Grade 1 Winner Vekoma Retired To Spendthrift Farm For 2021

Multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Vekoma has been retired from racing and arrived at B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, where the 4-year-old son of Candy Ride will take up stud duty in 2021. His fee has been set at $20,000 S&N.

This year’s impressive winner of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and G1 Met Mile, Vekoma was scratched as the morning-line favorite in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint after spiking a fever upon arrival at Keeneland. He will be given a few days to settle in at Spendthrift before being available for inspection.

“Precocious, brilliantly fast, carried his speed around two turns – you name it, Vekoma could do it. On top of that, he is a Grade 1 winner by a Grade 1 winner and out of a Grade 1 winner, so he’s truly a rare package in the breeding world. You won’t find a more brilliant or better-bred son of Candy Ride. We are extremely excited about his future at stud and look forward to showing him off to breeders after he’s been allowed a few days to settle in here,” said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift general manager. “Any time a horse as good and as deserving as Vekoma does not get the opportunity to run in the Breeders’ Cup, you are obviously disappointed for the horse and for the connections. There’s so much hard work that gets put in. Ultimately, you have to credit George Weaver and his team for having an incredible season and always doing right by Vekoma through some hard luck at the end.”

Trained by George Weaver for owners R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables, Vekoma was one of the top racehorses in his crop, capturing graded stakes wins at two, three and four. After breaking his maiden at first asking in 1:08 4/5 at Belmont, the talented chestnut stretched out to win the one-mile G3 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct to complete an undefeated juvenile campaign.

At three, Vekoma jumped onto the Triple Crown trail, finishing third to Code of Honor in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream in his seasonal debut. He went on to score a dominant 3 1/2-length win in the 1 1/8-mile G2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, earning a berth into the Kentucky Derby.

This year, Vekoma was perfect with wins at three different racetracks, kicking off his 4-year-old season with a 3 3/4-length victory in Gulfstream’s Sir Shackleton Stakes in March. Vekoma earned his first Grade 1 triumph in the form of a dazzling 7 1/4-length win in the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct, earning a career-high 110 Beyer Speed Figure. He validated his Carter performance with a front-running win in the prestigious Met Mile, defeating Grade 1 winners Code of Honor and McKinzie, among others, while stopping the clock in 1:32 4/5 – just .15 seconds off the stakes record for the 129-year-old fixture in New York.

An earner of $1,245,525, Vekoma was bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables. He is out of the Speightstown mare Mona de Momma who scored her biggest win as a racehorse in the G1 Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill. Vekoma’s second dam, Society Gal, is a half-sister to successful sire Mr. Greeley.

Vekoma becomes the third Met Mile winner in the last four years to take up stud duty at Spendthrift. Mor Spirit, the 2017 winner, and Mitole, the 2019 winner, both stand at the historic Lexington-based farm.

The post Grade 1 Winner Vekoma Retired To Spendthrift Farm For 2021 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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