04/26/2017 12:10PM

Grade 1 winner Private Zone retired to Old Friends

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Barbara D. Livingston
Private Zone won 10 of 33 starts and $2.9 million during his racing career.

Private Zone, a standout runner in the United States and Panama, has been retired to Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown, Ky.

An 8-year-old Macho Uno gelding, Private Zone finished his ontrack career with 10 wins in 33 starts for earnings of $2,924,620.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Private Zone sold for $15,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale and was exported to Panama, where he began his racing career. He was named the country’s champion 2-year-old male in 2011, highlighted by a win in the Group 3 Clasico German Ruiz B.

He returned at 3 to win the Group 1 Clasico Francisco Arias Paredes Y Alberto Arias Espinos, a six-furlong sprint, before being sold in the middle of his 3-year-old season to Chicago-based Good Friends Stable and put in the barn of trainer Doug O’Neill. By the end of the season, Private Zone turned in runner-up efforts in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes, and the listed Damascus Stakes in Southern California.

Private Zone managed to avoid the infamous “Dubai bounce” the following year and rolled off wins in the listed Pirate’s Bounty Stakes and Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational Stakes in the two starts following an unplaced effort in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. An unplaced start in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita was followed by a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap to finish the season.

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He returned in 2014 with an abbreviated campaign under new trainer Alfredo Velazquez that included a successful defense of his Vosburgh score and a redemptive win in the Cigar Mile, along with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Private Zone’s 2015 campaign proved to be his most successful, starting with a runner-up finish behind eventual champion older male Honor Code in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap under new trainer Jorge Navarro. He rebounded with a win in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes, and then finished third behind Honor Code and Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.

After the Met Mile, Private Zone rolled off wins in the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes and the Grade 1 Forego Stakes before finishing third to eventual champion sprinter Runhappy in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland. His final career start came last July, when he finished fourth in the Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes.