02/20/2007 12:00AM

Strong Contender retired to Stonewall


Strong Contender, a dual Grade 2 winner who was retired recently, will stand at Stonewall Stallions near Versailles, Ky. A 4-year-old son of Maria’s Mon, he will have a $10,000 stud fee this season.

Bred in Kentucky by Haras Santa Maria de Araras, Strong Contender sold for $800,000 to John Oxley at Keeneland’s 2-year-old sale in 2005. John Ward trained the colt, who won first time out in August 2005 and went on to victories in the Grade 2 Super Derby and Dwyer Stakes in 2006. Strong Contender also finished third in a pair of Grade 1 events, the Haskell and Blue Grass Stakes, and in the Grade 2 Peter Pan last year. He retires with wins in half his eight starts and earnings of $618,000.

Strong Contender, out of the stakes-placed Dynaformer mare Kopenhagen, last ran on Jan. 6 in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Hal’s Hope Handicap, in which he finished fifth.