongs. The dark bay colt added the GIII Chick Lang S. on the Preakness undercard last October, scoring by four lengths and cementing his status as the favorite for last year's GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland. He endured a troubled trip and finished down the field.
Yaupon bounced back from an often-taxing trip to Dubai for the G1 Golden Shaheen in March with a 1 3/4-length success in Pimlico's Lite the Fuse S. July 4 prior to the Forego, his first try over seven furlongs, in which he got the better of a stirring final-furlong tussle with and an attempted savaging by the classy Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior).
At Spendthrift, Yaupon is slated to stand alongside the Heiligbrodts' champion sprinter Mitole (Eskendereya).
“Aside from being extremely fast, Yaupon is one of the best-looking sons of Uncle Mo you will find anywhere,” Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said when news of Yaupon's addition to the stallion barn was announced earlier this month. “When breeders come out to the farm and see a fast Saratoga Grade I winner by Uncle Mo that is as beautiful as he is on the end of a lead shank, we believe we will get a lot of 'yeses'.”
“Yaupon is an absolutely stunning physical with an unbelievable pedigree, and he might have been one of the fastest horses we have ever seen at a 2-year-old-in-training sales,” added Bill Heiligbrodt at the time of the announcement. “Corinne and I have been racing horses since the 1980s and have been lucky to be represented by a lot of nice horses. Yaupon is our best ever when you combine speed, pedigree and conformation.”
One of 75 black-type winners and 40 graded winners for his emerging sire of sires, Yaupon is out of a Grade I-placed mare who has also been responsible for MGSP turfer Sawyer's Hill (Spring At Last). Yaupon's 2-year-old half-sister Royal Flower (American Pharoah) was purchased by Mike Rutherford for $1.2 million at Keeneland September last fall, while his yearling relation, a Good Magic colt already named Limits of Power, was knocked down to Alan Quartucci, agent, for $575,000 on the opening day of this year's September sale.
Yaupon heads to the breeding shed with a stellar record of 8-6-0-0 and earnings of $703,264.