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Sep 10, 2010

Former two-year-old champ retired

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Every year following the running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile the winner of the race is automatically declared the early favorite for the next year's Kentucky Derby. Street Sense is the only thoroughbred to win both races.

I bring this up because it has been announced that 2008 Juvenile winner and two-year-old champion male Midshipman has been retired from competition. Who knew he was still in training?

Midshipman never made it to the Run for the Roses in 2009. That race is best known as being won by 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird who was last to Midshipman in the 2008 Juvenile.

"Midshipman defeated the best of his generation," Oliver Tait, Darley Stable's Chief Operating Officer, said, "while proving himself on both dirt and synthetic surfaces. We couldn't be more excited to have a champion two-year- old with his kind of looks and pedigree joining our roster in 2011."

As a two-year-old Midshipman won three of four starts, with a second, for $1,380,200. Along with the Juvenile he won the Del Mar Futurity in 2008 and was second to Street Hero in the Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita.

Midshipman's biggest race in 2009 was the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. He was beaten less than a length to finish third to Furthest Land.

The colt finishes his racing career with five wins in eight starts for more than $1.5 million.

The downfall for Midshipman might have been his time in Dubai after his Juvenile victory. He didn't have a start during his time overseas and never recaptured whatever magic he may have had.

This year as a four-year-old the colt won his lone start, an allowance race in Dubai.

Horses come and go. Some capture the imagination like Secretariat or more recently Smarty Jones. Others are merely good horses who either don't develop or aren't allowed to progress.

Smarty Jones was honored on Labor Day at Parx Racing, formerly Philadelphia Park. The track has a new stakes race named for the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner and a statue of him was unveiled.

Parx Racing honored Smarty Jones because he is the only Kentucky Derby winner who was ever based at the suburban Philadelphia track. His owners and trainer brought him back home before the 2004 Belmont Stakes. Even though that race didn't end with the Pennsylvania-bred sweeping the Triple Crown, he became an instant legend around Philadelphia.

Midshipman has been retired. Best of luck in his new career. Who knew he was still in training?

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