10/01/2013 3:27PM

Alternation retired, will stand at his owner's Pin Oak Stud

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Barbara D. Livingston
Alternation won five stakes during 2012, including the Oaklawn Handicap.

Alternation, who rose to prominence last year when he won five stakes including the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap, has been retired and will stand at the Pin Oak Stud operation of his breeder and owner, Josephine Abercrombie.

A fee has not yet been set, according to Clifford Barry, general manager of Pin Oak.

Alternation, a 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor who won 9 of 19 starts and $1,064,727, arrived at the Versailles, Ky., farm about 10 days ago, Barry said. The horse had been based at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, where in his final start Aug. 17 he was fourth in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup.

Alternation won the 2012 Governor’s Cup during a 4-year-old campaign in which he also captured four straight stakes between February and May. He accounted for the three races making up the handicap series at Oaklawn, then took the Grade 3 Pimlico Special in May. 

“There was a point in the spring of his 4-year-old year he was probably right at the top of the handicap horse list,” said Donnie Von Hemel, who trained Alternation. “The Oaklawn Handicap was probably his biggest career win. He beat Grade 1 winners from Florida and Grade 1 winners from California that day. That would probably be the pinnacle of his racing career.”

The field for the 2012 Oaklawn Handicap included Ron the Greek, recent winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Another major win for Alternation was the Grade 2 Peter Pan in 2011.

Alternation is out of the Seattle Slew mare Alternate, a three-time stakes winner who earned $550,695. She is a half-sister to Peaks and Valleys, the multiple Grade 1 winner of $1.5 million and a past Horse of the Year in Canada. “We’re pretty excited at Pin Oak to bring a horse of that caliber home,” Barry said of Alternation.

Barry noted Abercrombie’s years of breeding behind Alternation, as she bred and raced both Peaks and Valleys and Alternate.