07/24/2013 2:27PM

Behrens, Grade 1 winner and sire, pensioned to Old Friends

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Behrens, shown here during his racing career, has been pensioned from stallion duty to Old Friends' New York facility.

Behrens, a three-time Grade 1 winner with more than $4.5 million in earnings, has retired from stud duty in California, Ellen Jackson of Victory Rose Thoroughbreds confirmed Wednesday. Plans call for him to reside at the Old Friends at Cabin Creek facility in New York.

Behrens had stood at Victory Rose in Vacaville, Calif., since the 2008 breeding season and was listed with a $1,000 stud fee this year. Jackson noted that the Pleasant Colony horse, who is 19 this year, had had small book sizes. According to Jockey Club statistics, Behrens bred eight mares in 2012, the most recent year with published figures available.

Raced by Rudlein Stable and William Clifton, Behrens won nine of his 27 lifetime starts, led by victories in the 1999 Oaklawn Park Handicap and in consecutive Gulfstream Park Handicaps in 1999 and 2000. He also won the Grade 2 Pegasus, Massachusetts, and Suburban handicaps and Dwyer Stakes and finished second or third in nine Grade 1 events, including a runner-up finish in the 2000 Dubai World Cup.

As a sire, Behrens’s most notable runners were stakes-placed Colony Queen and Sueno Del Mar and the $296,560 earner Sporty Boy, the horse’s leading moneywinner.

Joanne Nor bred Behrens in Kentucky from the graded stakes-winning Mari’s Book mare Hot Novel.

On Monday night, Behrens’s former trainer, James Bond, posted on his Facebook page that the horse had arrived that evening at Song Hill Thoroughbreds in Mechanicville, N.Y., where he is expected to stay until a stallion paddock is ready for him at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield, N.Y.  “He will be with his old friend and stablemate Will’s Way,” Bond said in his post, adding, “A special thank you to Mr. Clifton for making this happen. Mr. Clifton is a great owner and a very special person.”

Will’s Way, a 20-year-old son of Easy Goer, won the Travers (1996) and the Whitney (1997) and earned over $950,000 for his career. Behrens was second in the 1997 Travers and the placed twice in the Whitney, finishing second in 1999 and third in 2000.