05/27/2014 11:10AM

Intense Holiday retired, stud plans pending

Tom Keyser
Starlight Racing retired Grade 2 Intense Holiday Tuesday after the colt was injured while training for the Belmont Stakes.

Grade 2 winner Intense Holiday, injured over the weekend while preparing for a start in the Belmont Stakes, has been retired from racing, owner Starlight Racing announced in a release Tuesday. Stud plans have not been finalized.

Intense Holiday was vanned off the track after breezing the morning of May 25 at Belmont Park, and was diagnosed with a condylar fracture to his right front leg. He underwent surgery, performed by equine surgeon Dr. Patti Hogan, the following day. The fracture was mended, but retirement was advised.

“You never get used to this stuff,” said Starlight Racing co-managing partner Jack Wolf, who was at Belmont Park the morning the injury occurred. “It’s disappointing, but the horse did not seem to be in much distress right after the injury and we’re happy that they were able to repair the injury to the extent that they could.  He’s a good horse – a talented horse – who has provided us with some thrilling finishes.  But whether they’re worth $5,000 or $5 million, this is always a bitter pill to swallow.”

Intense Holiday stamped himself as a 3-year-old of note earlier in the year with a nose victory in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes, followed by a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. He finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby on May 3, and, following that outing, underwent an extensive post-race exam before returning to New York to aim for the final leg of the Triple Crown.

“This injury was more frustrating than most because, after a disappointing finish in the Kentucky Derby, Intense Holiday underwent a thorough veterinary exam, including nuclear scintigraphy and digital X-rays,” said Dr. Foster Northrop, Starlight’s primary veterinarian. “All of his results came back clean and he was shipped to Belmont Park where, by all accounts, he had been training very well.”

Intense Holiday won two of nine starts and earned $551,900. Starlight Racing is currently in negotiations with several stallion farms regarding Intense Holiday’s stud career.

Intense Holiday was purchased by Starlight for $380,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. The colt is a son of the late Harlan’s Holiday, whom Starlight campaigned to multiple Grade 1 victories.

Intense Holiday is the lone winner from two starters out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Intensify. Out of Grade 1-placed Her She Shawklit, Intensify is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner and millionaire Crafty Shaw, and to stakes winner Her She Kisses. Her She Shawklit is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Mr. Shawklit, stakes winner Shawklit Man, Grade 1-placed Shawklit Won, and stakes producer Shawklit Delight.

peter k More than 1 year ago
Agree w/ other posts here . Not if I had broodmares
julietvalcouer . More than 1 year ago
Sure, line me up to breed to a horse with a "fashionable" pedigree who has a couple minor wins and breaks down in basic training while listening to the brilliant advice who say no one will send mares to Chrome because no matter what he does he doesn't have a "salable" pedigree....oh, wait, no. BECAUSE I'M NOT AN IDIOT.
mikey More than 1 year ago
lol.....they won't breed to CC because he won the Derby and Preakness. It will even be worse if CC wins the Belmont. All these buyers and breeders want are sprinters and milers....they should just turn off the lights.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Yep, and will KY bluebloods be accepting of CC and his California roots?
mikey More than 1 year ago
Eventually even a New Mexico bred horse could win the KD or triple crown since KY does not breed for the TC races anymore. The frail sprinters and milers they keep breeding will get shorter and shorter.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Stud duty? Wow. If he is off to stud duty, California Chrome should draw $1,000,000 per hit.
tim blake More than 1 year ago
disappointed. i like him.
redboy More than 1 year ago
Word has it that his first foal will be given the name Intense Rehab ,as that's where the horse will spend a majority of its 1 year racing career .
DD PR More than 1 year ago
Intense Holiday, A crap of horse. He didn't do anything in the prep races. Pletcher ruins his horses.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Pletcher does what the owners want him to do...WIN! as in WIN RIGHT NOW! Try wearing his shoes before you make a comment like that....jeez! BTW: Crap horses don't win graded stakes. It takes a good horse to win more than one and a great horse to win several. Racing isn't pretty. Every race has wear and tear on the animal. The only ones that don't have an injury of some type are the ones that never raced. I'll bet that even California Chrome is nursing something...
denali1 More than 1 year ago
Lol another pat on the back for a moron comment. Intense Holiday wins 550,000 in nine races oh ya graded stakes and he's labeled as a crap horse. I am glad you lost your money betting against him.
Tony More than 1 year ago
Every year on the Derby and Triple Crown trail you can count on Unbridled's Song in the pedigree to end a horse's career. At it worst the fragile bloodline produced the blackest day in racing, with Eight Belles freakish and unimaginable breakdown in the world's most famous race. Why any sane person would want to race or breed a horse out of this bloodline is beyond me.
mikey More than 1 year ago
and this is not like it's a mystery. The only reason is the speed of the line and the reality that they can take a gamble for a quick grade 1 win at 2 or 3 and then retire to stud. with barely a half a dozen races.
DD PR More than 1 year ago
I agree, I would never breed with Intense Holiday.
Walter More than 1 year ago
If I remember correctly, didn't Unbridled's Song have a short racing career cut short because of injury?
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
I noticed that Malibu Moon doesn't have the soundest get either. I think the problem with the Unbridled Song bloodline is that there is too much in-breeding from attempts to breed the best to the best.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Most folks are quick to point a finger. Does Pletcher seem to have more breakdowns than most. Absolutely. But maybe some problems are avoidable with better help in the STALLS. Nowadays its a slap n wrap routine instead of massaging legs properly and pointing out problems or potential problems, before they happen. Grooms I see in almost every barn are always hurrying to get done. Hence they pour on or slap on alcohol n wrap the leg without any massage of the linaments. Better help might help these mega trainers n their stock. Todd cant be everywhere at ONCE. N its impossible to examine 100 horses yourself every morning. As for breeding. Thats up to Intense Holidays connection to sell that. Best of luck to horse n owners.
Jaime Dubyna More than 1 year ago
He has a choice to "train" that many horses. He can choose to train less and be more hands on.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Yep, blame the grooms. That's the solution. It would be up to Pletcher to hire the "better help" you suggest.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Thomas, have you seen one come in named Singing Pass?
Mark D More than 1 year ago
Great......America needs another talented, but unsound horse to pass down its genetic flaws to more generations.
DD PR More than 1 year ago
Intense Holiday, A crap of horse. He didn't do anything in the prep races. Pletcher ruins his horses.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Another one from the all time leading money grubber.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Easy Chad. I agree super trainers arent always super. Sometimes they muss stuff...or someone does.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Just once Thomas, I'd like to see this slug bring one up from the beginning and do it in his own name, and with his own cash. They all come to him from JJ with a half-dozen starts in them.