08/07/2013 8:29PM

Hall of Fame profile: Invasor

Gary Rothstein/Equi-Photo
Invasor won 11 of 12 career races, including the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2006 and the Dubai World Cup and the Donn Handicap (above) in 2007.

The globe-trotting Invasor proved that attitude might indeed be everything.

“Just total class,” said Rick Nichols, vice president and general manager of Shadwell Farm, when reflecting upon Invasor’s career. “He was just such an easy horse to do anything with. When we flew him to Dubai, he took everything in stride. He went on the plane, took a bite of hay, and fell asleep. That’s what it takes for a horse to fly around the world and compete – they’ve got to have a great attitude about life.”

Invasor won 11 of 12 career starts, including six Grade 1 or Group 1 events, while becoming a champion on two continents.

An 11-year-old son of Candy Stripes, Invasor was bred by Haras Clausan in Argentina. Invasor won his first five starts in South America during 2005, including a sweep of Uruguay’s Triple Crown: the Uruguayan 2000 Guineas, Gran Premio Jockey Club, and Uruguayan Derby. He was honored as Uruguay’s Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old colt.

Invasor was privately purchased by Shadwell in December 2005. In his first start for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, the horse suffered his only loss, finishing fourth to Discreet Cat in the Group 2 U.A.E. Derby.

Shipped to the United States, Invasor won three consecutive Grade 1 stakes during spring and summer of 2006: the Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, and Whitney Handicap. A fever forced him to miss his final planned prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But despite entering North America’s richest race off a three-month layoff, Invasor handily defeated Bernardini, locking down honors as Horse of the Year and champion older male.

Invasor remained in training the following season, and fans showed their appreciation as he arrived on the scene for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

“When he walked out of that tunnel, the roar of that crowd,” Nichols said, “it was so special. Chills went up and down my back; the hair stood up on the back of my neck. It makes you appreciate the fan base we have in this industry and how they loved this horse.”

Invasor won the Donn despite clipping heels on the far turn. He then returned to the scene of his only defeat and atoned, rolling to victory in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Nad al Sheba. His score in the world’s richest race pushed his career bankroll to $7,804,070.

Invasor suffered a career-ending injury while preparing for a second start in the Suburban in June 2007 and was retired to stud. He is based at Shadwell in Lexington, Ky.

Pedigree: 2002, b. h., by Candy Stripes—Quendom, by Interprete
Breeder: Haras Clausan (Arg.)
Owners: Shadwell Stable (in U.S.); Juan Luis Vio Bado and Pablo Hernandez Trucido (in Uruguay, first five starts)
Trainers: Kiaran McLaughlin (in U.S.); Anibal San Martin (in Uruguay, first five starts)
Race record: 12-11-0-0, $7,804,070
Championships: Horse of the Year, older male in U.S. (2006); Horse of the Year, 3-year-old colt in Uruguay (2005)
Graded or group stakes wins: Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Whitney H. (G1), Pimlico Special H. (G1), Donn H. (G1), Suburban H. (G1), Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1)