Repole pays tribute to retired Calibrachoa
Calibrachoa, a former claimed turned into a five-time New York Grade 3winner by trainer Todd Pletcher for owner Mike Repole, was retired from racing this week.
"He has had some nagging issues with his feet, some going back to last year," said Repole, leading owner at Saratoga each of the past two years. "Todd told me that we can't work with the issue and train him the way we want. He has earned himself a nice retirement."
Calibrachoa was claimed by Repole and Pletcher from owner Nelson Bunker Hunt and trainer Steve Asmussen for $40,000 in a race at Belmont Park in October 2010.
He proceeded to reel off four consecutive victories, including two Grade 3 sprints at Aqueduct -- the Toboggan and the Tom Fool Handicap.
"We knew he could run a 100 Beyer (Speed figure), so we claimed him," Repole said. "This was a really nice horse when we claimed him, and he is one of those horses that got better with age. At the end of the day, all the credit goes to Todd and his entire team."
Saving the best for last, Calibrachoa's most impressive victory came in what turned out to be his final race, defeating 2011 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Caleb's Posse by a neck in this year's Tom Fool at Aqueduct on March 3.
The victory was extra special considering that Caleb's Posse had defeated Repole's champion colt Uncle Mo by a nose in the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga in 2011.
"The Tom Fool was a very special win," Repole said. "Calibrachoa repaid the favor for Uncle Mo. That was very fun and kind of fitting. Sometimes you remember losses more than wins, and that eased the pain."
Repole indicated that stud plans have not yet been finalized for the five-year-old son of Southern Image who earned $666,040 from a record of 20-10-3-4.
"In a perfect world, hopefully he can be a New York stallion," Repole said. "My focus has always been on New York. I plan on considering all of the options and deciding what is best for his future. I will make sure he gets a great home."
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