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G1 winner Danza retires to Spendthrift

July 20, 2015

Danza, last year’s impressive Arkansas Derby (G1) winner and troubled third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby (G1), has been retired from racing and will stand the 2016 breeding season at B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, where he’ll be the newest participant in the Share The Upside Program.

The Share The Upside fee for Danza will be $5,500 stands & nurses, and breeders will earn a lifetime breeding right to the Grade 1-winning son of Street Boss after breeding a mare in each of the first two years, producing two live foals, and paying both stud fees at $5,500 each on a stands & nurses basis. Danza’s 2016 fee on a traditional, one-time contract will be $4,000 stands & nurses.

“We are excited about the opportunity to stand such a talented Grade 1 winner as Danza,” said Hughes. “Simply put, he was one of the best racehorses of his crop, and showed it at both two and three. His tremendous looks match the ability, and I invite breeders to come out to the farm to see him. We believe he’ll be well received, particularly through our Share The Upside Program.”

Danza was a top 2-year-old in New York for trainer Todd Pletcher, breaking his maiden first-time out in a Maiden Special Weight race at Belmont in July before finishing a fast-closing third in a stakes-record-breaking Saratoga Special S. (G2) at Saratoga in his second start.

As a 3-year-old, Danza emerged as a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby (G1) in just his fourth lifetime start, dominating the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) with a 4 ¼-length victory over an accomplished field that included Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Bayern, Grade 1 winner Strong Mandate, Preakness S. (G1) runner-up Ride On Curlin, Belmont S. (G1) runner-up Commissioner, multiple Grade 2 winner Tapiture, among others. Three weeks later, Danza went on to become the third choice in the prestigious Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs, and rallied to finish third after overcoming an unlucky, traffic-impaired trip from start to finish in the 1 ¼-mile Classic.

Campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Danza retires with earnings of $866,428. Taylor Made’s Shannon Potter brokered the stallion deal between Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Spendthrift.

“Danza was a sensationally gifted racehorse with the courage to match his natural talent, and he took our racing partners to the top of the mountain,” said Aron Wellman, President of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. “He’s an imposing physical specimen, and we are delighted that Spendthrift has put their faith in him. The team at Spendthrift is second to none, and we have every confidence Danza will have a legitimate opportunity to succeed at stud in Kentucky.”

Bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm, Danza is out of the stakes-placed French Deputy mare Champagne Royale, and is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Majestic Harbor.