Undefeated Grade 1 winner Mastery will stand at Claiborne Farm upon retirement, according to representative Bernie Sams. The three-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG) is a perfect 4-for-4 in his racing career, including dominant victories in last year’s Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (gr.I) and Bob Hope Stakes (gr.III), and this year’s San Felipe (gr.II).
In the San Felipe Stakes, Mastery was again much the best, winning impressively by nearly 7 lengths and solidified his position as a top contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby. However, the celebration was cut short immediately following the race, when jockey Mike Smith quickly dismounted sensing something was wrong. Subsequent x-rays revealed a condylar fracture in the colt’s left front.
On Monday, March 13, Mastery underwent successful surgery, which trainer Bob Baffert said “went very well.” He will now be given time off to recover and a decision will be made later as to his racing career.
Baffert believed Mastery had a great chance of winning this year’s Kentucky Derby. “We’ve been so high on this horse, and you see what he did today was just incredible and puts him as the best 3-year-old in the nation,” he said following the San Felipe, before learning of the injury.
Jockey Mike Smith added, “This is a really talented horse. The power…it’s endless with this guy. He’s some kind of strong. He was hitting gears every time I asked him.”
Owned by Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stables, Mastery was bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm. He was purchased from the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by Cromwell Bloodstock for $425,000. To date, he has won all four of his career races with earnings of $511,200.
By Candy Ride (ARG) and out of the winning Old Trieste mare Steady Course, Mastery is a half-brother to stakes winner Clear Sailing. His dam is a half-sister to Jump Start, winner of the Champagne Stakes (gr.I) and now the perennial leading sire of the Mid-Atlantic region. His third dam is a full-sister to the great sire Miswaki.
“Clearly, his pedigree and race record make him an exciting stallion prospect,” said Sams. “He’s in good hands and has a bright future no matter what.”
Baffert confirmed that Mastery is “back at the barn and looking good.” He will remain with the trainer to recover.
“He’ll stay there for at least a month,” Baffert said. “We’ll just wait. It takes like 90 days for that to heal up, and then we’ll decide (if he’ll race again). Right now our main concern is to make sure he’s comfortable and happy.”
“It’s possible for horses to come back from a condylar fracture, but he’ll have to be 100% to go back into training,” said owner Everett Dobson. “He’s a very exciting stallion prospect; he showed brilliance on the track. If he does retire, he’d retire undefeated, and he’s out of a very hot sire with a very good pedigree, so that’s the positive side. We look forward to him standing at Claiborne Farm upon retirement, whenever that may be. Given their tradition and reputation in the marketplace for making top stallions, we felt it was a great fit for Mastery.”
Mastery will join a talented stallion roster at Claiborne Farm that includes top international sire War Front, Eclipse Champions Blame and Runhappy, Kentucky Derby winner Orb, Flatter, First Samurai, Data Link, Lea, Algorithms, Ironicus and Trappe Shot.