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US Gr1-Winner & Dual Classic-Placed First Dude Retired

Wednesday, 27th July 2011

In the US, Donald Dizney’s star 4YO entire First Dude (Stephen Got Even-Run Sarah Run, by Smart Strike) who finally notched his initial Gr1 triumph (after 5 Gr1-placings last season) in this month’s Gr1 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (10 furlongs) at Hollywood Park “has been retired after sustaining a career-ending tendon injury to a front leg” reported thoroughbredtimes.com. First Dude’s latest win “stamped him as one of the top horses in the older male division & a serious threat for the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Classic”, but trainer Bob Baffert confirmed: “He came out of the race really well, but the injury showed up a week later. It’s just a freak thing. He must have stepped wrong or something, I don’t know. It was a small tear, but they (the owners) just decided that was it for him, because they (tendon injuries) just don’t heal up enough to come back & compete at the same level. . . . . He was a solid-legged horse & he was so fast; it’s a shame because they are hard to come by, those kinds of horses. He was becoming the best older horse in America. He had speed & we finally were able to get him (to rate).” Overall Florida-bred First Dude (who won 3 successive races to close his career) recorded 4 wins (also including May’s Gr3 Alysheba Stakes over 8.5 furlongs at Churchill Downs) & 9 placings (including 2010’s Gr1 Belmont Stakes over 12 furlongs at Belmont Park, Gr1 Preakness Stakes over 9.5 furlongs at Pimlico, Gr1 Travers Stakes over 10 furlongs at Saratoga, Gr1 Haskell Invitational Handicap over 9 furlongs at Monmouth Park, Gr1 Blue Grass Stakes over 9 furlongs at Keeneland & Gr2 Pennsylvania Derby over 9 furlongs at Philadelphia Park) from 17 starts for US$1,442,140 earnings. Stud plans have “still to be decided”, but Baffert noted: “He’s really big, but he’s got so much speed, he should make a good sire with his speed. He’s very balanced. He’s built like a giant Quarter-Horse. He’s got a beautiful way of moving.”

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