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All Along, 24, retired from breeding
LEXINGTON, Ky. - All Along, North America's Horse of the Year in 1983 and the first foreign-based horse to win that honor, has been pensioned from breeding at age 24.
She is expected to live out her days at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky.
All Along was bred in France by Daniel Wildenstein, for whom she also raced. Trained by Patrick Biancone, the Targowice filly narrowly won her 2-year-old debut. But, at 3, she revealed her promise with a pair of four-length stakes wins. She went on to win the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil and Group 1 Prix Vermeille. Entered in the 1982 Arc de Triomphe, she lost badly, finishing 15th, but came back to finish a close second behind Half Iced in the Japan Cup.
In 1983, at age 4, All Along bloomed into an international sensation. She won the 1983 Arc by a length over Sun Princess, to whom she was giving seven pounds, then shipped to Canada and won Woodbine's Rothmans International. Next, she won the 1983 Turf Classic by 8 3/4 lengths, then ended her year by winning the Washington, D.C. International.
From Oct. 2 to Nov. 12 in 1983, All Along won four Grade 1 or Group 1 races in three countries, good enough for the Horse of the Year title.
All Along continued her international campaign at age 5 but was unable to match her 1983 successes. Her best performance that year came in the final race of her career, a loss by a neck to Lashkari in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf.
All Along retired as the sport's all-time richest female runner with earnings of $3,015,764. In 1990, she was elected to the Hall of Fame.
All Along, a daughter of the Vieux Manoir mare Agujita, is the dam of Group 2 winner Along All and group-placed Arnaqueur. All Along produced her last foal, an Atticus colt now named Artist's Dream, in 2002.
"She was truly one of the great ones," said Daniel Wildenstein's son Alec in announcing her retirement from breeding. "My brother Guy and I appreciate the fine home Three Chimneys will provide her for the rest of her days. She deserves nothing less."
There's more to Soul of the Matter's stats
When Grade 1 winner Soul of the Matter returns to California for the 2004 season, he'll be coming back with a better Japanese sire record than it might have appeared at first.
Soul of the Matter has stood in Japan since 1997. So when KC International Bloodstock announced this week that he was returning to stand at E. A. Ranches in California, it may have surprised breeders who looked up his progeny record on American databases that he was listed with only 94 foals (Bloodstock Research Information Services) or 110 foals (EquineLine) from four crops. Both databases list only one stakes-placed runner for Soul of the Matter.
But according to KC International's Matt Rubarts, Soul of the Matter and his progeny have fallen into a statistical gap in Japan. Rubarts says the young sire actually has 143 foals - including 22 stakes winners and 18 stakes-placed runners - in Japan. The vast majority of his stakes performers have not been counted back home in the United States, because those runners have been competing at smaller, locally run racetracks rather than at national tracks run by the Japan Racing Association. According to the Japan Association for International Horse Racing, there are 26 such racetracks that fall under local governance, collectively overseen by a group called, confusingly, the National Association of Racing. Whereas the 10 JRA tracks are solely dedicated to Thoroughbred racing, the smaller NAR circuit races Thoroughbreds as well as Anglo-Arabs and even draft breeds.
Also, unlike the JRA tracks, which have a great deal of grass racing, the NAR tracks are mostly dirt strips. The performance of Soul of the Matter's progeny in that dirt-oriented circuit was a major selling point for bringing him to a regional American market.
"Soul of the Matter is a dirt sire, so most of his foals raced under the NAR," Rubarts said. "What I am told is that information isn't shared or recorded together between the JRA and the NAR. The NAR records are kept locally at the individual tracks, and there is no web site or Jockey Club-type information to download. The list of Soul of the Matter's runners that I have was made by calling each track, asking for the information, and waiting for a reply."
Those labors, Rubarts said, revealed such NAR stakes winners as Macky Michael, Kanemasa Duke, Sweet Soul, Kira Kira, Mastermind, and numerous other statistically invisible horses that convinced Soul of the Matter's current owners to bring him home again.
Posse headed to stud
Multiple graded stakes winner Posse, fourth last out in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, will retire to stud after his next start in the Malibu Stakes on Santa Anita's opening day, Dec. 26.
Posse races for a partnership of the Lexington stallion farm Vinery and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. To date, he has earnings of $626,841. A 3-year-old Silver Deputy colt, he won the 2002 Kentucky Breeders' Cup and the 2003 Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup, Lafayette, and Matt Winn stakes. He also set the 5 1/2-furlong track record at Fair Grounds: 57.20 seconds.
Posse is out of the Rahy mare Raska, and is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Green Fee. Posse's stud fee has yet to be announced.
Etc. . . .
Grade 1 winner and South American champion Miss Linda, retired earlier this month, will be bred to Unbridled's Song in 2004. A 6-year-old Southern Halo mare, she has shipped to Taylor Made Farms in Nicholasville, Ky., where Unbridled's Song stands. . . . Wild Deputy (Wild Again-Hear the Bells, by Deputy Minister), a top-five freshman sire in California last year, will relocate to Weatherly Horse farms in Anthony, N.M., in 2004. Wild Deputy, sire of $177,000 earner Womanonfasttrack, will continue to stand for $2,500. . . . Entepreneur (Cure the Blues-Iniki, by Miswaki) will move from New York's The Stallion Park to Liberty Stud in Ghent, N.Y., in 2004. Entepreneur, a Grade 2-placed stakes winner entering his second year at stud, will stand for $1,500.