Brad Cox says he’ll remember Leofric for being “as tough a horse as I’ve ever been around.”
“If you pointed him to a brick wall and asked him to run through it, he’d knock it down,” the trainer Cox said.
Leofric showcased that toughness last time out in the Grade 1, $500,000, Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old son of Candy Ride faced a determined challenge from 3-year-old Bravazo and prevailed by a neck in the Nov. 23 race.
That victory under Florent Geroux in Louisville proved to be the last start of Leofric’s career. Cox and owner Steve Landers said Wednesday the 6-year-old has retired from racing.
Landers said Leofric is currently standing stud in Chile.
“We still have rights to a couple of services with him,” Landers said. ...
“It was the wrong time of year to put him as a stud here in the U.S. So that’s why he went over. Some people in Chile asked about him and we sold him to them.”
Leofric won eight of 14 starts and earned $951,040. He didn’t jump into graded stakes competition until last year.
As a 5-year-old, Leofric ran second in Oaklawn Park’s Razorback Handicap (G3), first in Mountaineer’s West Virginia Governor’s Stakes (G3), third in Saratoga’s Woodward Stakes (G1) and then first in both Keeneland’s Fayette Stakes (G2) and the Clark Handicap.
Cox hoped to give Leofric a shot at Gulfstream Park’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) in January. A foot injury derailed that plan.
“It just took a lot of time,” Cox said. “Then he developed in the process a soft tissue injury. We just felt like he was not going to be able to come back at the graded stakes level. So he retired. He had accomplished enough. …
“He’s an unbelievable horse who’s been very good to us. It meant a lot for him to go out a Grade 1 winner.”