former claimed turned into a five-time New
York graded stakes winner by trainer Todd Pletcher
for owner Mike Repole, was retired from racing this week.
“He has had some nagging issues with his feet, some going back to
last year,” said Repole, leading owner at Saratoga Race Course each of
the past two years. “Todd told me that we can’t work with the issue
and train him the way we want. He has earned himself a nice retirement.”
Calibrachoa was claimed by Repole and Pletcher from owner Nelson Bunker
Hunt and trainer Steve Asmussen for $40,000 in a race at Belmont Park
in October 2010.
He proceeded to reel off four consecutive victories, including two
Grade 3 sprints at Aqueduct Race Track – the Toboggan and the Tom Fool
“We knew he could run a 100 Beyer [Speed Figure], so we claimed
him,” Repole said. “This was a really nice horse when we claimed
him, and he is one of those horses that got better with age. At the end of the
day, all the credit goes to Todd and his entire team.”
Saving the best for last, Calibrachoa’s most impressive victory
came in what turned out to be his final race, defeating 2011 Breeders’
Cup Dirt Mile winner Caleb’s Posse by a neck in this year’s Grade
3, $200,000 Tom Fool at Aqueduct on March 3.
The victory was extra special considering that Caleb’s Posse had
defeated Repole’s champion colt Uncle Mo by a nose in the 2011 Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s
Bishop at Saratoga.
“The Tom Fool was a very special win,” Repole said.
“Calibrachoa repaid the favor for Uncle
Mo. That was very fun and kind of
fitting. Sometimes you remember losses more than wins, and that eased the
Repole indicated that stud plans have not yet been finalized for the 5-year-old
son of Southern Image who earned $666,040 with 10 wins from 20 starts.
“In a perfect world, hopefully he can be a New York stallion,” Repole said.
“My focus has always been on New
York. I plan on considering all of the options and
deciding what is best for his future. I will make sure he gets a great