01/30/2018 8:01PM

Green Mask retired to Old Friends

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Debra A. Roma
Green Mask, winner of the 2017 Troy Handicap at Saratoga, has been retired to Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky.

Grade 2-winning turf sprinter Green Mask will spend his post-racing life at Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown, Ky.

The 7-year-old Mizzen Mast gelding was retired in September after fracturing his left front sesamoid during a turf breeze at Belmont Park. He was in line to be one of the favorites for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint prior to the injury. He underwent surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, conducted by Dr. Dean Richardson.

“Green Mask always gave 110 percent on the track, so when he was injured, it was devastating to the whole team,” trainer Brad Cox said. “We're so thankful to New Bolton Center and Dr. Richardson, who helped save his life and make retirement even possible. And we are so grateful that Green Mask will now spend his retirement years at Old Friends.”

Cox was one of three trainers to saddle Green Mask for his owner, Sheikh Abdullah Saeed Almaddah of Saudi Arabia, joining Wesley Ward and Christophe Clement.

Green Mask retired with 8 wins in 27 starts over five seasons of racing for earnings of $1,064,761. He began his career on synthetic surfaces, winning his debut during the fall 2013 meet Keeneland as a juvenile by 5 1/4 lengths. Green Mask notched another resounding win at Keeneland the following April before moving to the turf, where he won in his first attempt over the surface, the Paradise Creek Stakes at Belmont.

The gelding was firmly entrenched as a turf sprinter by his 4-year-old campaign, which saw him finish second in a pair of Florida stakes before traveling to the United Arab Emirates to run third in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint. Green Mask finished that campaign with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland and another trip overseas to complete in the Hong Kong Sprint.

Green Mask continued to knock on the door of a signature win in the early part of his 5-year-old season, picking up a victory in the Bonapaw Stakes at Fair Grounds. His breakthrough came in his 6-year-old campaign, in which he never finished worse than second in six starts prior to his career-ending injury, highlighted by victories in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes, Grade 3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes, and listed Troy Handicap.

Green Mask earned three of the top seven highest Beyer Speed Figures on turf in 2017, led by the 111 he picked up while winning the Troy Handicap at Saratoga, which was second in that category only to the 114 earned by Bullard’s Alley in the Canadian International Stakes. Green Mask also earned a 110 for winning the Highlander at Woodbine and a 109 when second in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational Stakes at Belmont.

Bred in Kentucky by D.J. Stable, Green Mask sold to Sheikh Abdullah for $150,000 at the 2013 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring 2-year-olds in training sale.

The gelding has arrived at Old Friends after previously staying at Dell Ridge Farm in Lexington, Ky., and he is under the care of central Kentucky-based Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. He is expected to be ready for the public in the spring.

“Our thanks to Brad Cox, Mr. Almaddah, and the people at Dell Ridge who took such good care of Green Mask following his surgery,” Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen said. “We're very thrilled to have him with us. He was a wonderful racehorse that certainly earned his retirement, and his wonderful disposition, I'm sure, will make him a big fan favorite.”