(Press Release)—Eldaafer, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, has been retired to Old Friends. The nine-year-old gelding, who suffered a career-ending suspensory injury last November, arrived at the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Central Kentucky on Monday June 2 along with his inseparable companions, the goats Google and Yahoo.
Bred by Shadwell Farm by A.P. Indy out of multiple Grade 1 winner Habibti (Tabasco Cat), Eldaafer easily lived up to his name, which translates as “the victorious.”
Campaigned by several owners throughout his career, Eldaafer had developed a reputation early on for being very difficult. But he began to live up to his potential when he came under the patient eye of trainer Diane Alvarado.
Sire: A.P. Indy
Foal date: March 13, 2005
Earnings: $1,031,836; 46 starts
Breeders’ Cup Participation: 1st Breeders’ Cup Marathon—2010In his first start out of her barn Eldaafer earned his first graded stakes win in the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap (G2), going a mile and a half on the dirt. He went on to make his first Breeders’ Cup Marathon appearance later that year at Santa Anita where he finished seventh.
In 2010, a victory on the Polytrack in the Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3) guaranteed the gelding a second chance in the BC Marathon, and that was indeed the charm. He sailed smoothly to a length and three-quarter victory in a tumultuous race that was memorable for the televised post-race row between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano because their mounts had bumped and stumbled.
Eldaafer’s starts in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in 2011 and 2012 were winless, but he continued to earn stakes, including the Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware Park in 2012 and the Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx in September 2013.
Eldaafer retired with earnings of $1,031,835 from 13 wins, 3 seconds and 7 thirds in 46 starts.
“Eldaafer is a sturdy throwback to a time when stamina and strength were valued,” said Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends. “We’re very grateful that his connections trust Old Friends to take care of his well-deserved retirement.”