11/25/2014 1:25PM

Grade 3-winning gelding Hudson Landing retired to Utah ranch

Vassar Photography
Hudson Landing wins the 2012 All American at Golden Gate Fields.

Two years ago this week, Hudson Landing capped a sensational 2012 campaign with a victory in the Grade 3 All American. This week, as the connections of 19 runners make decisions about entering Sunday’s $100,000, Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap, Hudson Landing is getting on a van to return to owner Jared Chappell’s ranch in Utah to begin his retirement.

Hudson Landing’s victory in the 2012 All American was his 12th and final win. It capped a strong year during which he also won the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields and the Mt. Rainier at Emerald Downs.

He had one second and four thirds from eight starts in 2013, and he finished second once and third three times from six starts this year, with his thirds coming in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile, the Grade 3 All American, and the Joseph T. Grace at Santa Rosa.

But when he finished last behind Olympic Blue (who runs in Friday’s fourth race) on Sept. 3, trainer Blaine Wright and Chappell decided that the 7-year-old Maria’s Mon gelding should be retired after weighing running him one final time.

“I hated to go out on a note like that,” Wright said. “We thought about running once more, but what would he prove by that?”

Hudson Landing was claimed by Chappell for $50,000 on Feb. 12, 2012, and he won his first three starts for his new barn, including the San Francisco Mile, which Chappell said “was like our Kentucky Derby.”

Hudson Landing, who finished his career with 12 wins, eight seconds, 11 thirds, and $561,343 in earnings, will become Chappell’s personal riding horse at his ranches in Utah and Idaho.

“He had a passion for him,” said Wright, who gave Chappell all the credit for the claim. “He tried to buy him as a 3-year-old and lost shakes for him several times.”

Changes in rules for the use of clenbuterol may have affected Hudson Landing, who was a bleeder the past two years, but Wright noted that his star also was affected by Summer Hit (“he had everybody’s number”) and Positive Response (“he had our number”).

Wright said his goodbyes when Hudson Landing left his barn at Golden Gate Fields and was turned out at a ranch owned by Vince Sanchez, who works for Wright, prior to heading out to Utah this week.