Grade 1 winner Preservationist retired to stud in Kentucky

October 08, 2019 11:19am
Preservationist, who overcame a number of minor setbacks earlier in his career to become a leading older horse in 2019, has retired and will join the stallion roster in 2020 at Kentucky's Airdrie Stud, it was announced Tuesday.

Don Little Jr., president of the Centennial Farms racing partnership, called it "the right time" given connections had decided to pass on the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Without a "Win and You're In" bid, a trip to Santa Anita for the Nov. 2 Classic would have cost Centennial's partners thousands.

"We were unsure about California from the get-go anyway, and we didn't feel it was in everybody's best interest," Little said. "There was more downside than upside. If we had won the Whitney or Jockey Club (Gold Cup), it might be a different story."

But Preservationist, a 6-year-old son of Arch, registered noteworthy victories outside of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series.

He hit the map as a top horse for trainer Jimmy Jerkens when beating Catholic Boy in the July 6 Suburban (G1) while stopping the clock in 1:59.99 for 1 1/4 miles. Two starts later, he prevailed in Saratoga's Woodward Stakes (G1) to become a Grade 1 winner.

“Preservationist was bred top and bottom t
o be a special horse, and that is exactly what he was,” said Airdrie Stud’s Bret Jones. “While it’s well documented that his greatest achievements came as an older horse, everyone we have spoken to about this horse has told us that he has been revered as a special talent from his absolute earliest days as a 2-year-old. His wins in the Woodward and Suburban are at the top of his resume, but we are just as enamored that he had the speed and versatility to earn a 3 Ragozin figure when breaking his maiden going 6 furlongs in 1:09 1.

"He had exceptional ability, and when combined with his blue blooded pedigree and the over-the-
top good looks that made him Arch’s most expensive yearling of his sale year, we really believe we have an exceptional stallion prospect. The team at Centennial Farms is absolutely top class, and we are very grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to stand their special horse.” 

Preservationist hadn't attempted a stakes race before the Suburban, running seven times from his debut in June of 2016 before that race, his career of the stop-and-start variety.

"He went through no more than any other horse with a winter campaign at Aqueduct," Little said. "I think if you talk about any horse that retires to stud or competes in a rigorous campaign, they're going to have issues. Some handle it better than others."

Preservationist's issues, mainly nagging foot problems, never required surgery.

"We had the people and the background and the knowledge that when it was going to be 100%, we were going to be tough to beat," Little said, "and he was."

Preservationist's addition to Airdrie gives Centennial three former racehorses on Kentucky stallion rosters with the others Wicked Strong (Spendthrift) and Unified (Lane's End).

“I’ve said multiple times that the two best training horses I’ve ever had were Preservationist and Quality Road," Jerkens said. "I’m convinced he would’ve stamped himself as a
top miler had he not so excelled at the longer distances.”

Preservationist will stand for $10,000 next year.

 

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