Updated on 09/15/2011 2:28PM

Tiznow retires to Kentucky

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Tiznow (right in both photos) made history by winning two close Breeders' Cup Classics: over Giant's Causeway (top) in 2000 and Sakhee in 2001.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - *, the 2000 Horse of the Year and a two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, has been retired and will begin stud duty next spring, his co-owner, Michael Cooper, said Friday.

"He's going to begin a new life as a stallion," Cooper said. "The deal hasn't been signed yet, but I can tell you this -- he will be in Kentucky."

Cooper said that the sale was still pending because "there are documents for attorneys to look at, and vets need to examine him."

"It probably won't be done until at least next week." Cooper said.

Because the sale is pending, Cooper declined to divulge to which farm Tiznow is headed.

Cooper was in Kentucky earlier this month, meeting with several farms that had expressed interest in Tiznow.

On Thursday, Antony Beck, son of Gainesway Farm owner Graham Beck, came to California and visited Tiznow at Santa Anita, where Tiznow was stabled with trainer Jay Robbins. Beck flew back to Kentucky on Thursday. Reached at his home in Lexington on Friday, Beck said he was "interested in the horse."

"He's a lovely horse," Beck said.

If Tiznow does go to Gainesway, he would join a stallion roster that includes, among others, Broad Brush, Cozzene, Lear Fan, Mt. Livermore, and Smoke Glacken.

Tiznow three weeks ago won the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park, becoming the first horse to win the Classic twice. When he won last year's race, it clinched Horse of the Year for Tiznow. This year's victory propelled Tiznow into the running for Horse of the Year, and made him the leading candidate to be named champion older horse for 2001.

Cooper, who immediately after the Breeders' Cup said Tiznow would race next year, called the decision to retire Tiznow "very difficult."

"But once you get away from watching what he did in the Breeders' Cup, and to see what he's done, this is a great opportunity for him to go out a champion," Cooper said. "We've seen a whole lot of good ones hang on too long, get injured, or suffer a loss a perception."

Tiznow will go out having won the most thrilling race of the year. Passed at mid-stretch by Arc de Triomphe winner Sakhee, Tiznow bravely battled back and narrowly won the Classic for the second straight year. Chris McCarron rode him to both Breeders' Cup victories.

Cooper manages the career of Tiznow and owns him in partnership with Kevin Cochrane and Pamela Ziebarth, the children of Tiznow's late breeder, Cecilia Straub-Rubens. Straub-Rubens died one year ago, just three days after Tiznow's first Breeders' Cup victory. A number of horses owned by the estate have been sold in recent months, including at the recent Keeneland November sale of breeding stock, but Cooper said Tiznow's sale was not a matter of estate planning.

"Oh no, it has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with what's right for the horse," Cooper said. "You know how hard he was to train. I had been on the fence, but once I went to Kentucky, and saw the kind of life he'd lead, I became more convinced that this was the right thing to do."

Cooper had contemplated running Tiznow in next month's Hollywood Turf Cup, which would have marked Tiznow's first race on grass. Cooper said reading Friday morning about the career-ending injury to Manndar, suffered in a workout at Hollywood Park on Thursday morning, further convinced him he was making the right decision.

"It was time to stop," Cooper said.

Tiznow, a 4-year-old son of Cee's Tizzy out of the Seattle Song mare Cee's Song, won eight times in 15 starts, and finished second on four other occasions. He earned $6,427,830, making him the leading money-winner ever bred in California. He is also the only Cal-bred to win a Breeders' Cup race.

In addition to his pair of Breeders' Cup Classic victories, Tiznow also won this year's Santa Anita Handicap and San Fernando Stakes, and last year's Super Derby and Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Tiznow had an eventful 2001. After winning the Santa Anita Handicap in March, he suffered a back injury that kept him from racing for six months. At one point this past summer, both Cooper and Robbins thought Tiznow might have to be retired. But Tiznow progressed quickly, beginning in late July, and was able to make three starts this fall, culminating with the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Tiznow had been kept in steady training since the Breeders' Cup, in part because Cooper was entertaining the thought of running Tiznow again this year. He had galloped every day until Friday morning, when Cooper phoned Robbins at 5:45 Pacific time and instructed the trainer not to take Tiznow to the track. His career was over.

for the Breeders' Cup Classic chart.*

Click here for some photos of Tiznow.

* Past Performances and Chart require Adobe Acrobat Reader.