10/31/2016 10:54AM

Upstart, millionaire Grade 2 winner, retired to stud

Barbara D. Livingston
Upstart won four of 15 career starts.

Upstart, one of the best of the crop of 2012, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2017 breeding season at Brereton and Libby Jones’s Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky., for a fee of $10,000. A stakes winner at 2, 3, and 4 and an earner of $1,732,780, Upstart registered his best win in blitzing the Grade 2 Holy Bull field with a 105 Beyer Speed Figure in his sophomore debut, and at 4, he captured the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap.

A son of Flatter out of the Touch Gold mare Party Silks, Upstart was bred in New York by Mrs. Gerald Nielsen and purchased for $130,000 as a yearling by Ralph Evans at the New York-bred yearling sale at Saratoga in August 2013.

Trained by Rick Violette, Upstart raced in statebred company in his first two starts, winning both, including the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga, and then proved he could compete with the best of his division when in his third start he was second to Daredevil in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes. He then finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind Texas Red and Carpe Diem.

In his sophomore debut, he won the Holy Bull at Gulfstream, with Frosted second, before finishing first in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, only to be disqualified. He was then second to Materiality in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Several weeks before the Kentucky Derby, WinStar Farm acquired a minority interest in the horse.

Upstart was off the board in the Kentucky Derby and then, after a break, finished third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational behind American Pharoah.

This year, Upstart won the Razorback at Oaklawn and was third in both the Metropolitan Handicap and Whitney, both Grade 1 races won by Frosted. Upstart retires with four wins in 15 starts, with three seconds and four thirds.

“Upstart is an absolutely gorgeous son of a fantastic sire in Flatter,” said Brereton Jones. “We think he’s the best 2-year-old Flatter has ever had and love that he trained on to be a top 3- and 4- year-old. I’ll put his 102 Beyer as a 2-year-old and 108 [Beyer] at 3 up against any first-crop sire in America. And to be right there in six Grade 1s, from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to the Whitney, tells you what a top-class racehorse he was.

“He’ll get our full support at stud, and we couldn’t be more excited or grateful to team with Mr. Evans and WinStar Farm in working to make him a great success.”

Party Silks, the dam of Upstart, has produced two winners from five foals. It is the immediate family of graded stakes winners Josh’s Madelyn and Gone for Real.

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