05/07/2009 12:00AM

Tale of Ekati retired from racing


ELMONT, N.Y. - Tale of Ekati, a multiple Grade 1 winner, has been retired from racing after three consecutive dull performances this year, trainer Barclay Tagg said Thursday.

Tagg said he can't find a physical issue with Tale of Ekati, but he believes the horse has simply lost his competitive edge.

"Seems that way," Tagg said. "He seems to be all right physically."

In three starts this year, Tale of Ekati finished fourth in the Grade 2 Richter Scale at Gulfstream; eighth in the Grade 1 Carter at Aqueduct; and, most recently, sixth in the Grade 3 Westchester at Belmont.

Tagg said Tale of Ekati left his Belmont Park barn on Thursday morning bound for Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky, where he will be let down pending the finalization of stallion plans. Tale of Ekati is owned by his breeder, Charles Fipke.

Tale of Ekati, a son of Tale of the Cat out of the Sunday Silence mare Silence Beauty, won 5 of 15 starts including the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and Grade 1 Cigar Mile. He also won the Grade 2 Futurity and Grade 2 Jerome. He earned $1,182,992.

"Everybody said he's just a miler, but he did win a Grade 1 at a mile and an eighth and he was fourth in the Kentucky Derby at a mile and a quarter," Tagg said. "To me he's a superior stallion prospect; his breeding goes back to God. He's got tremendous breeding male side and female side."

Regal Ransom to Stephens or Dwyer

Regal Ransom, who finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby, arrived at Belmont Park on Thursday morning from Kentucky and will make his next start in either the Woody Stephens here on June 6 or the Dwyer, also at Belmont, on July 4.

"He seems good out of the race," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin Racing's Belmont string. "He's off the Triple Crown trail. We'll look at the Woody Stephens or Dwyer, either or both."

The Woody Stephens is run at seven furlongs. The Dwyer is run at 1 1/16 miles.

Regal Ransom won his debut at seven furlongs at Saratoga last summer. In Dubai, he won the UAE Derby at 1 1/8 miles.

Meanwhile, Mettee said that Desert Party underwent surgery to remove a chip out of his left front ankle earlier this week. Mettee said that Dr. Larry Bramlage, who performed the surgery, said "it was pretty straightforward."

Desert Party could possibly return to the races later this year.

Seventh Street will skip Shuvee

Mettee said that Seventh Street, the Apple Blossom winner, would likely skip the Grade 2, $150,000 Shuvee on May 16 and await the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 13.

Mettee said that with the spate of wet weather in the Northeast the last week, "we haven't been able to breeze her."

Mettee said the wet tracks have prompted Godolphin to keep Grade 1 winners Music Note and Cocoa Beach at Keeneland for the time being, where they are able to train over a synthetic surface. Mettee said Music Note is possible for the Phipps while Cocoa Beach will need more time before she is ready to run.

Giant Moon entered in Kingston

Giant Moon is entered in Sunday's $100,000 Kingston Stakes, in what would be his turf debut provided the race stays on the grass. Wet weather has forced the last 16 turf races (through Friday) to be run on the main track.

Giant Moon has won 6 of 10 lifetime starts including the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes last time out at Aqueduct. He is a son of Giant's Causeway out of the Capote mare Moonlightandbeauty.

"We had some options, but this was the best one," trainer Richard Schosberg said. "We felt it was a good time to see if he could turf, going in here against New York-breds rather than against more experienced turf horses."

While Schosberg wouldn't be terribly upset if the race came off the turf, he doesn't want to run Giant Moon on a sloppy track. In his lone previous race in the slop, Giant Moon finished last in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct in 2008.

The Kingston will mark the return of Banrock, who won four stakes last year, all over yielding, good, or soft turf. That included a narrow head victory in last year's Kingston.

Atoned wins Nasty and Bold

Atoned may have earned a spot in the Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap with a determined neck victory in Thursday's $67,250 Nasty and Bold Stakes over a sloppy Belmont main track. The Brooklyn, also at 1 1/2 miles, is run on June 5.

Atoned, who won the Grade 3 Pegasus last year, won for just the fourth time in 19 career starts. He also has seven second-place finishes.

Under John Velazquez, Atoned raced up a close up third inside of Lord Kipling while stalking the 3-5 favorite Delosvientos through fractions of 24.00 seconds, 47:90, 1:12.65, and 1:38.30.

Atoned took the lead leaving the three-eighths pole, but was tackled, to his inside, by Alcomo. Those two ran head and head virtually the length of the stretch with Atoned prevailing late. Atoned, a son of Repent owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:31.79 in the slop and returned $9.80.