Popular racehorse and sire Holy Bull is being retired from active stud duty, the Darley horse operation announced Sunday.
Now 21, Holy Bull began his stallion career in 1996 at Jonabell Farm, which was bought by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.
Undefeated as a 2-year-old in 1993, the striking gray went off as the favorite in the 1994 Kentucky Derby but finished an inexplicable 12th. Despite that loss, he rebounded later in the year to win the Travers, the Haskell Invitational, the Florida Derby, the Woodward and the Metropolitan Mile to be named champion 3-year-old and 1994 Horse of the Year. He retired in 1995 with 13 wins in 16 starts and earnings of more than $2.8 million.
"He was so good, he was not a specialist. Short. Grass. Long. Dirt. Pick your best five horses. He could run with any of them," said Jimmy Bell, president of Darley America.
As a stallion, Holy Bull scored several notable successes, including 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner and champion 2-year-old Macho Uno, and 2007 Stephen Foster winner Flashy Bull.
According to Equineline.com, Holy Bull's progeny have won more than $51 million so far.
Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: janetpattonhl.